Turkey 2017 – GC Powerlist

Turkey 2017

Ahmet Berkan

Senior counsel - director | Philip Morris International

With over 13 years of experience at tobacco giant Philip Morris International, Ahmet Berkan is one of the most trusted in-house advisers for the company in the region, having spent...


Ahmet İlker Doğan

Vice president - general counsel | Anagold Madencilik

Established in 2000 as a joint-venture corporation of Alacer Gold and Lidya Madencilik, Anagold Madencilik is the operator of the world-class Çöpler Gold Mine located in east-central Turkey. In 2013,...


Ahmet Serdar Kayhan

Chief legal advisor | Ford Otosan

Consumer Products

Founded in 1959, Ford Otosan has been one of the top three exporting companies in Turkey since 2005 and is the largest commercial vehicle production centre in Ford Europe, thanks...


Ali Murat Dizdar

Executive vice president - chief legal counsel | DenizBank


As head of legal for international law and consultancy at Halkbank, Murat Caglar is responsible for dealing with its international legal issues, as well as with its various affiliates and...


Ali Uysal

Head legal counsel | Türk Hava Yolları (Turkish Airlines)

Transport and infrastructure

Experienced aviation lawyer Ali Uysal has been the head legal counsel for Turkish Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, for the last three years heading all of its legal operations and...


Aybars Yağız

Legal counsel | GAMA Energy

Energy and utilities

Founded in 2002, GAMA Energy develops and invests in power and water infrastructure projects in Turkey and the surrounding region. Aybars Yağız joined the company in 2012 as its first...


Ayça Ögel

Deputy legal counsel - legal department | Garanti Emeklilik


Part of Garanti Bank, Turkey’s second largest private bank, Garanti Emeklilik has become a domestic market leader in the provision of pensions and insurance in a short space of time....


Aydın Düren

General counsel and corporate secretary | Garanti Bankası


Established in 1946, Garanti Bank is an integrated financial services group and Turkey’s second largest private bank with consolidated assets of $95.7bn as of June 2017, approximately 14.5 million customers...


Ayşe Akcan

Legal Counsel | Turkish Airlines

Transport and infrastructure

During her eight year career at Turkish Airlines, Ayşe Akcan has worked on nearly 250 aircraft and engine financings, aircraft purchase agreements and a variety of other matters in both...


Azra Oguz Çakıl

Executive counsel | GE Turkey

Established in 1953 with the aim of supporting rural development and the sugar industry, today Şekerbank provides a plethora of services to businesses across agricultural, commercial and SME, corporate and...


Editor Message

Turkey’s impressive economic performance since the turn of the millennium can be credited to macroeconomic and fiscal stability which has boosted employment and household incomes. At the same the country has urbanised rapidly, improved public services and opened up to foreign trade and finance whilst harmonising with EU laws and regulations. Future growth prospects in the country remain positive according to economic commentators, despite new domestic and geopolitical challenges surfacing.

Fortunately the country can rely on its most thriving industry sectors to help further bolster its economic performance over the coming years. Healthcare has risen to prominence following the enhancement of the country’s health insurance coverage, energy production continues to play a vital role in the economy whilst the financial sector remains stable and prosperous. The Legal 500’s GC Powerlist: Turkey features in-house lawyers from companies across these sectors and more, with renowned legal talent from some of the most important businesses and organisations recognised. In particular, the GC Powerlist: Turkey includes those in-house lawyers that have been able to successfully combine their technical legal ability with excellent business acumen to make a truly indispensable contribution to their company’s success and the in-house legal profession.

Over several months our experienced researchers consulted both law firm partners and in-house counsel in order to garner nominations for those believed to provide the most outstanding support and innovative methods of working in the market. We then chose those nominees who were most worthy of inclusion through background research and telephone interviews.

I would like to express my personal thanks to our sponsors, Esin Attorney Partnership, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, for supporting this publication. A special mention must also be made for the general counsel that took time to speak to us throughout the process, and for the research team that worked on this GC Powerlist publication.

David Burgess
Publishing Director

Esin Attorney Partnership logo


We began our journey 20 years ago in modest conditions, and the destination we have arrived at makes us truly happy and proud. Several in-house lawyers who we count as friends crossed paths with us in our decades-long journey. We are thankful to the contributions of our teammates past and present, and our clients who continue entrusting us with their businesses.

Present – Why The Legal 500 Powerlist Sponsorship is important to us

We have sponsored the GC POwerlist for three consectutive years becuase we truly believe in-house lawyers play a crucial role in the healthy management of a company. Previously, in-house counsel acted according to company instructions; currently, in-house legal departments are like pilots flying in the dark of night without a navigation device. Corporate law departments shoulder tremendous resposibilities in the assesment, calculation and management of risks. We are pleased to see the quality of companies’ in-house legal departments increases every year.

In this context, we want to contribute to all efforts and organisations developing better communication between in-house lawyers. The Legal 500’s GC Powerlist event will provide the necessary platform to further in-house lawyer dialogue, likely leading to the formation of crucial market practices.

At the end of the day, we all are lawyers working in the same sector and any measure that strengthens communication with each other will yield positive results for the legal practice and enviroment. In turbulent times such as these, where the slightest strategy mistake can threaten a company’s future, it is inspiring to know our colleagues are playing significant roles in the execution of company-wide strategies.

Future – Increasing importance of quality in-house counsel in Turkey

We are aware of the critical importance of corporate law departments, an importance that will only increase in the comin years.

In-house lawyers best understand the daily operations, needs and strategies of a company; they provide seamless and optimal organization between assigned offices. Outsourced lawyers are unable to infiltrate a company’s inner workings the same way; therefore, in-house lawyers have a greater responsibility and advantage.


In-House lawyers are a company’s backbone. The necessity of working as a team to ensure the coordination of managers and external experts for successful outcomes is indiputable. We believe corporate law departments, an increasingly vital part of a company’s team, will enhance productive teamwork


One of the most important concerns for companies is sustainability. Companies must unquestionably develop ethical and appropriate codes of conduct to acheive sustainability, especially in countries such as Turkey. In order to ensure continuity, companies able to grasp this concept will ensure their longevities, while those unable to adhere will threaten their futures by scrambling for short-term solutions on a daily basis.


The expansion of regulatory areas such as information technologies will again revealthe importance of expertise. In addition to their in-house legal department’s expertise of core areas, companieswill have to seek outside advice regarding niche fields. We, as Esin Attorney Partnership try to deepen our knowledge by establishing dedicated departments for nearly every area of law. We believe other law firms on the market will follow suit, thereby widening their scope of services and influence to better serve themselves and their clients.