Prof. İrfan GÜNDÜZ
Professor Irfan Gündüz was born in 1950 in the city of Kayseri/ Yeşilhisar. He completed his primary education in Yeşilhisar neighborhood, secondary education in Kayseri Imam Hatip High School and Kayseri High School in 1969. He graduated from Istanbul High Islamic Institute in 1974 while he was working as Imam-Hatip in Fatih Mufti office. After he was working as a vocational course Teacher at Niğde Imam Hatip High School, Gündüz completed his military service, he served as Deputy Director of Technical Branch at the Black Sea Region Command in 1974. Afterward, Professor Gündüz taught vocational courses at Aksaray Imam Hatip High School, then he became an assistant of Sufi History at Istanbul Higher Islamic Institute. Later, he received the degrees of Ph.D. in 1983, Associate Professor in 1990 and Professor in 1996, from the Faculty of Theology of Marmara University. In 1986, he was sent to Cairo/ Egypt to carry out research and studies on his field.
He has publications of State-Tekke Interactions in the Ottomans, Gümüşhânevî Ahmet Ziyâüddîn, his (Time, Life, Works Sect and Sufi Views), Abu Sa’d al-Hargûşî and Tehzîbul-esrar (critical edition), he also has translated works such as Fundamentals of Sufism, Tariqa series, Fatwas related to Sufism and Tariqas. In his field, Gündüz has many articles, encyclopedic resources and papers presented at national and international congresses. He served during the term of the 54th government as the Advisor to the presidency of Turks Abroad and Related Communities. In 1998, he was appointed in charge of the organization of the party as the Vice President of Virtue Party. In the elections of April 19, 1999, he was elected as Parliament Member of the 21st electoral cycle, representing Istanbul region 1. Following the closure of the Virtue Party, Gündüz was actively involved in the establishment, institutionalization and organization of the AK Party and was re-elected in the 22nd electoral cycle as Istanbul Deputy in the elections held on November 3, 2002. He served as the Vice President of AK Party Group. He played active roles in many foundations including Turkish National Student Union, Birlik Foundation and Hüdâyî Foundation. He was writer and member of the editorial board of Islam, Women and Family, Science and Arts and Altınoluk magazines. For three years, Professor Gündüz presented and directed the “Gönül Sohbetleri” program on Kanal 7. Gündüz is married with three children and speaks Arabic, English and Persian.
At present, he is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ibn Haldun University.
Necmeddin Bilal ERDOĞAN
Necmettin Bilal Erdoğan was born on 23 April 1981. After finishing secondary school at Kartal Andolu İmam Hatip Lisesi in 1999, Erdoğan moved to the United States of America for undergraduate education. In 2002 He graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. He received his master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2004. Erdoğan continued his doctoral studies in international relations at Johns Hopkins University in Washington and Bologna. He served as an assistant at Johns Hopkins University and Woodrow Wilson Center at various times. After graduation, he served at the World Bank as an intern for a while. Erdoğan is the President of the World Ethnosport Confederation, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Professor Fuat Sezgin Islamic Science History Research Foundation and the Archers Foundation, and the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Science Dissemination Foundation (İYV) and Ibn Haldun University. He is a member of the High Advisory Board of Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA) and he is in the governing board of Turkey Youth and Education Service Foundation (TÜRGEV). In addition to advanced English, he speaks intermediate level French, Italian and Arabic. He is married and has three children.
Prof. Atilla ARKAN
Graduated from Adapazarı Imam Hatip High School and Marmara Faculty of Theology (1991), Atilla Arkan received her PhD in Islamic Philosophy from Marmara University Institute of Social Sciences in 1999. He also worked at the Institute of Islamic Civilization and Thought at the Islamic University of Malaysia between 1996-1999 for his second doctorate study.
He started working as an academic at Sakarya University in 1994. He became a professor at the same university in 2013. Between 2012-2014, he was a visiting research lecturer at the Canadian McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies.
Prof. Arkan, who has served as the Director of Education and Social Policy Studies at SETA since 2017, in addition to being a lecturer at Sakarya University Faculty of Theology and Head of the Department of Islamic Philosophy, is fluent in English and Arabic.
Assoc. Prof. Murat ŞEKER
Murat Şeker, Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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 Member 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 has also been serving as part time professor at Boğaziçi University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences since 2015. Mr. Şeker received the title of Associate Professor in October 2018.
Prof. Ahmet Cevat ACAR
Professor Ahmet Cevat Acar was born in 1960 in Taşköprü, Kastamonu. He graduated from Atatürk University Faculty of Business Administration in 1980. He completed his master’s degree at Istanbul University Faculty of Business “Personnel Management and Industrial Relations”, received his PhD from the Institute of Social Sciences of Istanbul University, “Business and Personnel Management and Organization”. He became respectively assistant professor in 1994, associate professor in 1998, and professor in 2007, at the School of Business of Istanbul University. He was the Vice President of Istanbul University between the years of 2010-2012.
Acar has works in education, research, consultancy, publications and projects in Human Resources Management, Management and Organization, Organizational Behavior areas. He also holds various committees and memberships as well as academic studies membership/presidency of the Faculty Council and Faculty Board Member, Institute of Business and Economics (IIE) Deputy Director and Board Member, Education Coordinator, Strategic Planning Committee Member, Norm Staff Executive, Career Center Board Member, Graduate Programs Directorate, Ministry of Labor and Social Security Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Board for the Strategy Document.
Prof. Ahmet Cevat Acar who held the Presidency of the TÜBA between August 2012 till May 2019 is an Advisory Board Member for Labor and Social Security Training and Research Centre (ÇASGEM) and Alternate Member of the Board of Public Referee. He is married and has two children.
Assist. Prof. H. Şule ALBAYRAK
Assist. Prof. H. Şule Albayrak graduated from Marmara University Faculty of Theology and Istanbul Bilgi University Political Science. She received her master’s degree from Marmara University, Institute of Social Sciences with her thesis titled “Christian Fundamentalism”, and her Ph.D. degree with her dissertation titled, “Religion-State Relations in the United States: A Sociological Analysis”. She is currently a faculty member at Theology Faculty of Marmara University.
Albayrak gives lectures on modernization, secularization, religion-state relations, sociology of religion, and Islam in the modern world. She is also the editor-in-chief of KADEM Journal of Woman Studies. Apart from her academic studies published in national and international journals, her articles are published in various magazines and newspapers.
Born in 1961 in Gaziantep. Mr. Büyükekşi graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, Yıldız Technical University. In 1985, he attended the Business Courses of Marmara University and in 1988 he attended Business and English Language courses in England.
He has been Founder Chairman and Board Member of Turkish Footwear Industry Research, Development and Education Foundation TASEV, Chairman of Turkish Shoes Industrialists’ Association AYSAD and İstanbul Leather and Leather Products Exporters’ Association İDMİB, member of the Board in Turkish Leather Foundation TÜRDEV, in TOBTİM International Business Centers, in Corporation of TOBB-BIS Organized Industrial and Technology Regions and in Turkish DO&CO. He is currently Board Member in İstanbul Development Agency, in FLO Merchandising and Marketing Inc. Co., in İDMİB and in Turkish Airlines A.O., Assembly Member in İstanbul Chamber of Industry and General Coordinator of Ziylan Group. Mr. Büyükekşi has been the President of the Turkish Exporters Assembly since September 2008 and a member of the Board of Directors in Türk Eximbank since October 24, 2002.
He is married and has three children.
Nurettin Eroğlu, born in Aksaray in 1961, stepped into business with the textile industry in 1976. In 1983, starting textile production with 6 machines in a 24-square-meter workshop in Eminönü-Mercan, Eroğlu has laid the foundations of Eroğlu Holding, which achieves a great worldwide success nowadays. Having reached more than 700 stores in 38 countries with “Colin’s” and “Loft” brands, Eroğlu Holding carries on its entire textile production chain from cotton in the field to its own brand production. The holding produces 25 million pieces of garments annually, and with the denim fabric factory it has established in Egypt, the holding produces 30 million meters of fabric annually for its brands and for leading brands of the world as well.
Apart from the textile sector, Eroğlu Real Estate Development Company was established in 1997 for the purpose of making its own constructions. By completing 17 projects in several cities of Turkey mainly in Istanbul, Eroğlu has become one of the leading companies in Turkey in this sector. The holding has constructed luxury offices, residential projects, commercial and living areas with a total of 2.5 million square meters. Nurettin Eroğlu, who is married and has three children, one of which is a girl, plays an active role in the business life as Eroğlu Holding Chairman of the Board of Directors. In addition, he actively takes part in various non-governmental organizations of Turkey.
Dr. Erman ILICAK
Dr. Erman Ilıcak was born in Malatya in October 1967. He is the founder and president of Rönesans Holding. Dr. Ilıcak graduated from TED Ankara College in 1985 and from Middle East Technical University’s Department of Civil Engineering in 1990. Completed Vienna Economy University and Minnesota University’s MBA program in 2002. In 2011, he received the Ph. D. in business administration from the International School of Management in Paris.
Renaissance Holding was established in 1994 as a group of companies specializing in construction and investment. The holding is engaged in the main fields of construction, heavy industrial facilities, infrastructure projects, manufacturing facilities, chemical and pharmaceutical production facilities, food and beverage processing facilities, automotive and machinery factories, public buildings, healthcare complexes and power plants, shopping centers, offices, hotels, residences and mixed-use buildings. Rönesans Holding is currently operating, with more than 75,000 personnel, as the main contractor and investor in 28 countries around the globe. Ranked 36th in ENR’s list of the world’s largest construction companies of 2018, Rönesans Holding is also the 9th largest contracting company in Europe.
Ömer Faruk KALYONCU
Ömer Faruk Kalyoncu started his career with Kalyon Plastik, which operates in the industrial sector, and held various positions in the company’s factories in Iran and Ankara. During his two-year term in Iran, he served as a member of the Executive Board of the DEIK Turkish-Iranian Business Council.
Subsequently, he served as Kalyon Construction Ankara Regional Manager, Kalyon Construction General Manager and Board Member, Kalyon Group CEO and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. He led change projects and accelerated the growth strategies of the Group’s companies operating in the construction, energy and gas sectors. In addition to monitoring the activities on the basis of these companies, he also carried out activities within the framework of the group’s new investment and growth plans. In 2013, he transferred all of his shares in Kalyon Group companies, left the partnership structure and started to work within Zirve Holding, which he established in the same year. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zirve Holding, which operates in the construction, energy and media sectors.
Kalyoncu is a graduate of American Intercontinental University holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He is a member of MÜSİAD, Contractors Association and Trabzonspor Club, in addition, he is one of the founding members of Hasan Kalyoncu University. Kalyoncu who is married and has three children, speaks English fluently.
Abdulkadir Kart was born in Rize in 1964. After completing his primary and secondary education in Rize, he graduated as a civil engineer from Engineering Faculty of Fırat University in 1990. Between 1994 – 1996, Abdulkadir Kart served as Deputy Mayor of Rize. In 1997, he established his own company and started his career. In 2002, Kart was elected as AK Party deputy representing Rize and held this post until 2007.
He still continues his career in construction, energy and automotive sectors in his own company. He speaks English and married with one child.
Yasin Kartoğlu was born in Istanbul – Küçükçekmece in 1977. Received his primary and secondary education in Küçükçekmece, İstanbul, Yasin Kartoğlu completed his university education in the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, İnönü University.
Kartoğlu was elected as the Member of AKP Başakşehir Municipal Council in 2009 local elections and assigned as the Deputy Mayor of Başakşehir in the same period. Yasin Kartoğlu, who has successfully served as deputy mayor for two terms, was elected as the Mayor of Başakşehir by the Municipal Assembly in the session held on October 4, 2017 after the founding Mayor Mevlüt Uysal was elected to be the Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality on September 28, 2017. Yasin Kartoğlu was re-elected by the Local Administration Elections as Mayor of Başakşehir on March 31, 2019. He is married and has two children.
H. Hümeyra ŞAHİN
Hümeyra Şahin graduated from Istanbul University, Department of History in 1998. She completed her master’s degree on Ottoman Bureaucratic Modernization at Marmara University. She has been to UK for education in 2007-2008 years. Later she joined the master’s program in Arts and Cultural Management (ACM) in Italy.
Şahin has been working as a content consultant for national and international projects. Her essays and stories have been published in many literary magazines. She worked as an editor at various publishing corporations. Şahin was actively involved in civil society activities and was the president of the Meridian Association. She is currently a member of the Turkish Presidential Council of Culture and Arts Policies. Since 2014, she has been serving as the Advisor to the Turkish President in the fields of culture, art and social projects. She is also a PhD candidate in the field of Ottoman Diplomatic History.
Kazım Türker was born in Ankara in 1954. He graduated from Department of Civil Engineering of Gazi University. Türker started his business life by founding an enterprise in textile sector, which is Türker’s family occupation, while he was 19 years old. In addition to his investments in textile and retailing sectors, Türker founded Türkerler Construction Inc. in 1993. The company invested in energy and cement sectors in 2000s. Kazım Türker still holds his position as the Chairman in Türkerler Holding Inc.
Türkerler Holding added to its activities the construction of healthcare facilities, which are built under the Public-Private Partnership Model, and major real estate projects in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. With more than 100 companies working under its umbrella, Türkler Holding operates in construction, real estate, textile, energy production, natural gas and electricity distribution sectors.
Türker is on the list of the “Top 100 Wealthiest Turks”, which prepared by Forbes Turkey, and at the same time he is on the list of the highest income taxpayers. In addition, with the employment campaign launched by the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call, Türkerler Holding has greatly contributed to Turkey’s local industry and employment growth by providing a total of 11,241 new jobs in 2017, to be awarded the “Employment Special Prize” of Turkey. Türkerler Holding, the biggest supporter of art and sports at all times, opened its “Kazım Türker Art Gallery”, which is located in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Izmir Dokuz Eylül University, to serve the art life. At the same time, the holding of Türker supports the football team of Göztepe Sports Club, one of the long-established sports clubs of Izmir, as a sponsor. Kazım Türker continues his social responsibility projects within the Türkerler Education, Health, Sports and Arts Foundation, which he has founded.
Mevlüt Uysal was born in 1966 in Alanya, Antalya in southern Turkey. After completing the primary and middle school in Antalya, he studied law at Istanbul University and graduated in 1988. Working as a lawyer for long years, Uysal was also actively involved in political, social and cultural activities. He became the Founding Chairman of AK Party Küçükçekmece District Organization by taking part in the founding of AK Party.
Uysal became the Mayor of Başakşehir Municipality in the local elections in March 2009. He was nominated again in 2014 local elections with his projects and successful services in his first period. He was elected as the Mayor of Başakşehir Municipality for the second time.
Uysal became the Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, for 1.5 year, as a result of the voting in the extraordinary meeting of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipal Council on September 28, 2017. Mevlüt Uysal is married with four children.