Board of Directors

M. İlker Aycı

Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee


Born in Istanbul in 1971, M. İlker Aycı graduated from Bilkent University’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration in 1994 and went to the UK to work as a researcher at Leeds University’s Department of Political Science in 1995. In 1997, he graduated from the International Relations Masters program (English) in Marmara University.

Starting his career in 1994, Mr. Aycı held a variety of roles at Kurtsan İlaçları A.Ş., Istanbul Municipal Authority and Universal Dış Ticaret A.Ş. He was also assigned as the General Manager of  Başak Sigorta A.Ş. between 2005 – 2006, the General Manager of Güneş Sigorta A.Ş between 2006-2011 and the President of The Investment, Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey between 2011-2015 and he was the Vice President and President of the World Association of Investment Agencies between 2013 -2015. He has been performing the duty of the Turkish Airlines Inc. Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee since April 2015.

Having held positions in different capacities in a number of organizations such as the Insurance Association of Turkey, the Turkish-Chinese Business Council, Vakıf Emeklilik A.Ş and Güneş Sigorta Sports Club, Mr. AYCI currently serves as a member in the Turkey-U.S., Turkey-Canada, Turkey-U.K., Turkey-Brazil Business Councils  under the Foreign Economic Relations Board. Mr. Aycı also serves in the Board of Directors and Audit Committees in various organizations such as the Turkish Football Federation and Turkish Airlines Sports Club. Mr. Aycı speaks English and Russian.


Yönetim Kurulu Başkanı

Bilal Ekşi

Deputy Chairman and CEO

Born in 1968 in Rize, Bilal Ekşi graduated from Yıldız Technical University, the Department of Electronics and Communications Engineering in 1989. Starting his career in 1989, Mr. Ekşi worked as an Electronics and Communications Engineer at Turkish State Railways and thereafter, he was assigned to the position of Workshop Manager at Istanbul Ulasim A.S., and he played an active role in realization of significant transport projects. 

As the Head of Overhaul Workshops at Turkish Airlines Inc., Mr Ekşi carried out the duty of maintenance of aircraft engines, landing gears and all components between 2003 and 2005. In 2005, he has been assigned as the Chief Ground Operations Officer at Turkish Airlines Inc. Mr. EKŞİ accomplished significant projects, particularly in improvement of the on-time departure performance during his tenure.

Having served as the Chief Production Officer at Turkish Technic in 2008 and 2009; and as the CEO of Cyprus Turkish Airlines as part of the reorganization of Cyprus Turkish Airlines in 2010; and as the Executive Vice President at "Turkish Engine Center (TEC)", established by the Joint Venture of Pratt Whitney, the American Engine manufacturer, and Turkish Technic Inc. between 2010 – 2011; Mr. Ekşi was assigned as the Director General of Turkish Directorate General of Civil Aviation in April 2011.

During his tenure as the Director General of Turkish Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Turkey has been reelected as a member of Council of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 66 years later its pervious membership and has become one of the 36 members in ICAO’s decision-making platform. 

On 21st of October, 2016, Mr. Ekşi has been assigned as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Deputy Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines Inc. 

İsmail Cenk Dilberoğlu

Member of the Board and the Executive Committee


Born in İstanbul in 1975, İsmail Cenk Dilberoğlu graduated from Marmara University, Faculty of Law. From 1999 to 2003 he worked as a lawyer in his own office which is located in İstanbul, Cağaloğlu. Since 2003, he has been giving legal consultancy to companies in the field of commercial law, company law, tax law, execution and bankruptcy law, within a partnership structure called “Kollektif Hukuk Bürosu”. In 1999, he was appointed as a member of the Board of Trustee of Ensar Vakfı and acted as the Vice Chairman until 2011 and since then he has been serving as the Chairman of the Board of Trustee of Ensar Vakfı. Mr. Dilberoğlu is married with three children.


İsmail Gerçek

Member of the Board 

Born in Çan, Çanakkale in 1963, Mr. Gerçek graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences, Public Administration department in 1985. He studied economics and received his MA studies in money & banking in USA between 1992 and 1994. He still continues his Doctorate thesis studies in Istanbul University in Financial Law. His career began in the position of assistant inspector at the Ministry of Finance Review Committee in 1985. Until 1998 he worked as a finance inspector and finance inspector general. From 1995-1997 Mr. Gerçek was deputy assistant District Treasurer in Istanbul. He also served as a member of the Audit Committee in TEKEL, Turkish Football Federation and Joint Funds Bank Inc. Pursuing his career as a chartered accountant and Independent Auditor, Mr. Gerçek is a member of the Audit Committee of Participation Banks Association of Turkey and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Foundation University.     


Prof. Dr. Mecit Eş

Member of the Board 

Prof. Dr. Mecit Eş, born in 1953 in Samsun; received his degree from the Istanbul University School of Economics in 1974. Having held several offices, he commenced his academic projects and received his Doctorate in 1985. He became Associate Professor in 1990 and Professor in 1996. And having then worked at Dumlupınar University from 1992 and 2012, Mr. Eş continues his academic studies as a Professor of the Academy of Commercial Sciences at Istanbul Commerce University. He has published many books and articles, and is married with three children.


Mehmet Büyükekşi Yönetim Kurulu Üyesi

Orhan Birdal

Member of the Board

Born in Kemah, Erzincan in 1958, Mr. Birdal completed his primary and high school education in İstanbul. In 1980, he graduated from the Istanbul Academy of Economics
and Commercial Sciences College of Journalism and Public Relations, and in 1990 completed his graduate degree from the Social Sciences Institute of Marmara University. 

In 1982, he took his first step in the aviation sector by starting as an air traffic controller at the Atatürk Airport, incorporated under the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI). Later on, he carried out various duties, such as air traffic controller and Airport Manager in Erzincan, Directorate of Nevşehir Kapadokya, Trabzon and İzmir Adnan Menderes Airports and Senior Vice President of Airport Operation Department of DHMI.

After working as the Deputy Director and Member Of the Board of Directors of DHMI in 2003, he assumed the position of General Manager and Chairman of the Board Directors of DHMI between 2007-2015. Following his position in DHMI, Mr. Orhan Birdal was appointed to the Undersecretariat of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications. By the end of 2015, he started to serve as Deputy Undersecretary responsible for Aviation and Railroads.

During his tenure as the General Manager of DHMI, he also served as the Member of the Board of Directors and Auditing Committee of Turkish Airlines, between 2008-2012. Besides, he also served as the Vice President of the Turkish Civil Aviation Council of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).

Having worked as a senior manager in the aviation sector for many years, Mr. Birdal, carried out many successful projects including IGA, world’s greatest build-operate-transfer project. He also served in high level positions in 17 build-operate-transfer projects regarding several airports of Turkey.   

Mr. Birdal actively participated in the commission of Domestic Aircraft Project in Turkey. He also served as Chairman of Aviation Sector and moderator in 10. And 11. Transportation Council.

Mr. Birdal granted several awards including Bureaucrat of the year and Goverment Executive of the Year by domestic and international institutions.
Mr. Birdal speaks English, and is married with four children.

Ogün Şanlıer

Independent Member of the Board

Born in İzmit in 1974, Ogün Şanlıer graduated from Marmara University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Public Administration in French in 1999. He served as an Export Specialist in Anadolu Isuzu Otomotiv San. Tic. A.Ş. between 1999-2001, Regional Export Manager in Feniş Dış Ticaret A.Ş. between 2002-2007, Commercial Manager and Chief Officer in İBB Department of Subsidiaries Halk Ekmek A.Ş. between 2007-2013. Right after, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of İstanbul Medya Akademisi A.Ş. Mr. Şanlıer can speak English, German and French and is married with two children.


Muzaffer Akpınar Bağımsız Yönetim Kurulu Üyesi

Muzaffer Akpınar

Independent Member of the Board

Born in 1962, Mr. Akpınar graduated from Saint-Michel French High School and the Bosphorus University Department of Management Science. His professional career commenced in 1986 when he became the founder shareholder of Penta Textile. In 1993 he was appointed CEO of KVK Mobil Telefon Hizmetleri A.Ş.. Subsequently, Mr. Akpınar served as the CEO of MV Holding A.Ş. and played an active role in the creation of Fintur Holding BV. Between the years of 2002 and 2006, Mr. AKPINAR served as the CEO of Turkcell. He remains an entrepreneur and investor in the fields of renewable energy, technology, chemicals and construction. Mr. AKPINAR is married and has two children. 


Arzu Akalın

Independent Member of the Board

Ms. Arzu Akalın was born in Germany in 1973. Completing part of her education in Germany, she was graduated from İstanbul Vefa Poyraz High School and İstanbul University Faculty of Law. She was graduated from İstanbul University Faculty of Law, ranking first in class, during the period 1991-1995. She was specialized in patent rights in commercial law.

Ms. Akalın commenced her professional business life in 1997. After working in the field of brand and patent law in a private company for 11 years, she set up her own law office in 2010. She is a trademark/patent attorney and also has native fluency in German. Currently, she continues her studies in order to have a PhD degree in law in Germany.