İstanbul Economics Our Team İstanbul Economics Our Team

Our Team

Our team includes some of the most experienced, knowledgeable and passionate professionals in the industry.

Our team of leading economists, legal and policy consultants work in a singular capacity and integrated approach to match the needs of our clients across the business cycle. We also cooperate with prominent national and international industry experts and academics on a project basis to offer our clients the most effective solutions.

Sinan Ülgen
Founder & Managing Partner
Sinan, a former career diplomat involved in Turkey-EU Customs Union negotiations, founded the Istanbul based think-tank Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM) and is a Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe. He was a member of the international security experts established by the former NATO Secretary General Rasmussen and a member of the academic advisory board of NATO Defense College. He spearheaded the advisory team for Turkey’s climate change mitigation strategy. His two latest publications, focusing respectively on the reform of globalization and the governance of cyber space, was published by Carnegie Endowment in 2022. As a recognized thought leader, his insights regularly appear in International New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Project Syndicate or The Guardian. His areas of expertise are international relations, trade policy, climate and digital regulation.
Mithat Özbek
Managing Partner
Mithat, with significant leadership stints as Deputy Director General at Puccinelli and a decade as Managing Director at David S. Smith, UK's paper and packaging giant in Turkey, transitioned to a senior management role at Olmuksa following its acquisition by Sabanci/International Paper. He now influences key decisions as a board member for multiple global companies and leading NGOs. Mithat's academic portfolio boasts an economics degree from Hacettepe University, a joint MBA from Istanbul Technical University and Exeter University, enriched with advanced certificate programs from INSEAD and Oxford.
Yeşil Sakaoğlu
Managing Consultant
Yeşil is a well-rounded specialist in public affairs and corporate communications, guiding high-profile clients across industries through Turkey's evolving business landscape. In addition to client work, she leads business development at Istanbul Economics. She was formerly government affairs manager at AmCham Turkey, advocating for over 100 US companies in the country, and researcher at the Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM). Her prior project involvements span from the World Bank to the European Council on Foreign Relations. An alumna of the London School of Economics and Political Science with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology and development management respectively, she also completed specialized courses in international competition and trade.
Temmuz Yiğit Bezmez
Temmuz advises clients on policy, regulatory and geopolitical risk and opportunity assessments. He also delivers communication strategies and economic studies to aid business strategy. Before his current role, Temmuz managed projects and business development at the French Chamber of Commerce in Turkey and oversaw DEIK's Asia-Pacific councils. Earlier in his career, he worked at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva and supported projects for SDG 11. His op-eds have been featured on Springer, The Diplomat, SCMP and Turkish Heritage Organization. Temmuz holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Galatasaray University and master’s degree in International Trade and Economics from Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne as a full-scholarship recipient from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ada Atalan
Ada focuses on dissecting legislative issues, providing political intelligence, and closely monitoring Turkey’s economic and foreign policy landscape. Prior to joining Istanbul Economics, she was involved in numerous social advocacy projects in partnership with key European institutions based in France. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Galatasaray University, and is furthering her studies in her chosen field at the same institution. Her research areas include economic development, peace and conflict studies.
Ebru Altunkum
Office Manager
With more than 20 years of professional experience, Ebru supports and oversees all administration and procedures to ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency.