Türkiye 2022 – GC Powerlist
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Türkiye 2022

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Ahmet İlker Doğan

Vice president, general counsel, board member | Anagold Madencilik

Materials and mining

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Ali Uysal

Director of corporate legal affairs | Turkcell

Telecommunication services

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Ali Uzun

Chief legal officer | Pegasus Airlines

Transport and infrastructure

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Ali Yılmaz

Legal Counsel - Assistant General Manager/ EVP | QNB Finansbank

Financials

Aslı Kehale Altunyuva

Legal director | Polat Enerji

Energy and utilities

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Aybars Yağız

Assistant managing director legal, board member of the group of companies | GAMA Enerji

Energy and utilities

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Ayse Akcan Tartan

Deputy chief legal counsel | Turkish Airlines

Transport and infrastructure

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Başak Gürbüz

Lead regional counsel | Visa

Financials

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Belda Ozturk

Chief legal counsel | Hattat Holdings

Financials

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Bengi Su Karakoylu

Head of legal | Temsa Skoda Sabancı Ulaşım Araçları A.Ş.

Transport and infrastructure

Berç Germeyan Isik

Head of legal Türkiye and managing legal counsel | Shell

Energy and utilities

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Birtürk Aydın

Principal legal counsel | Koc University

Non-profit / public sector

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Bora Kaya

General counsel | GAMA Construction Group

Energy and utilities

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Burak Ballı

General counsel | Metag Holding

Industrials and real estate

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Burcu Gürel Yeter

Senior Lawyer | Novartis

Healthcare

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Burcu Ozsevinc

Director of legal and compliance | HotelRunner

Information technology

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Burcu Sönmezyalçın Döker

Director of legal affairs, compliance officer and data protection official, member of the company management board and board secretary | Media Markt Turkey

Consumer products

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Çağla Zıngıl

Legal director and head of Akkök ethical eommittee | Akkök Sanayi Yatırım ve Geliştirme

Materials and mining

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Can Akcaoglu

Chief legal officer | Tüpraş

Energy and utilities

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Caner Ozer

Chief legal officer | Enerya

Energy and utilities

Celal Savaş

Chief legal officer | SOCAR Türkiye Enerji

Energy and utilities

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Cem Celiker

Vice President and chief legal counsel | ENKA

Industrials and real estate

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Cem Davutoğlu

Managing counsel | Akbank

Financials

Cemile Gunes Dinlenmis

Legal director EMEA and Türkiye. | Celebi Aviation Holding

Transport and infrastructure

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Ceren Arslan

Vice president, legal affairs | Bilgili Holding

Industrials and real estate

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Ceren Mursaloğlu

Legal counsel | Pegasus Airlines

Transport and infrastructure

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Cevza Landais

Chief legal counsel | Güzel Enerji Akaryakıt A.Ş

Energy and utilities

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Ceyda Akbal

General counsel | TAV Airports

Transport and infrastructure

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Deniz Sisa

Chief legal and compliance officer | Koç Sistem Bilgi ve İletişim Hizmetleri A.Ş.

Information technology

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Deniz Tolunay Özkızılırmak

Head of legal affairs department | Metro Properties

Industrials and real estate

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Dilek Akdaş

Chief legal officer | ciceksepeti.com

Information technology

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Doğan Yavuz Fero

Deputy chief legal officer | Koç Holding

Industrials and real estate

Ebru Ersoy

Chief legal counsel | Odeabank

Financials

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Ebru Gurdemir

General counsel TUI | Unilever

Consumer products

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Eda Yüksel

Chief legal officer | Turcas Petrol

Energy and utilities

Esra Niğde Şahiner

Legal coordinator | Petkim Petrokimya Holding A.Ş

Energy and utilities

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Ezgi Korkmaz

General counsel | SANCAK Group

Transport and infrastructure

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Fatih Temur

Senior lawyer, M&A and transactional affairs | Yilport Holdings

Industrials and real estate

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Gamze Gökçen Pilevne

General counsel, senior compliance officer and corporate secretary | Mercedes-Benz Türk

Consumer products

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Gerçek Önal

Chief legal consultant, corporate secretary | Fibabanka

Financials

Gizem Zeynep Bölükbaşı

Vice president of legal and compliance | Turkey Wealth Fund

Financials

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Gözde Küçükçolak

Chief legal counsel and compliance officer | KAZANCI HOLDİNG(AKSA)

Energy and utilities

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Gül Çiğdemtekin

General counsel | Bunge Turkey

Food

Hakan Bekiroğlu

Formerly chief legal counsel | TOFAŞ - Türk Otomobil Fabrikası

Consumer products

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Halil İbrahim Kardıçalı

Country leader and general counsel | 3M Sanayi ve Ticaret

Industrials and real estate

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Hande Eroz

Associate general counsel | Sisecam

Industrials and real estate

Hande Karakülah

Formerly general counsel TMEA | Natura & Co

Consumer products

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Huseyin Topuzoglu

Legal director | Alliance Healthcare

Healthcare

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İlke Özün Deniz

Legal affairs and compliance manager | KPMG

Commercial and professional services

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Irem Aydin

General counsel and chief of staff | Marti Ileri Teknoloji A.Ş.

Transport and infrastructure

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Kaan Aksu

Chief legal counsel and compliance officer (foreign affairs) | Enka

Industrials and real estate

Kayhan Karabayir

Legal affairs and investor relations director | Yapitek Yapi Teknolojisi

Industrials and real estate

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Kerem Kuşçu

Head of legal | The Kraft Heinz Company

Food

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Kerem Moralı

Chief legal counsel | FIBA

Financials

Kurtuluş Çaltekin

General counsel | AgeSA Hayat ve Emeklilik

Financials

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Mehmet Emre Günay

Legal director Türkiye, Georgia and North Macedonia | TAB GIDA SANAYİ ve TİCARET A.Ş.

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Mehmet Tekergül

Legal and compliance manager | Volkswagen Doğuş Finans

Consumer products

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Melisa Köksel

Legal coordinator | SOCAR Turkey Petrol Ticaret A.Ş

Energy and utilities

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Meltem Azbazdar

General counsel, corporate relations director | Mey

Food

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Merve Oney Barlas

Chief legal officer and member of the executive committee | DGPays

Financials

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Meryem Sövüt

Head of legal | Nef

Industrials and real estate

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Miraç Ucankale Yuce

Head of legal department -ALJ TR Auto silo | ALJ Holding

Industrials and real estate

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Müge Bulat Çetinkaya

Head of legal | Dominos Pizza Turkey

Food

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Neval Berdibek

General counsel | Nusr-Et

Food

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Nilüfer Türkçü Hıra

Legal director | Çalık Group

Industrials and real estate

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Oğuz Sami Sarıkaya

Head of legal | LUKOIL

Energy and utilities

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Ozan Alakustekin

Head of legal | Palmet Enerji

Energy and utilities

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Özge Gülşen Kösem

Senior legal counsel | Mondelēz International

Food

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Ozge Sanioglu

Head of legal department | Deutsche Bank

Financials

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Özgün Poyraz

Cluster lawyer Middle East and Türkiye | Linde Gaz A.S.

Energy and utilities

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Ozgur Ozan Doker

General counsel and company secretary | Sofra (Compass Group)

Consumer products

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Özlem Akyüz Atamer

Head of legal | Kale Holding

Industrials and real estate

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Özlem Oral Mamak

Legal director | Novartis

Healthcare

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Ramazan Zorlu

Chief legal counsel | SunExpress

Transport and infrastructure

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Ruken Taşkıran Canbekte

Legal manager | Yapı ve Kredi Bankası

Financials

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Şebnem Karaduman

Chief legal counsel, assistant general manager, executive board member | Allianz Turkey

Financials

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Seda Deniz Kasar

Legal coordinator | STAR Rafineri A.Ş.

Energy and utilities

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Sedef Kılavuz Balcı

Legal director and DPO | ING Turkey

Financials

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Selen Atli Cetin

Chief legal counsel and compliance officer | DLL Turkey

Financials

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Selin Barlin Aral

Chief legal officer | Getir

Food

Serçin Kireçtepe

Head of legal and corporate compliance officer | Metro Cash & Carry Turkiye

Consumer products

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Serhat Demir

Executive vice president - legal and regulation | Turkcell

Telecommunication services

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Sermin Güner Soyuer

Legal affairs manager | Çimentaş Group

Industrials and real estate

Soley Güzel

Legal and sustainability chapter head | Roche Pharma Turkey

Healthcare

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Theis Sonne

Senior legal director and legal compliance | Novo Nordisk

Healthcare

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Tuğçe Mert

Head legal counsel | CarrefourSA

Consumer products

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Tuğçe Uludağ

Legal counsel | Koç Holding

Industrials and real estate

Tuğçe Zeren

Formerly legal and compliance manager | Aksigorta

Financials

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Tülay Aktan

Corporate affairs and law director | Efe Alkollu Icecekler Ticaret

Food

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Turgay Candaş

Legal manager | Mersin International Port

Transport and infrastructure

Ugur Ates

Chief legal counsel | Kürüm Group

Materials and mining

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Uğur Sebzeci

Chief legal officer and corporate secretary | Ronesans Holding

Financials

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Ümit Başer

Group vice president legal | EYG Group

Industrials and real estate

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Umit Cakir

Legal director | Sandoz Turkey

Healthcare

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Umut Nazif Çelik

General counsel | Arcelik Global

Consumer products

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Volkan Esiner

Head of legal and compliance | Alcon

Healthcare

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Yasemin Bozoklar Özgüç

Chief legal officer | Deloitte

Commercial and professional services

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Yiğitcan Bozoğlu

Chief legal officer | Aras Kargo

Transport and infrastructure

Zeynep Derman Küçükönder

General counsel Eurasia and Middle East | Coca-Cola

Food

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Zeynep Gazzali Duran

Director of legal affairs | TANAP

Industrials and real estate

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Zeynep Kabiloğlu Poyraz

Head of legal and compliance | Zer Merkezi Hizmetler ve Tic. A.Ş.

Commercial and professional services

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  Due to the favourable geopolitical location of Türkiye, it is a renowned hotspot for local and foreign investors. Its regulatory and political landscape has also seen recent, rapid evolution and change. Frequent developments are underway to laws regarding real estate, data privacy, citizenship, among others. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic presented a distinctive set of challenges for the country and for companies in Türkiye. General counsel, throughout this period, guided their respective companies with consistent and practical support.

The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Türkiye 2022 demonstrates an astounding level of legal ability against an arduous, transforming economic background. Driven by resilience, general counsel in Türkiye have assumed a leading role in their companies and navigated unparalleled challenges. It does not come as a surprise that the in-house legal profession is burgeoning in Türkiye, attributable to the taxing undertakings they typically face in their organisations.

‘Inflation rates are on average 30 to 35% and it is increasingly difficult to make new investments in Türkiye’, details one in-house counsel.  Considering the current context of the economy, the need for versatile general counsel within companies in Türkiye has never been more prominent. We often hear about the all-encompassing roles of general counsel in organisations; but in this jurisdiction they have exceeded expectations and met each obstacle their companies faced, with faultless pragmatic guidance. Nevertheless, they were able to perform extraordinarily well in such an uncertain time, intensified by the tough economic aftermath of Covid-19.

Though the market has been impacted by changing legislation and the fluctuation of the Turkish lira, general counsel throughout our research proved their technical and commercial capabilities to match these challenges. Looking forward, there seemed to be a consensus among general counsel to continue ‘managing risks, cooperating with business partners, and adapting to the ever-changing environment and priorities’, as concisely put by one in-house counsel.

The Central Bank of Türkiye also maintains that the economy is on its way to recovery, while the government strongly incentivises foreign investments through several schemes promoting digitalisation, networking opportunities and citizenship acquisition. This publication emphasises the most creative ways successful counsel have extended themselves to meet and anticipate the needs of their companies and teams.

It was certainly a pleasure to speak with the premier general counsel who participated in this edition of the Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Türkiye 2022. They continue to cement their place as an enduring, unassailable in-house community globally. Congratulations to the successful and outstanding counsel who have been integral to their companies’ stability and longevity!

Melissa Yebisi
Research analyst:
GC Powerlist Series

Kılınç Law & Consulting

Kılınç Law & Consulting logo

Start of A New Era

Start of the year 2020 has added many new words to our dictionaries. Everybody has learned about PCR tests, wore masks everywhere, learned the implications of a cough and followed the number of infections in their country day by day. While we are leaving the pandemic behind, we must pay a historical tribute to our health workers, who have borne the brunt of this crisis and continue to put themselves in harm’s way in the service of people.

From a business point of view, the last few years have taught us that the conventional is getting outdated. Businesses learned to work effectively online, physical workplaces and international flights left its place to virtual meeting rooms and online webinars. Increasing importance given to sustainability and the digitalization of businesses were driving the world towards such a change for many years but the pandemic was the turning point where theory became reality. The current virtual presence every business was led to establish has paved the way for a brand-new era where the office became where your laptop is.

The new era of virtual meetings, home-office and online collaborations are here and the legal world needs to catch-up. Now more than ever, national and international law firms who have historically stayed rather traditional, required to adapt to this new era through implementing various changes to their own firm culture. Undoubtedly, the first thing that was introduced to a legal professional’s life was online meetings, virtual briefings and even online hearings. These things that were brand new just a couple of years ago, is now the norm for being successful and effective in the legal profession.

Perhaps this swift adaptation to a new virtual era is the main factor that has ensured which business was to gloom and prosper through these tough times. Businesses’ resilience was tested throughout this challenging period, and now while we are leaving this pandemic behind, learning from the past mistakes will be the torch that leads any business to a bright future. But as we know, a business is only as good as its employees, and this year’s Powerlisters have shown that they are willing to carry this torch for their own respective companies. This year’s Powerlisters are not only recognized for their individual legal brilliance, but also their adaptation and their role in influencing their organisations.

These legal professionals in GC Powerlist Turkey that are recognized herein, are visionaries and guides to their respective businesses and they are paving the way to lead their business, their country and the entire world to a new era. They are innovators, willing to motivate greatness, contribute to the change and form a new era where you can conquer the world at the comfort of your own sofa.

This is the ideal that is embedded to the roots of Kılınç Law & Consulting. We have always taken pride in being young, diverse, innovative, dynamic and capable in various jurisdictions which led us to adapt to the new normal smoothly. After we have adapted to this new era, its time to lead the change and be a frontrunner in the legal world, through our quality in service, business-oriented approach and solutions and expert legal service providers who are experienced in providing services in various sectors both nationally and internationally. In this new era, legal expertise is and will always be at the core of what we do but our diverse team comprising of experts in various legal fields offer a wider range of services which essentially means that we will do what is needed by using a wide array of technologic means, everywhere in the world to adapt to the requirements of our clients in every project. This is the Kılınç Law & Consulting vision that will carry the torch for a newer and brighter future.

As Kılınç Law; we believe we have an obligation to carry the legal business, commerce and even the country forward by making clients more effective, the communities stronger and more diverse as a whole. We build strong relationships based on trust, continue to develop through experience and share ambitions of our clients to always aim perfection.

That is why, we are always proud to sponsor GC Powerlist Turkey, since it is the greatest of pleasures to be together with general counsels that share our ambitions and objectives to carry its business and its countries to a new and successful era.

Congratulations to everyone on this year’s Powerlist, who are each powerful decision makers and leaders in their own organizations; and together as the entire Turkish legal community we have the utmost confidence that we will be the ones enabling a better, greener and sustainable future where prosperity, peace and equality rules the world.

GC Dinner Cambodia 2024

The Legal 500 was delighted to launch our first-ever in-person event in Cambodia alongside DFDL at Phnom Penh’s historic Palais de la Poste, inviting a selection of 30 the country’s top in-house lawyers from a myriad of sectors to enjoy a relaxed dinner with excellent food and conversation throughout.

The distinguished guests were invited to enjoy champagne on arrival before moving to the dinner area where they learned more about the history of the venue from DFDL consultant and business development director Julie Kéo. Regional head of dispute resolution and managing director for Myanmar Nishant Choudhary then treated guests to a rousing speech about the opportunities for the Cambodian business scene going forward and the importance of networking with contemporaries.

After a Legal 500 double act of Ben Lovell and Joe Boswell addressed the crowd, luminaries from DFDL – Chris Robinson, Davy Kong, Kooi Thong Lai, Thierry Gougy and Etienne Kettenmeyer and the hugely charismatic Nearirath Sreng – introduced themselves and brought up some key topics for those in attendance to discuss over their dinner.

As the photos show, the event was a huge success, and we were honoured to be able to host such an excellent selection of general counsel in Phnom Penh to share it with us. We look forward to more events in Southeast Asia in the future, and more opportunities to bring the region’s in-house lawyers together to share experiences and best practice.