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Governance Around the World - Turkey

This event is part of the Governance around the world series of events. This series aims to equip investors and multi-national organizations with an understanding of national approaches to governance and prevailing imperatives.

“Turkey has a strong regulatory framework for corporate governance. Disclosure to the market by listed companies is improving, and international standards for accounting and auditing are being introduced… But some challenges remain. Family-controlled groups of companies are a common feature of the Turkish business scene, often with a high degree of cross-ownership between companies. Controlling shareholders often play a leading role in the management and strategic direction of company groups, many of which include companies that are listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange. This is not a problem in itself. Without effective safeguards, however, there is potential for abuse, for example in situations where controlling shareholders impose commercial conditions that go against the interests of the company as a whole and minority shareholders.” This extract was taken from the OECD Report on the state of corporate governance in Turkey in 2006.

Much has changed since then! The Turkish Commercial Code (TCC), which entered into force in July 2012, provides new standards regarding establishment and governance of commercial companies, and new principles that comply with international corporate governance and auditing standards, such as international trade, finance, industry, and transparency of companies in terms of accounting and financial reporting.

In addition, after the enactment of Capital Markets Law at the end of 2012 which introduced substantial amendments to the functioning of Turkish capital markets, the rules and procedures regarding corporate governance principles and related-party transactions for public companies have been renewed accordingly. Borsa Istanbul (BIST) is one of the five exchanges that signed the foundation document of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) in 2012. Since then, BIST has been active in corporate governance and sustainability initiatives and supports the sustainable finance ecosystem by introducing new sustainability-themed products and serving as a strategic facilitator of sustainable growth in Turkiye. With its strong organization structure, inclusive national and international partnership approach and goal-oriented collaborations; Integrated Reporting Association Turkey (ERTA); as the official national association founded with the aim of enabling companies to report their non-financial information in an appropriate manner with financial information; has set its sights on “Integrated Thinking Approach” and been contributing effectively to the corporate governance studies and the related regulatory framework in Turkey since 2015.

In this recording, you will find out more about the recent developments and  planned future goals.



Prof Guler Aras

Prof. Dr. Guler Aras

Founding Chair- Integrated Reporting Association Turkiye (ERTA) Founding

Director- YTU Center for Finance, Governance & Sustainability (CFGS)

Professor Guler Aras is an academic, a civil society leader, and a researcher who leads key studies on finance, corporate governance, corporate sustainability, and integrated reporting. She is a professor of Finance and Accounting at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul, where she served as the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Dean of the Graduate School for many years. She spent a year as a visiting professor at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business in Washington DC.


She has founded the Center for Finance Governance and Sustainability (CFGS) and she also started the ground-breaking initiative on Integrated Reporting Association Turkey (ERTA), where she is still founding chair. Professor Aras is the author of more than 25 international books. She contributed to more than 300 articles in international journals and conferences and carried out numerous granted international projects. She is also the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Capital Market Studies, and Editor of Routledge’s Finance Governance and Sustainability Book Series. Professor Aras is the founder and board member of numerous national and international professional and academic organizations and a member of the Accountancy Europe Corporate Governance Task Force. She has spoken extensively at professional and academic conferences and has served as a consultant to several governmental and commercial organizations such as Minister of Development, Minister of Finance, Undersecretary of Treasury, and Minister of Labour and Social Security Employment in Turkey. She also serves as a board member of Turkish Capital Markets Association. Professor Aras writes a newspaper column.


She is the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) Ambassador and known as the ambassador of governance, sustainability and focuses on the education of the next generation of academics and business leaders who could promote sustainable solutions for societal and corporate challenges. She has been crowned one of the most inspirational women in Turkey for 2020.

Güzhan Gülay

Executive Vice President of Borsa İstanbul

Güzhan is an experienced Stock Exchange Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. He is skilled in Capital Markets, Project Management, Business Planning, Analytical Skills, Banking, and Stock Market Infrastructure.  


After graduating from the Faculty of Business Administration of Istanbul University in 1993, Güzhan completed Ziraat Bank Banking School and worked as a specialist in the Capital Markets Directorate of the same bank. He joined the Borsa İstanbul family as an assistant specialist in the Equity Markets Directorate in 1995, became a specialist in 1998 and a manager in 2014 in the same department. He was appointed as the Business Development Director in 2018 and as the Precious Metals and Precious Stones Director in 2019. He has acted in many projects by taking fundamental positions in designing, configuration, testing, legislation and development for the improvement of the markets and infrastructure of Borsa Istanbul.


After his master’s and doctorate education, he acted as a visiting lecturer for a year at the City University of London Cass Business School and taught part-time at various universities.

Hale Oruç

Head of Authorization and Surveillance Group of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey

Other than being the head of the Authorization and Surveillance Group and the Capital Markets Board of Turkey, Hale is a part-time corporate governance lecturer at İstanbul Ticaret Üniversitesi and has been for the last number of years.


Hale’s main areas of responsibility currently include:

  • organising and setting regulation on squeeze out and sell out procedures,
    corporate governance, related party transactions, M&A, material events and
    appraisal rights procedure and tender offers; and
  • examining and finalizing applications on mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs,
    tender offers, corporate governance, articles of association, employee
    stock ownership, and the registered capital system.


Hale has also held the roles of:

  • Senior Specialist, in the Corporate Finance Department and Accounting Standards Department of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey; and
  • Specialist in the Project Finance Department of the T.C. ZIRAAT BANKASI A.S. where she also graduated from Banking School Magna Cum Laude.


Hale was awarded her PhD in Finance and Accounting by Gazi Üniversitesi. She has received her MSc in Finance from City University London Cass Business School; MSc in Finance and Accounting from the Gazi University and her Bs Management from Hacettepe University. 

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