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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

Work Department

Founding partner; head of the regulatory and compliance department.


Partner dealing with all areas of regulatory and compliance matters, with particular expertise on competition law, including defences to investigations, merger filings, general competition law advice; together with general corporate and contracts law, white-collar irregularities, litigation, technology, media, and telecommunications, and internet law practices.


Mr. Gönenç Gürkaynak is a founding partner of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law, a leading law firm in Istanbul, Turkey. Before founding ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law in 2005, Mr. Gürkaynak worked as an attorney at the Istanbul, New York and Brussels offices of a global law firm for more than eight years. Mr. Gürkaynak heads the “Regulatory and Compliance” department of ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law. He also holds a teaching position at undergraduate and graduate levels at two universities in the fields of law and economics, competition law and Anglo-American law. He has a total of more than 150 international and local articles published in English and in Turkish, and two books, one published on “A Discussion on the Prime Objective of the Turkish Competition Law From a Law & Economics Perspective” by the Turkish Competition Authority, and the other on “Fundamental Concepts of Anglo-American Law” by Legal Publishing.


English, French.


Istanbul Bar Association (1998); New York State Bar (2002); Brussels Bar (2003), Law Society of England and Wales (2004); IBA; ABA; UIA; ICC; and SRA.


Ankara University School of Law (1997 LLB); Harvard Law School (2001 LLM).


Commercial, corporate and M&A

Within: Commercial, corporate and M&A

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law’s corporate and M&A practice has ‘deep knowledge and experience’ and provides advice on acquisitions, agreements, contracts, corporate restructuring and due diligence. Nazlı Nil Yukaruç heads the department alongside Gönenç Gürkaynak; Tunç Lokmanhekim retired in late 2016. The firm’s client roster includes L’Oréal Turkey, Edenred and Mobil Oil Turkey.

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Within: Leading individuals

Gönenç Gürkaynak - ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

Within: Competition

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law’s competition practice has a stellar list of multinational clients, with the sizeable team advising on all aspects of competition law, including merger filings, preliminary and official investigations by the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA), and competition litigation. Recent highlights include advising General Electric on merger control aspects of its acquisition of Baker Hughes. In other work, the team represented MediaMarkt Turkey during investigations by the TCA. The ‘pragmatic and creativeGönenç Gürkaynak heads the practice; Hakan Özgökçen and Korhan Yıldırım are also recommended. The firm recently added Panasonic, Maersk Line and beIN Media Group to its client base.

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Within: Leading individuals

Gönenç Gürkaynak - ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

Within: Compliance

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law covers the full array of compliance-related matters, including the drafting and implementation of anti-corruption processes, privacy compliance, data protection and internal investigations. The ‘accurate, responsive and experienced’ team is led by Gönenç Gürkaynak and is particularly experienced in whistle-blower protection. İlay Yılmaz and Olgu Kama are other key figures. The firm’s client base includes Al Shaya Group, Mobil Oil and Banks Association of Turkey.

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Dispute resolution

Within: Leading individuals

Gönenç Gürkaynak - ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

Within: Dispute resolution

Proactive and pragmatic’, ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law’s dispute resolution department is led by competition law expert Gönenç Gürkaynak and handles employment, commercial, competition and IP-related litigation. Recent highlights include defending against a claim regarding unfair competition. Other clients include SanDisk, Google and 3M. Founding partner Tunç Lokmanhekim retired.

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IT and telecoms

Within: IT and telecoms

The ‘excellentELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law is particularly well known for its expertise in the data protection and privacy areas. In addition to contentious work, the firm handles transactions, contracts, licensing and regulatory compliance. The department is jointly led by Gönenç Gürkaynak and İlay Yılmaz and acts as sole Turkish legal adviser to Google, YouTube and Twitter concerning IT and telecoms-related matters. Clients include Dell, Mobil Oil and L’Oréal Turkey.

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Intellectual property

Within: Intellectual property

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law’s Gönenç Gürkaynak and İlay Yılmaz lead advice on contentious and non-contentious IP matters and cover copyright matters, trade mark registrations, cancellations, infringement and litigation. The client roster includes well-known companies from the media, IT and entertainment sectors, such as Twitter, Google and YouTube.

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Media and entertainment

Within: Media and entertainment

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law’s media and entertainment practice is particularly well known in the digital media space. Led by managing partner Gönenç Gürkaynak and İlay Yilmaz, the team advises on litigation, IP-related matters and access bans. In an ongoing mandate, the team is advising Wikimedia Foundation on objections against the April 2017 access ban of all Wikipedia websites in Turkey. Clients includes several media giants, such as Twitter, Google, YouTube and, most recently, beIN Group.

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IHL Briefings

If your firm wishes to publish IHL Briefings or articles, please contact Antony Dine on +44 (0) 207 396 9315 or


Turkey: Merger Control

October 2018. By Gönenç Gürkaynak, Partner

This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to merger control laws and regulations that may occur in Turkey . It will cover jurisdictional thresholds, the substantive test, process, remedies, penalties, appeals as well as the author's view on planned future reforms of the merger control regime. This Q&A is part of the global guide to Merger Control. [Continue Reading]

IHL Briefings

If your firm wishes to publish IHL Briefings or articles, please contact Antony Dine on +44 (0) 207 396 9315 or


A Comparison Between EU Directive 95/46/EC and Data Protection Legislation in Turkey

October 2016. By Gönenç Gürkaynak

Turkey's newly enacted Law on Protection of Personal Data (DP Law) is based on EU Directive 95/46/EC (the Directive). Although the DP Law is mainly based on the Directive, it is not identical and it differs from the Directive in certain points. The main difference between the Directive and the DP Law is that Directive focuses on the act of processing personal data rather than the parties to such processing, whereas the DP Law mainly provides rights and imposes obligations on the parties of a data processing act. [Continue Reading]

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Legal Developments by:
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

Legal Developments in Turkey

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Understanding the Registration Obligation under Turkish Data Protection Law

    I. Scope of the registration obligation under Turkish legislation
  • Quarterly Update on Trade Defense Cases in Turkey (September 2018)

    After Turkey's recent change to executive presidency, the President has made some changes in the government system.
  • Amendments Introduced through Law No. 7101 on Arbitration Proceedings

    State courts have very important functions concerning arbitration proceedings. These functions may aim to provide assistance to arbitration proceedings, such as collection of evidence through state courts, which would support the functions of the tribunal, or functions aimed at supervision of arbitration proceedings, such as set-aside actions. The legal provisions regulating these functions play an important role in the determination of whether a particular state has an arbitration-friendly legislation.
  • Restrictions on Use of Foreign Currencies in Certain Agreements between Turkish Residents

    The Presidential Decree dated September 12, 2018, on the Amendment of Decree No. 32 on the Protection of the Value of the Turkish Lira (" New Decree "), introduced significant restrictions on the use of foreign currencies in certain agreements between Turkish residents. Below, we explain the scope of the New Decree and discuss possible issues and problems that may arise in relation to the implementation of the New Decree. We also assess the potential effects of the Communiqué (2018/32-51) on the Amendment of the Communiqué on Decree No. 32 on the Protection of the Value of the Turkish Lira (2008/32-34) (" Communiqué "), which was published in the Official Gazette on October 6, 2018, and lists the exceptions to the restrictions imposed by the New Decree.
  • Amendment of ICSID Rules and Regulations

    At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Administrative Council, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ("ICSID") launched an amendment process on its' rules and regulations ("ICSID Rules and Regulations"). This has been the fourth amendment process since 1984, 2003 and 2006. As per Article 6 of the ICSID Convention, the amendments will only be effective upon the approval of two-thirds of the contracting states2. Hence, ICSID invited contracting states and the public3 to provide their amendment suggestions on topics worthy of consideration, which will be used as background papers throughout the process.
  • Trust Liability in terms of Groups of Companies

    Article 209 of Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102 ("TCC") has set forth obligations that are subject to damage caused by the trust and reputation of the parent company, as created with society and the consumer. Accordingly, "in the event that the reputation of the parent company and the group of companies reaches a certain level which provides trust to society or the consumer, the parent company is liable for the trust created by utilization of this reputation".
  • Possibilities and the Results of Trademark Confusion

    Trademarks are the vehicles that are used to differentiate companies one from the other. They help to capture the consumers' attention. It is essential and necessary to protect trademarks that are created and improved with capital and effort, from unrightful use by third parties, and to prevent the encroachment of trademarks through confusion. One of the most efficient functions of intellectual property law is to encumber imitations, and to halt improper benefit by using the popularity of the trademarks to their consumers. On the other hand, in our daily lives, we often see trademarks that are similar, and may wonder how they co-exist at the same time. In this article, we will shed light on the reasons why similar trademarks can be registered, the criteria that cause trademark confusion, and the remedies to prevent and/or remove these infringements.
  • Capital Markets Board Issues an Official Announcement on Initial Coin Offerings and Crowdfunding

    The Capital Markets Board (" CMB ") issued an announcement on September 27, 2018, on its website and addressed the much-disputed status of digital tokens and Initial Coin Offerings (" ICO "). In this announcement, the Capital Markets Board stated that it does not regulate or supervise ICOs, and also noted that it does not regulate or supervise most practices in which blockchain technologies are being used, such as cryptocurrency offerings and token offerings.
  • Recent Measures to Support Financial Stability in Turkey

    The Banking Regulation and Supervision Authority (the “BRSA ”) and the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (the “Central Bank ”) introduced certain legislative changes, to support financial stability and sustain the effective functioning of markets, following the plunge in the value of Turkish Lira.>
  • Non-liability of the Shareholders and Piercing the Corporate Veil

    1.      Introduction