Prof Dr. Duygun Yarsuvat is the managing partner of the Firm, and the second generation in a family of lawyers. A graduate of the University of Istanbul, School of Law (JD equivalent and PhD) and Columbia University (LLM), he taught criminal law, penal labor law and media law at the University of Istanbul’s School of Law and School of Political Sciences, and at the law faculties of the Galatasaray University, the Marmara University and Bilgi University. He is currently lecturing at the Yeditepe University. From 2004 to 2008, he served as the Rector of the Galatasaray University in istanbul, which was preceded by a 4 year term as the Dean of the Law School. Between 2006 and 2010 he served as the Chairman of the Association of Turkish Criminal Law (Turk Ceza Hukuku Dernegi). He has also been the Turkish representative for the Association before the Association of International Criminal Law (AIDP).
Dr. Yarsuvat heads the criminal practice group of the Yarsuvat Firm. In addition to his reputation of a highly sought after scholar and professor, in his private practice he made a name as defense attorney in various highly publicized, intricate white collar cases, including matters of capital markets law, directors’ liability, cross-border transactions allegedly running afoul of local customs and/or banking laws. His team has been successfully defending CEOs, directors and managers of multinationals in claims arising from their companies’ day-to-day operations. The Turkish legal system does not distinguish between barristers and solicitors. As such, while Dr. Yarsuvat always assumes the role of lead counsel, orchestrating the defense and leading the defensive team, in many cases, as a barrister, he also actively participates in hearings, and personally argues the case before the court.
For three consecutive terms he served as the Chairman of the Galatasaray Alumni Association, and also chaired the Galatasaray Club’s Board of Trustees. In 2013 he has been elected as the president of Galatasary Sports Club and served for one year.
Mr. Ömür Yarsuvat leads the Firm’s corporate and commercial practice groups. He is a graduate of the University of Istanbul, School of Law (JD equivalent, 1985) and Columbia University, School of Law (LL.M., 1987), following which he spent the first eight years of his professional life practicing law in New York. In 1994 he returned to Istanbul and joined the Firm. Since then, he worked on matters, which became relevant and in demand in Turkey at any particular point in time.During the 1990’s, as private power opportunities first arose in Turkey, he advised foreign investors in the establishing of one of the first three Turkish private power generation facilities. As Turkey started to re-build its transportation infrastructure, the Firm’s clients took an active interest in various public tenders, which led to several build-operate-transfer projects and concessions in related industries. Mr. Yarsuvat led the legal teams that advised the clients in such tenders and concessions. He developed an expertise in, and rendered extensive legal advice on public procurement and administrative law related to concession rights, and public tenders. As such large-scale projects often require outside financing, Mr. Yarsuvat also assisted these clients in project finance issues.
The concession projects Mr. Yarsuvat worked on require an understanding of multiple disciplines. The most obvious examples of this are investments in the telecommunications, gaming, and transportation services industries. These are often affected by administrative law, commercial law, corporate law, and capital markets law. Mr. Yarsuvat built and led legal teams to satisfy in full the requirements of such intensive projects. He also developed a significant understanding of each such discipline, which allows him to provide his clients with overall advice and team-leading services to oversee, in all legal aspects, the client’s project.
In parallel to his professional practice as a lawyer, for over ten years Mr Yarsuvat taught contracts law, corporate law and introduction to law at the Bosphorus University in Istanbul and for two years international business transactions at the Bilgi University School of Law.
Mr. Yarsuvat is fluent in English. Being a graduate of the German High School in Istanbul with an Abitur degree, he also speaks German. He is a member of the alumnae associations of Columbia University, Istanbul University School of Law, and the German High School in Istanbul. As an avid sailor, he is a member of the Turkish Offshore Racing Club where he also served as member of the Board for a two year term. Other memberships include the Istanbul Classic Car Club and the Galatasaray Sports Club.
Ms. Elif Yarsuvat is the third generation in the Yarsuvat family of lawyers. She received her law degree from the University of Istanbul, followed by an LLM from the Leiden University. Her post-graduate studies focused on EU law.
Following a six-year tenure at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, Elif returned to Turkey to join the Firm where she became involved in a substantial criminal law and employment law practice. She currently works on several high profile cases on white collar crime and human rights violations.
Elif has also become the managing attorney for the Turkish subsidiaries of a number of multi-national clients. In this respect, Elif assumed the supervision and coordination of services the Firm renders to such clients in all disciplines of law. She, in particular, oversees the employment law practice group’s work for her clients. Her work currently focuses on employment law, privacy laws and criminal law.
Elif speaks English, French, as well as Italian, as she is a graduate of the Italian High School in Istanbul. In her free time, Elif enjoys classic and jazz music concerts. She is a trained pianist and singer.
Ms. Nilufer Cakmakli is heading the Firm’s competition law practice. She also has extensive experience in finance, leasing and M&A transactions in the automotive, aviation, pharmaceutical and construction industries. She works as the lead attorney in various in- and outbound investment matters, in charge of drafting, review and negotiation of contracts, among which construction agreements, aircraft leasing agreements, stock and asset purchase and shareholders’ agreements, distribution agreements are a few worth mentioning.With a history dating back only to the end of the last century, Turkish competition law is quite young compared to its U.S. and even European counterparts. With the introduction of Turkish competition laws that are based primarily on EU legislation, Ms. Cakmakli developed a substantial competition law practice. The Firm’s increasing involvement in cross-border transactions, representing multi-national clients, increased the need for a highly specialized competition law practice group.
Prior to joining the Firm in 1998, Ms. Cakmakli was in-house counsel at the Turkish subsidiary of a multi-national petroleum company, engaged in litigation management, as well as corporate and commercial matters. She is the chairperson of the legal committee of the Turkish Sailing Federation, and also represents the Turkish federation on the legal committee of the International Sailing Federation, ISAF.
She speaks her native Turkish, English and basic French. She is married and has a daughter. Her personal interests include politics, art history, cinema, documentaries, literature, editing, sailing and traveling
Ms. Col handles primarily white collar criminal cases, involving media law, directors’ liability and environmental liability. Her years as a judge give Ms. Col the ability to understand and anticipate, in the cases which she now litigates, the view from behind the bench. She is very familiar with the practices of public prosecutors and special prosecutors, which, more often than not, has proven to be the difference between a successful defense and otherwise.
Representative clients of Ms. Col include the directors and key officers of the Turkish subsidiaries of various multinational corporations, journalists, professors, high ranking military personnel and researchers.
In addition to her criminal litigation practice, Ms. Col also assumed the role of mentor to many of the Firm’s full time interns and summer associates.
Ms. Burcin Sismanyazici is a litigator, with a special emphasis on intellectual property matters. She is admitted to practice before the Turkish Patent Office and handles most of the Firm’s trademark and other intellectual property filings. As such, she also oversees administrative and judicial objections and the ensuing legal processes in filing disputes.Ms. Sismanyazici also handled a number of recognition and enforcement cases involving foreign judgments and foreign arbitration awards. Turkish inbound and outbound business has increased substantially over the last decade. With that the number of disputes that are presented to international arbitration or to non-Turkish courts have also increased. These are often between shareholders, investors, co-venturers, or parties in a vertical relationship such as a license, franchise, etc. Burcin has gained considerable expertise in recognition and enforcement requests related to judgments and awards that may need to be enforced against a Turkish party. Because not all States benefit from equal treatment in respect of enforceability of their judgments and awards, Burcin’s expertise is also instrumental in the underlying contract negotiations, with a view to smoothen the enforcement process in case a dispute arises.
A graduate of the Bilgi University, School of Law in Istanbul, Burcin has been with the Firm since her graduation in 2004. She speaks English.
In her free time, Burçin constantly cooks and dreams of being a professional patissier one day
Mr. Emre Düzener is an associate with the Firm and works primarily on civil and criminal litigation and employment law matters. A graduate of the Bilgi University, School of Law ( LL.B, 2009 ). He is also seeking an LLM degree from the University of Marmara, School of Law. On criminal law matters, he works closely with Dr. Yarsuvat and Ms. Kira.
In his free time, Mr. Duzener enjoys playing soccer. He is a member of the Turkish Criminal Law Association and the Fenerbahçe Sports Club.
Mr. Çek is a graduate of the French-spoken Saint Joseph French High School (2007) and of the Marmara University School of Law (2012). After completing his discretionary and mandatory internship periods at Yarsuvat & Yarsuvat (2011-2014), he joined the Firm as an associate (2014).
Beyond the world of law, Mr. Çek is drawn to history and archeology, and engages in travel in pursuit of said interests, in a country which boasts an abundant supply of either interest areas.
Ms. Fatma Kurt is a senior associate specializing on corporate and commercial law. She received her law degree from Galatasaray University, School of Law as the valedictorian of class 2002. She obtained Turkish Education Foundation (TEV) scholarship to pursue LLM studies at New York University (NYU) School of Law and obtained her degree in 2006. She is a PhD candidate at Galatasaray University, School of Law with her thesis on “Shipbuilding contracts”.
Fatma is combining her strong academic knowledge with her legal practice since 2002. She has worked in the field of maritime law and gained expertise in transportation, logistic and maritime construction contracts. She handled international litigation and arbitration cases involving complex legal issues. Fatma assists foreign investors in various matters, starting from incorporation of the company to their civil and commercial matters in Turkey. Her practice also includes corporate and shareholder issues, energy market regulations and public tender provisions.
Fatma has published articles in legal reviews on following titles: “Prohibition of lex commissoria”, “The Maritime Law provisions in the Draft Commercial Code”, “Builder’s legal mortgage”. She is a co-author of articles, “Translation of International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law Relating to Bills of Lading, 1924”, “Views and Suggestions on the Commercial Code Draft”, “Efficient Use of Expert Evidence before Specialized Maritime Court”.
Fatma is a member of the Galatasaray University Alumni Association and a mentor at Turkish Education Foundation. She speaks Turkish, English and French.
Fatma, who is a native of Antalya, travels to her hometown whenever she finds the opportunity and dreams of running a small farm and a winery one day up the hills of Antalya.
Ms Yasemin Bilecikli Bakan is a corporate lawyer who works in various in-and outbound investment matters, advising clients from business start-ups to seasoned companies. She provides advice and oversight in corporate negotiations and incorporation of Turkish subsidiaries for foreign direct investments, managing day-to-day operational matters, meeting clients’ needs. She is also in charge of drafting, reviewing and negotiation of contracts, including but not limited to stock and asset purchase and shareholders’ agreements, manufacturing or settlement contracts and lease agreements. Yasemin advises clients about business practices to comply with new laws and regulations, carries out filings to the relevant authorities to obtain, to extend and to maintain the relevant permissions. She further advises clients with regard to the liquidation and dissolution of companies and related matters.
A graduate of Bilgi University, School of Law (LL.B 2009), Yasemin is fluent in English and in French.
Ms. Aytun Haner is an associate who works primarily on employment law matters. She also works together with the commercial law and real property law practice groups.
Graduated from the Başkent University Law School in Ankara, Aytun was admitted to İstanbul Bar, in 2014. She also studied legal English at King’s College London.
Aytun enjoys travelling to explore different cultures and lifestyles. Her hobbies include dance, in particular, folkloric dance.
Mr Yiğit Kaynar’s primary field of expertise is human rights law. He works as part of the criminal law practice group and has experience in handling criminal law matters with international elements. Yiğit also advises clients in relation to compliance with data privacy regulations and intellectual property law matters.
Yiğit received his LLB (2009) and LLM in Human Rights Law (2010) from the University of Nottingham. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Durham, where his studies focus on the independence of the international judiciary. Yiğit returned to Turkey in 2016 and joined the Firm after taking the Turkish law equivalency courses and completing his mandatory intership at the Firm.
Outside of law, Yiğit’s primary interest lies with music. He was classically trained in piano at the State Conservatory of Istanbul for 8 years and he is also playing electric and acoustic guitar.
Ms Yeliz Çakır is a litigator who deals with both private and public law cases. She also provides consultancy to Firm’s multinational clients on different subject matters of law for their day-to-day businesses.
Yeliz received her law degree from Özyeğin University and completed her legal internship at Yarsuvat & Yarsuvat Law Firm.
As an AFS exchange student, she studied one year in U.S. and she continues to volunteer for the local AFS organization. Yeliz is also the co-founder of a book automat initiative, which is becoming more popular every day despite the fact that we live in the times of smart phones.
Mr Hüseyin Ersöz is a distinguished criminal law litigator, who successfully defended his clients in high profile cases. A graudate of Marmara University Law School (LLB 2005), his main area of expertise is criminal law and human rights law. Hüseyin is a sought- after guest of tv news and talk shows as his impartial views on political and legal affairs and his clear and well-articulated explanations are greatly appreciated by the public.
As most people, who are passionate about their professions, are, Hüseyin is a workaholic, yet he tries to spare time to travel, as much as possible.
- University of Istanbul, School of Law (LL.B, 1988)
Capital markets law, construction, contracts, corporate law, creditor’s rights and bankruptcy, employment law, civil and criminal litigation, entertainment, media and communications law, product liability, real estate law.
Mr. Bozkaya is one of the Firm’s cornerstones, having been involved with Yarsuvat & Yarsuvat business for over twenty-five years. A CPA, he is in charge of the corporate filings of the Firm’s corporate clients. He also is the principal contact person for commercial registry and Ministry of Commerce relations. Finally, Mr. Bozkaya is also the Firm’s controller and tax advisor