ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law > Istanbul, Turkey > Firm Profile

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

Turkey > Competition Tier 1

The competition law practice at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law remains a market leader, leveraging the experience of its team to provide a comprehensive service to insurers, financial institutions and foreign and local businesses across industries ranging from tech, entertainment, food and medical devices to pharmaceuticals, energy and consumer products. Founding partner and competition law authority Gönenç Gürkaynak heads the practice, bringing expertise to merger control filings, investigations by the Turkish Competition Board and the compliance reporting packages for global clients. K Korhan Yıldırım specialises in such areas as cartel and abuse of dominant position investigations. Öznur Inanılır   is notable for work in merger control and defences in investigations alleging restrictive agreements. Other key figures include Onur Özgümüş and Dilara Yeşilyaprak, who was promoted to counsel in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Gönenç Gürkaynak

Other key lawyers:

Korhan Yıldırım; Öznur İnanılır; Onur Özgümüş; Dilara Yeşilyapra; Eda Duru; Harun Gündüz; Ebru Ince; Kağan Uçar


‘Very skilled and capable team with lots of experience with competition law matters. Easy to collaborate and accessible.’

‘Gonenc Gurkaynak and Eda Duru are very available and responsive and bring high expertise and added value to their clients.’

‘Onur Ozgumus is really responsive, nice, sharp, efficient, very smart, profession and we really enjoy working with him.

‘Gonenc Gurkaynak is supremely knowledgeable about all aspects of Turkish competition law. Partner Oznur Inanilir is also highly knowledgeable, as is associate Dilara Yesilyaprak.’

‘Founding partner Gönenç Gürkaynak is no doubt the star of the team – extremely well connected within the Turkish competition authority, used to working with international clients, practical and reassuring. His team is quite senior and very efficient. When there is a difficult filing with the Turkish competition authority, ELIG is one of the few firms that we would advise clients to retain in Turkey.’

‘Gönenç Gürkaynak – his knowledge of Turkish competition law but also European competition law is absolutely outstanding. He knows everything! He has very good knowledge about the investigation procedure at the Turkish competition authority.

‘The leading Turkish competition practice.’

Key clients

Google LLC

Allianz Sigorta A.Ş.

L’Oréal Türkiye Kozmetik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.

Çimentaş İzmir Çimento Fabrikası Türk A.Ş.

Société Générale S.A.

Mutlu Akü ve Malzemeleri Sanayii Anonim Şirketi

Çimsa Çimento Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (a subsdiary of Sabancı Holding)

Akçansa Çimento Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (a joint venture of Sabancı Holding and HiedelbergCement)

Warner Bros Turkey Film Limited Şirketi (Turkish subsidiary of Warner Bros)

Associated British Foods Plc

Merck Sharp Dohme İlaçları Ltd. Şti.

Tetra Pak AB

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.

Medtronic plc

UNMAŞ Unlu Mamuller Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.

Twitter, Inc.

Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.

Work highlights

  • Assisted with the acquisition of the sole control over International Financial Group Limited by Cinven Capital Management.

Turkey > Compliance Tier 1

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law‘s practice is noted for its deep bench, with the group’s primary areas of expertise focused on data protection and anti-corruption compliance. The firm also exhibits a great deal of know-how in matters concerning white collar irregularities. Practice co-head Gönenç Gürkaynak is recognised for his broad knowledge of  competition, data protection and privacy, and corporate law, while co-head Ceren Yıldız Özgökçen is known for her deep regulatory expertise, particularly in relation to e-commerce, medical devices, and pharma, often advising on a range of internal regulations.

Practice head(s):

Gönenç Gürkaynak; Ceren Yıldız Özgökçen

Key clients

İÇDAŞ Çelik Enerji Tersane ve Ulaşım Sanayi A.S.

Harvard Business School

Starbucks EMEA Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised İÇDAŞ Çelik Enerji Tersane ve Ulaşım Sanayi A.S. on data protection compliance for their subsidiaries in Turkey.
  • Assisted Harvard Business School with the liquidation process for a company which was operating and incorporated in Turkey.

Turkey > Media and entertainment Tier 1

The TMT team at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law frequently handles compliance and regulatory matters for high-profile, international clients. Gönenç Gürkaynak and Ceren Yıldız co-lead the group; the duo bring extensive experience in advising on a broad range of issues concerning the media and entertainment sector, including broadcasting and data protection. Noyan Utkan is singled out for his contributions.

Practice head(s):

Gönenç Gürkaynak; Ceren Yıldız

Other key lawyers:


‘The team has a very good understanding of the inner workings of Turkish Courts and has been able to secure quick results. They have a strong grasp of freedom of speech concerns that are at the center of internet access and content restrictions.’

‘ELIG’s practice is unique in that they have a team of experts with extensive experience in global removals and understanding of the Turkish laws. They go the extra mile to ensure that their client’s needs are met, especially on urgent and sensitive matters.’

‘The team consists of all highly skilled and experienced professionals. They are also very dedicated to their work and always go the extra mile to get the job done.’

‘Noyan Utkan is one of the great lawyers from ELIG. He has a deep understanding of the law.’

‘This team has excellent experience in its media and entertainment practice as a result of the wide range of legal issues they have worked on in this sector.’

‘Gönenç Gürkaynak and Ceren Yıldız offer excellent legal assistance that one can rely on when facing legal challenges in the media and entertainment field in Turkey.’

‘Their client portfolio consists of leading global internet companies, which gives them a unique experience on online mediums and a good sense of the regulatory dynamics.’

‘Ceren Yıldız and Noyan Utkan are very responsive when handling sensitive legal issues.’

Key clients

Google LLC

Google Reklamcilik ve Pazarlama Ltd. Sti.

Automattic Inc.

Twitter, Inc.

Twitter Internet Icerik Hizmetleri Ltd. Sti.

Turkey > IT and telecoms Tier 2

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law advises on cloud matters, software agreements, online payment services, and telecoms regulations. The ‘highly skilled and experienced’ team is jointly led by Gönenç Gürkaynak and Ceren Yıldız. Gürkaynak handles a wide range of IT-related matters, including website agreements and internet copyright issues. Yıldız is a key name for data protection matters, and regularly advises on compliance and data breaches. Noyan Utkan is a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Gönenç Gürkaynak; Ceren Yıldız Özgökçen

Other key lawyers:


‘The team has a very good understanding of the inner workings of Turkish courts. They have been able to secure fast and quick results for us. They have a strong grasp of the key freedom of speech/expression concerns that are at the center of internet access and content restrictions.’

‘ELIG’s practice is unique in that they have a team of experts with extensive experience in global removals and intricacies of the Turkish laws. They have a proven track record of success in advising us on highly complex cases. They go the extra mile to ensure that the client’s needs are met, especially on urgent and sensitive matters.’

‘The individuals we worked with were all highly skilled and experienced professionals. They are also very dedicated to their work and go the extra mile to get the job done.’

‘Noyan Utkan is one of the great lawyers from ELIG. He has a deep understanding of the law.’

‘They have a good understanding of the regulatory environment on IT and telecommunications.’

‘The team was professional on data protection issues. Their experience on the subject gave us a significant perspective to understand and improve our data protection process.’

‘ELIG provides thorough analysis of local legal requirements based on a deep understanding of our product and unique goals. ’

‘We have had exceptional service from Ceren Yildiz, Gönenç Gürkaynak, and Noyan Utkan.’

Key clients

Google LLC

Google Reklamcilik ve Pazarlama Ltd. Sti.

Google İstanbul Bilgi Teknolojileri Limited Şirketi

Google Cloud EMEA Limited

Twitter, Inc.

Twitter Internet Icerik Hizmetleri Ltd. Sti.

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

İÇDAŞ Çelik Enerji Tersane ve Ulaşım Sanayi A.Ş.




Work highlights

  • Assisted Google with a cross-border personal data transfer from Google Reklamcilik to Google LLC and Google Ireland Limited.

Turkey > Dispute resolution Tier 3

Leveraging its top-tier media and entertainment offering, ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law advised on a string of disputes involving online services over the past year. The group also demonstrates strong recent activity in the competition and IP litigation spheres. Regulatory and compliance head Gönenç Gürkaynak brings his extensive competition expertise to bear in contentious work and co-heads the department alongside Tolga Uluay. Counsel Ceyda Karaoğlan Nalçacı is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Gönenç Gurkaynak; Tolga Uluay

Other key lawyers:


‘The team is easy to work with and very good at receiving and implementing feedback, which makes it a good choice for high-volume litigation cases with a similar nature.’

‘Tolga Uluay is very good at representing clients against legal claims on a variety of legal matters.’

‘Tolga Uluay has expertise in international disputes, especially in the field of employment law. His feedback is prompt and he gives customers practical solutions in a timely manner. He provides in-depth analysis and legal logic based on factual matters.’

‘Lawyers are fluent in English in writing and verbally. The team has a good sense of international business trends and provide clients with solutions based on local precedents. They always create a reliable strategy.’

‘Managing partner Gönenç Gurkaynak is the best in competition law. He is also very good at coming up with unique perspectives for different occasions.’

‘A very dedicated legal team with a strong knowledge of dispute resolution practice. Its responsiveness is very impressive and its co-operative approach makes it a sought-after law firm, especially for fast-moving sectors like aviation.’

Key clients



3M Company






Alcon Laboratuvarları Ticaret A.Ş.


Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector

Philip Morris SA and Philip Morris Sabancı Pazarlama ve Satış

Turkish Airlines

TÜSİAD (Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association),


TI Automative

Mercedes-Benz Türk A.Ş

Mutlu Akü






Work highlights

  • Representing Booking.com in a high-profile unfair competition lawsuit, where Booking.com is alleged to be acting as a travel agency without complying with obligations.

Turkey > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 4

The team at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law excels at providing support on day-to-day corporate matters to multinational businesses, including local and American household names across sectors ranging from education, cosmetics, tech and beverages to apparel, energy, entertainment. The group, which additionally advises on reorganisations, joint ventures, and M&A, is headed by founding partner Gönenç Gürkaynak and Nazlı Nil Yukaruç, both practice area specialists.

Practice head(s):

Gönenç Gürkaynak; Nazlı Nil Yukaruç


‘Very good at day-to-day corporate maintenance, as well as transaction-based legal assistance.’

‘Nazlı Nil Yukaruç is capable of simplifying corporate law requirements and assisting clients in corporate maintenance.’

‘They are polite, extremely knowledgeable and professional. They make themselves available all the time. The team members know the subjects fully and we can always get a timely reply.’

‘Very responsive team, good with deadlines.’

Key clients

Google Ireland, Google LLC, Google Turkey (Google Bilgi Teknolojileri, Google Reklamcılık)


Boyner Holding

Harvard Business School

X (Twitter)

Work highlights

  • Assisting Google Bilgi Teknolojileri and Google Reklamcılık in relation to all of their Turkish corporate law-related matters.
  • Assisting L’Oréal in relation to all of their Turkish corporate law related matters of its Turkish subsidiaries.

The firm: ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law is an eminent, independent Turkish law firm based in Istanbul. The firm was founded in 2005.  ELIG Gürkaynak is committed to providing its clients with high-quality legal services and combines a solid knowledge of Turkish law with a business-minded approach to develop legal solutions that meet the ever-changing needs of its clients in their international and domestic operations.

ELIG Gürkaynak has established close working relationships with a number of international law firms and has served mutual clients on numerous mergers and acquisitions transactions, competition law matters, commercial arbitrations and various other projects. The firm also has formal alliances with two Turkish law firms in Ankara and Izmir.

Areas of practice: ELIG Gürkaynak takes pride in being able to assist its clients in all fields of law.  The firm’s legal team consists of 95 lawyers.

The firm’s particular areas of expertise include competition law, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, contracts law, anti-corruption, white-collar irregularities and compliance, Internet law, technology, media and telecommunications law, data protection and cybersecurity law, banking and finance law, litigation and dispute resolution, administrative law, real estate law, anti-dumping law, pharma and healthcare regulatory, employment law and intellectual property law.

ELIG Gürkaynak delivers the top competition law practice in Turkey with 52 competition law specialists. The team is led by Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak, ELIG Gürkaynak’s founding partner, along with four partners and nine counsel. In addition to its unparalleled experience in merger control issues, ELIG Gürkaynak has vast experience in defending companies before the Turkish Competition Board in all phases of antitrust investigations, abuse of dominant position cases, leniency handlings and before the courts on issues of private enforcement of competition law, along with appeals of the administrative decisions of the Turkish Competition Authority.

Unlike many firms in Turkey, ELIG Gürkaynak has a recognised and significant practice in IT and telecommunications law. The practice covers domain name disputes, website agreements, internet copyright and internet trademarks, internet-related litigation, regulatory counselling, notice and takedown or judiciary decision enforcement assistance and localisation of telecom agreements and licenses to be signed with carriers.

ELIG Gürkaynak has a significant practice in Turkey, focusing on internal investigations and white-collar criminal matters. Among other things, the practice advises clients in connection with Turkish corporate compliance issues under the relevant OECD Convention, FCPA, the UK Bribery Act and Turkish anti-corruption laws. This includes all matters relating to data privacy, employment law, anti-corruption policies and other related aspects of the Turkish legal regime.

ELIG Gürkaynak’s corporate team assists multinational and domestic clients by providing a wide range of corporate advisory services.  The firm represents local and multinational conglomerates in numerous M&A projects, and the M&A team has vast experience and capability in handling multiple and significant M&A transactions, reorganisations, joint ventures and spin-offs. The firm’s corporate team has a solid practice in providing commercial and corporate law services to corporations, advising foreign clients during their entry to the Turkish market, and on daily operations thereafter.

ELIG Gürkaynak handles complex intellectual property matters, each one of which sets a precedent in the market. ELIG Gürkaynak’s intellectual property team provides clients with a complete range of legal services for protecting and exploiting all types of intellectual property and technology assets. The firm’s dedicated team of three partners and two counsel along with twelve associates also offer invaluable knowledge and track record in other practice areas where they are pioneers.

The firm renders a wide variety of litigation and arbitration services. The firm specialises and has very significant expertise in debt enforcement.

ELIG Gürkaynak also has a strong practice in administrative law. Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak heads the practice, which has grown significantly due to representations in numerous appeals.

Department Name Email Telephone
Anti-corruption and compliance Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak
Banking and finance Nazlı Nil Yukaruç
Competition and EU law Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak
Competition and EU law K Korhan Yıldırım
Competition and EU law Öznur Inanilir
Competition and EU law Dr Ekrem Kalkan
Competition and EU law Eda Duru
Corporate and commercial Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak
Corporate and commercial Nazlı Nil Yukaruç
Data protection and cybersecurity Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak
Dispute resolution and arbitration Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak
Dispute resolution and arbitration Ceyda Karaoglan Nalçaci
Dispute resolution and arbitration Tolga Uluay
IT and telecommunications Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak
Intellectual property Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak
Litigation, administrative law Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak
Litigation, administrative law Ceyda Karaoglan Nalçaci
Litigation, administrative law Tolga Uluay
Media and entertainment Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak
Mergers and acquisitions Nazlı Nil Yukaruç
Pharma and healthcare regulatory Dr Gönenç Gürkaynak
Pharma and healthcare regulatory Ceren Yıldız
Competition and EU law O. Onur Özgümüş
Anti-corruption and compliance Ceren Yıldız
Corporate and commercial Ceren Yıldız
Litigation, administrative law Tuğba Uluay
Dispute Resolution and arbitration Tuğba Uluay
Technology and Media, Data Protection and Regulation Noyan Utkan
Competition and EU law Dilara Yeşilyaprak
Number of lawyers : 95
Contact : Gönenç Gürkaynak LLM (Founding Partner)