Board of Directors

Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee

M. İlker Aycı

Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee

M. İlker Aycı, born in Istanbul in 1971, is 1994 alumni of Bilkent University’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration. After completing a research stay on political science at the Leeds University in the U.K. in 1995, Mr. Aycı completed International Relations Master’s program at the Marmara University in Istanbul in 1997.

In his professional career which started in 1994, Mr. Aycı held a variety of positions at Kurtsan Medicine, Universal International Trade, and the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, where, as an advisor to the then Mayor of Istanbul, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he took part in a number of development projects realized in Turkey’s largest city. In the insurance sector, Mr. Aycı became the General Manager of Başak Sigorta in 2005. After the company’s successful privatization, Mr. Aycı took over the management of Güneş Sigorta, one of the largest insurance companies in Turkey, in 2006. As the General Manager until 2011, he considerably increased both the value and size of the company.

In 2011, Mr. Aycı became the President of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey, the only official national body to promote Turkey’s investment environment globally and to assist international investors in their investment projects. Between 2013 and 2015, Mr. Aycı also held first the Vice Presidency and then, the Presidency of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), the umbrella organization of over 170 investment promotion agencies from 130 countries.

Since 2015, Mr. Aycı is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines. Currently, Mr. Aycı is also the Chairman of the Service Exporters' Association of Turkey and serves as a board and audit committee member of the Turkish Football Federation, the chair of the board of Turkish Airlines Sports Club. 

Mr. Aycı is also the Turkish Airlines representative of the Turkey-U.S.A., Turkey-Brazil and Turkey-U.K. Business Councils, as well as an Executive Board member of the Turkey-U.S.A. and Turkey-U.K. Business Councils under the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK). Previously, Mr. Aycı held positions at different capacities in several organizations including the Insurance Association of Turkey, Turkey-Canada and Turkey-China Business Councils, Vakıf Emeklilik, and Güneş Sigorta Sports Club. Mr. Aycı speaks English and Russian.

Deputy Chairman

Prof. Dr. Mecit Eş

Deputy Chairman

Prof. Dr. Mecit Eş was born in Samsun in 1953 and received his undergraduate degree from Istanbul University, School of Economics in 1974. After working in the public sector, he continued his academic career and received his Ph.D. in 1985. Dr. Mecit Eş became Associate Professor in 1990 and Professor in 1996. Having worked in the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Dumlupınar University in the field of Public Finance between 1992 and 2012, Dr. Eş has since been Professor of the Academy of Commercial Sciences at Istanbul Commerce University. During his career, he has published many books and articles. Dr. Eş is a father of three children.

Member of the Board / General Manager

Bilal Ekşi

Member of the Board / General Manager

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. 

 Member of the Board / Chief Financial Officer

Assoc. Prof. Murat Şeker, Ph.D.

Member of the Board / Chief Financial Officer

Murat Şeker, Phd. graduated from Marmara University Industrial Engineering Department in 2000, followed by a Master's Degree from Sabancı University Economics in 2002. Then he continued his academic work at University of Minnesota, USA and received his Phd. in economics in 2008. During his doctorate studies, Mr. Şeker, taught Economic Growth and Development, Money and Banking, Public Finance. Between 2008 - 2011, he worked as an analyst at Global Indicators Analysis and between 2011 - 2013 as an economist at Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Department under the Financial and Private Sector Development Senior Vice Presidency of World Bank, USA.

Mr. Şeker returned to Turkey in 2013 and continued his professional life at Ziraat Bank, as Investor Relations Senior Vice President. In August 2014, he was assigned as Senior Vice President of Financial Institutions and Investor Relations Department. Mr. Şeker, also served as Board Members of Ziraat Investment, Ziraat Private Pension Company and Ziraat Insurance during his tenure in Ziraat Bank. In July 2016, he was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Turkish Airlines. Mr. Şeker also served as part-time professor at Boğaziçi University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences between 2015 and 2018. Mr. Şeker received the title of Associate Professor in October 2018.

Member of the Board / Senior Vice President, General Aviation VIP Aircraft Operations

Mithat Görkem Aksoy

Member of the Board / Senior Vice President, General Aviation VIP Aircraft Operations

He was born in 06.06.1977 in Antalya. He started his pilotage training in 1996 in Turkish Aeronautical Association. Graduating in 1998, he worked in Turkish Aeronautical Association until 2001. In 2001, he resigned from the Turkish Aeronautical Association and transferred to private airways. After working in various private airline companies, in 2007, he started to work at Turkish Airlines. He served in G4, G550, B737 and Airbus A330/340 fleets. In 2006, he was appointed as the Senior Vice President, General Aviation VIP Aircraft Operations. He still serves as the active commander pilot in Turkish Airlines. Since 2018, he has been member of the Board of Turkish Airlines Inc. and Turkish Technic Inc.

 Member of the Board

Orhan Birdal

Member of the Board

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

In 1982, Mr. Birdal entered the aviation sector as Air Traffic Controller at Ataturk Airport, incorporated under the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI). Subsequently, he held various positions in the sector, including Air Traffic Controller and Airport Manager at Erzincan, Directorate of Nevşehir Kapadokya, Trabzon and Izmir Adnan Menderes Airports, and Senior Vice President of the Airport Operation Department at 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 General Manager at DHMI, Mr. Birdal also served as Member of the Board of Directors and Audit Committee at Turkish Airlines from 2008 until 2012. In addition, he served as Vice President of the Turkish Civil Aviation Council at 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. IGA is one of these projects as the world’s greatest build-operatetransfer project. He also held high level positions in 17 different build-operate-transfer projects related to several airports in Turkey. Mr. Birdal actively participated in the commission of the Domestic Aircraft Project in Turkey. He also served as Chairman of the Aviation Sector and Moderator in the 10th and 11th Transportation Council. Mr. Birdal has received numerous prestigious awards including “Bureaucrat of the Year” and “Government Executive of the Year” from both domestic and international institutions.

Mr. Birdal speaks English and is married with four children.

Independent Member of the Board

Melih Şükrü Ecertaş

Independent Member of the Board

Ecertaş was born in 1987 in Bursa Inegöl and graduated from Kartal Anatolian Imam Hatip High School in 2004. In 2009, he graduated from Beykent University, Department of Business Administration as a valedictorian. 

After receiving his undergraduate education, He did his Master’s degree in Marketing Communications at Emerson College in Boston as a Fulbright scholar. After working as a research assistant at MIT / Sloan School of Management, he continues his PHD in the field of Organizational Development and HR Management at Gebze Technical University.

Between 2011 and 2019, he served as Corporate Development Manager and Board Member at Çilek, a leading children furniture brand.

Between 2015-2017, He was also a founding partner of Mental HR, which operates in the field of Human Resources and Management Consultancy.

He took part in “HR System Design, Performance Management Systems, Total Rewards Model, Strategic Planning, Talent Management, HR Digital Transformation and other Organizational Development” projects in many domestic and abroad organizations.

He was one of the founders of Eurasia Invest, an international investment consultancy company, in 2018 and is still a member of the Board of Directors.

Ecertaş, who has been involved in civil society and youth studies since his secondary education years, assumed important responsibilities at various levels from the Provincial Organization to the Headquarters in the AK Party Youth Branches in 2012-2018. He still continues to volunteer in various youth-related NGOs.

Melih Ecertaş is fluent in English, intermediate in German and Arabic. He is married and has two children.

Independent Member of the Board

Muzaffer Akpınar

Independent Member of the Board

Born in 1962, Muzaffer Akpınar graduated from Saint Michel French High School and the Management Sciences Faculty of the Bogazici University.  

He started his career as a founding shareholder of Penta Tekstil in 1986 and became the CEO of KVK in 1993. He later worked as the CEO of MV Holding A.S. and played an active role in the foundation process of Fintur Holding BV. Muzaffer Akpınar served as the General Manager of Turkcell between January 2002 and July 2006.

He continues his career as the Vice President of MV Holding’s Board of Directors, a member of the Turkish Airlines’ Board of Directors, Partner and the President of KVK and Dost Enerji ’s Board of Directors,  the founding partner and the President of Portmobil’s Board of Directors, partner and the Vice President of Kimya Teknik and Kimaş, the president of Muzaffer Akpinar Foundation. 

He is married and father of two children.

Independent Member of the Board

Dr. Fatmanur Altun

Independent Member of the Board

Altun is the Chairman of the Executive Board of Turkish Youth and Education Service Foundation (TÜRGEV) as well as a member of the Executive Board of Turkish Airlines (THY) and Women and Democracy (KADEM) Foundation.

She took her Master’s Degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Marmara University’s Institute of Middle East and Islamic Countries Studies with her thesis titled "The Role of Discourse of Greater Middle East Project in Formation of Post 2000 Turkish Nationalism”. 

Starting her doctoral studies at the same department in 2014, she earned her PhD Degree in 2018 with her dissertation titled “The ’Social Benefit’ Approach of Secular and Faith-Based Non-Governmental Organizations in Turkey: Case Studies of the Association for Supporting Contemporary Life and Turkish Youth and Education Service Foundation”.

Working in the publishing sector as a translator and editor since 2000, Altun served as the department editor of Anlayış Magazine from 2005 to 2010 and as a columnist for the news portal World Bulletin from 2006 to 2011. Since 2015, she has been working for Marmara University. Currently an academic in the Sociology Department of Marmara University, Altun has copyright and translation works. She conducts seminars and conferences on different platforms and her articles are regularly published in various media.