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Şevket Sabancı First Chance Program
Hayırlı Sabancı English Chance Program
Alumni Program
Esas Sosyal Ecosystem

Esas Sosyal supports Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

4 Quality Education
5 Gender Equality
8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
10 Reduced inequalities
17 Partnerships for the goals
UNDP Special Prize at the 20th Golden Compass Awards
Excellence Award in Leader Communication at the 4th PRIDA Communication Awards
Silver Stevie in Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion Award at the 8th Sustainable Business Awards
Esas Sosyal Board of Trustee Member
Vice Chairperson Esas Holding

Emine Sabancı Kamışlı is a co-founder of Esas and has been serving as Vice Chairperson since 2000. She also leads Esas Social which was established to facilitate sustainable social investment.

Prior to co-founding Esas, Emine served as an executive board member of Aksigorta, Akhayat and Sabancı Holding. Before that, she was the director of commerce at Aksigorta. She started her career at Willis Corroon, a reassurance brokerage company in London.

Emine Sabancı Kamışlı earned her B.S. degree in Economics of Industry and Commerce from the London School of Economics.

Chairperson Esas Holding

Ali Sabancı is Member of the Board of Pegasus Airlines and vice chairperson of Mars Sportif which are part of the Esas Private Equity portfolio. He also serves on the board of Esas Properties.

Ali is one of the co-founders of Esas Social, which was established to facilitate sustainable social investment. He focuses on increasing awareness of entrepreneurship in Turkey. As the president of the Young Entrepreneurs Board in the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), he has led successful projects including Angel Investing Legislation, Global Entrepreneurship Congress, G3 Forum, Global Entrepreneurship Week and TIM Innovation Week - Born Global. He is also an angel investor in more than 25 start-up companies.

Ali is a member of the Turkish American Business Association and the Turkish Family Business Association. In 2018 he was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by the French government for his contributions to economic relations between Turkey and France.

Ali Sabancı earned his M.B.A. degree with a major in International Finance from Columbia Business School and B.A. degree in Politics and Economics from Tufts University.

Member of the Board Esas Holding

Kazım Köseoğlu is the Managing Partner of Esas Real Estate and serves on its investment committee. Also a board member at Esas Holding.

He currently chairs UK network group of Tüsiad (Turkish Industry & Business Association).

Previously, Kazım worked as an investment analyst at F&C REIT Asset Management.

Kazım Köseoğlu earned his M.S. degree in International Finance and Banking from Cass Business School and B.S. degree in Business Economics from Brown University.

Member of the Board Esas Holding

Can Köseoğlu is a member of the Investment Committee of Esas Ventures. Can started his career at Esas Holding’s Food Group, working for various portfolio companies including Gıdaser, Bonservis and Esaslı Group. Can also founded Döner Stop, a fast food chain with eight branches across 4 cities in Turkey and exited the business to TAB Food Investments in 2018.

Can Köseoğlu received a B.A. degree in Economics from Tufts University.

Member of the Board & CEO Esas Holding

Çağatay Özdoğru oversees all of Esas’ business segments including real estate, private equity, venture capital and wealth management, and serves on their investment committees. He is a board member of Esas Properties and various private equity portfolio companies including Pegasus Airlines, Mars Athletic, Korozo and Ayakkabı Dünyası.

Çağatay joined Esas Holding in 2005 as an executive board member. He played a major role in establishing Esas Private Equity where he served as CEO since 2010, until transitioning to his current role in 2019. He led a number of Esas’ private equity investments and exits of various portfolio companies including UN Ro-Ro, Mars Cinema Group and Peyman.

Previously, Çağatay was the president of IT & Telecommunications Investments at Sabancı Holding. Prior to that, he held various positions at France Telecom Group, where he last served as the executive vice president of the REEMEA region. He was also a member of the Global Operating Committee.

In 2020, Çağatay was appointed as the chairman of Turkey - France Business Council at DEIK (Foreign Economic Relations Council) and Independent Board Member of Fenerbahçe Football A.S in 2021. Çağatay is also a member of the Board of Directors at Tüsiad, Turkish Business & Industry Association as of April 2022. Previously, he served as the chairman of Turkey - Sweden Business Council and Turkey - Croatia Business Council, and board member of TBV (Turkey IT Foundation) and TUBISAD (Turkey IT Industry Association).

Çağatay Özdoğru earned his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University, where he received the Hall of Fame Award for Alumni in 2016, and B.S. degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from Istanbul Technical University.


Özlem Akgün Eşmeler, Director of Esas Sosyal, is responsible for developing Esas Sosyal’s programs and managing the corporate communications and corporate affairs processes.

Özlem, who brings 15 years of experience in human resources and training & development, has previously worked at Yapı Kredi Bank and its subsidiaries (2010-2019) in strategic human resources management, training & development, and talent management and also served the training & development projects of Koç Holding and Unicredit. Her prior experiences include various roles in human resources at Akbank and Garanti Bank.

Özlem holds two bachelor degrees; one in public administration from the Faculty of Political Sciences and the other in labor economics and industrial relations from the Faculty of Economics at Istanbul University.

Senior Advisor

Senior advisor Filiz Bikmen has supported Esas Sosyal since its establishment in 2014, including the design process of the First Chance Program, and served as the founding director (2015-2020). Filiz is also a senior advisor to the EMpower Foundation, social investment consultant for various international organizations, and a member of the editorial committee of Alliance Magazine. Previously, she served in the senior management of Sabancı Foundation and the Third Sector Foundation of Türkiye, board member at the European Foundation Centre, and president of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). Prior to stepping into the social investment sector, she worked as a management consultant at global companies, including UBS, Andersen Consulting and Citibank. Filiz has received fellowship for the Richard von Weizscaker Fellowship program of Robert Bosch Foundation and Emerging Leaders Fellowship of the Graduate Center. To date, she has published more than 30 papers. Her recent papers include: Philanthropy Networks: Creating Value, Voice and Collective Impact (WINGS, 2020) and ‘More than the Sum of its Parts: Insights on the Future of European Philanthropy and Social Investment Infrastructure’ (Wider Sense, 2019). Filiz holds a master’s degree in Social and Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.

Programs Manager

Ece Akyel, programs manager at Esas Sosyal since August 2021, entered the field of civil society working as a volunteer trainee at TEGV for nearly four years. She started her professional career in civil society and humanitarian aid. After working as a social interviewer for a year at the Izmir Sustainable Living Center, supported by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation, she served as an event manager tasked with supporting young people to create and implement their social projects as part of the “Together We are Stronger” project supported by the German Agency for International Cooperation. She also worked for the My Future Youth Center, supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, helping young people have access to sustainable employment that fit their skills and interests. Ece holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Dokuz Eylül University (2015) and a master’s degree in sociology from Maltepe University with a thesis on white-collar employees.

Corporate Communications Specialist

Yiğit Gürbüz, corporate communications specialist at Esas Sosyal since October 2020, started his career as a corporate communications officer at AÇEV after completing the Şevket Sabancı First Chance Program of Esas Sosyal. He left AÇEV two years later and transferred to the private sector. He most recently worked at Coşkunöz Holding as a corporate communications specialist serving the corporation and its subsidiaries. Yiğit, who holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and publicity from Akdeniz University, prepared many public relations and advertising projects during his university education and participated in various communication competitions with these projects, winning three awards in these events.

Program Development Specialist

Gülşen Hazal Çatalbaş, program development specialist at Esas Sosyal since September 2022, holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (2015) where she also completed the pedagogical formation program for teaching. Starting during her university education, she worked at various museums and art galleries and then went on to serve as the education officer at ÇEKÜL Foundation’s Knowledge Tree Training Unit where she was responsible for creating and running the training programs on the protection of natural and cultural heritage. She earned her master’s degree in preserving the foundation systems and structures from the department of cultural heritage conservation at Kadir Has University (2020).

Program Development Specialist

Betül Boran, program development specialist at Esas Sosyal since March 2023, graduated from Koç University with a double major in psychology and sociology in 2018. She started her professional career as a program assistant at Koç University’s English Summer School for Children and went on to work as an English language skills teacher at Private Efdal Schools. Betül volunteered in civil society projects, working for the psychosocial development of children and youth starting from her university years and later served as a project specialist at Bir İZ, an association that focuses on community mental health, and then as a content development specialist.