Leyla Arsan

CEO – leyla.arsan@tages.biz

Born in 1966, graduated from the Middle East Technical University Statistics Department. CEO of TAGES since 2002 with ICT business and innovation knowledge and experience for 30 years in various industries. Expert in preparing, partnering, managing, assessing and reviewing EU funded R&D and Innovation Projects, innovation management, consulting and collaborating with industry, academia, NGOs, and mainly SMEs and Start-Ups. Innovation Consultant in ICT based innovative application and services on Smart Cities, Open and Linked Data, Interoperability, Big Data, IoT, AI and Blockchain. She is very active in European Communities of Big and Open Data, ICT, Digital Social Innovation and Open Innovation platforms. Contributor in academic studies on innovation and part-time instructor at EU master program. Data enthusiast managed European Open Data and Smart City and sustainability projects and became an adviser in smart city projects. Established the Digital Society Watchdog Group in line with the European Digital Single Market. She is on the advisory board of various academic and non-profit groups in Turkey and Europe. She is still active in mentoring to Start-Ups and entrepreneurs with a certificate from EMCC (European Mentoring & Coaching Association) Awarded by TUBITAK and Ministry of Development for EU innovation projects successes several times and certified as Technology and Innovation Auditor by TUBITAK and certified as Technology Foresight expert by UNDP. Member of NEM, NESSI European Technology Platforms and ODI (Open Data Institute) and DSI (Digital Social Innovation Initiative).Active partner of the Plastic Twist Blockchain based circular economy platform. She is one of the founders and Member of Board of Istanbul Blockchain Women Association.

She speaks natively Turkish and Italian, excellent in English and poor in French and Japanese

Aslıhan Kağnıcı

Projects Consultant – aslihan.kagnici@tages.biz

She graduated from Yıldız Technical University, Department of Statistics. She is currently continuing her master’s degree in Economics at Galatasaray University. She worked as an intern at Deva Holding in June 2008, at Turkish Statistical Institute in July 2008 and at TAGES from August 2008 to June 2009. She worked as an Assistant Consultant at TAGES between 2009 and 2012 and she has been working as a Projects Consultant at TAGES since 2012. She has 7,5 years of expertise in EU Framework Programme Projects, CIP ICT Policy Support Programme, Life Long Learning Programme, EUREKA and EUROSTARS and other European R&D, culture and civil society development funds. She has participated in several EU project workshops and networking events both in Turkey and EU. She is experienced in project management and coordination and on preparing financial EC reports.

She speaks native Turkish, fluent English and intermediate Italian.

Hikmet Barutcu

Coordinator – hikmet.barutcu@tages.biz

Born in 1964. She graduated from Hacettepe University’s Economics Department in 1985 and has got her Master’s degree from the same university in Banking and Capital Systems and its relationship with enterprises. Between 1986 and 1990, she did economic research studies on the Manufacturing Industries of Ankara at the Ankara Chamber of Industry and served as a Consultant to the Board. Between 1990 and 2000, she worked as a branch manager of the Yapı Kredi Investment Securities Company in Ankara. She is currently working on entrepreneurship, employment policies, social innovation, regional development, clustering and innovation as an expert consultant with certification from  Ankara University on European Union policies. She is also interested in civil society development funds and projects. She has a wide network of business oriented NGOs and clusters both in Turkey and in the EU and she has very close relations with them. She is a member of Entrepreneural Business Women and Support Association (ANGIKAD) and Technology R&D Science Innovation Association (TABID). She has been working as a Coordinator at TAGES since 2003.

She speaks native Turkish and is fluent in English.

Erdem Gülgener

Consultant – erdem.gulgener@tages.biz

Born in 1966 in Istanbul, he graduated from the Bogazici University Computer Engineering Department. Since 1988 worked in ICT sector as a professional and entrepreneur, developed and managed numerous products and projects, reaching more than 1 million power users. Besides his ICT management skills (Product Development, Quality and Test Management, Product Marketing, New Business Development) he is in worldwide research and innovation since 1995, planned, developed and managed joint research projects including projects funded by European Union research Funding Programmes since EU FP5. He is an expert in Supply Chain Execution, Business Interoperability and Integration, Social Networks, Value Chain Management, eBusiness, eCommerce, Virtual Enterprise, Digital Market, Banking Transactions, Enterprise Application Integration, SME Needs. Besides being member of Istanbul ICT Watchdog Group, he is also one of the experts in European Digital Agenda Localization in Turkey Project responsible for Digital Single Market and Interoperability and Standards pillars.

He speaks native Turkish, fluent English and German, and beginner’s French.

Aslı Tezcan, PhD

Brussels Representative – asli.tezcan@tages.biz

Expert in vocational qualification systems. Played a leading role in adaptation of European Qualification Framework, developing the vocational qualification system in the construction sector in Turkey, involving the development national qualifications. Specialized in the adaptation of the qualifications of the Turkish Labour Force to the EU standards. Holder of a PhD that is based on the same topic (“Analysis of Labour Market Needs of Turkish Construction Sector) and authored an article ‘Solutions for the Labour Market Problems with the Accessions Process to the EU and Reflections to the Construction Sector’ published in 2016. Written projects proposals on the topic for EU funds and implemented these projects. In the context of these projects, acted as liason to the EU Ministry, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour, Vocational Qualification Authority, The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and several NGO’s.  Along with the above subjects, she has extensive working experience on TS EN ISO/IEC 17024 standards. She took active role in the process of accreditation of certification organisations. This role included: Preparation of the quality manual based on TS EN ISO/IEC 17024, Documentation of the complete certification system, Followed related training programmes such as quality control system, auditing, and conformity assessment and representing the certification body successfully at audits done by the accreditation agency. As the Brussels Representative of TAGES, she develops partner relations, EC and EU institutions relations and provides networking and project development support.

Eda Telli

Project Based Expert – eda.yamamoto@tages.biz

Born in 1993 in Istanbul, she graduated with high honors from Boğaziçi University Management Information Systems department. She is currently doing her PhD on digital marketing in Maltepe University, previously she lived in the UK for two years for her PhD in management studies firstly at Brunel University London in 2016 and at University of Bradford in 2017. While she was in university, she was an intern at TAGES in April 2014 working for the Hackathonist Event. She also had internships at gHealthcare in August 2014, at Enocta in August 2015, and at Alterna Team in March 2016. She volunteered as the social media coordinator and part-time secretariat for ECIS 2016 Local Committee. She received First Prize in history subject of (Marmara Region) TUBITAK National Secondary School Research Projects Contest with the project named “Müzelerde Hayat Var” in 2011. She was also granted the “Prime Minister Scholarship” due to the high-performance in the Higher Education Examination-Undergraduate Placement Examination in Turkey during her university years. She is currently working as a freelance expert at TAGES and interested in new technologies, innovation, marketing, and event management. She studied a wide range of subjects such as; object oriented programming, marketing and management, business data communications, database systems, information systems audit, and research methodology.

She speaks native Turkish, fluent English, intermediate Japanese, and beginner German.

Selen Akçalı

Independent Consultant – selenakcali@som.eu.com

Born in 1981 in Istanbul, she graduated from the Saint-Michel French High School. She completed her BA degree at Marmara University, Department of Political Science and Public Administration. She fulfilled the International Exchange Programme of European Studies in Sciences-Po Paris. She received her master’s degree from the Political Science and International Relations Department of Bogazici University. She received her PHD degree in history at Bogazici University. Her PHD thesis is on the propaganda activities of Turkey during the Single- Party Regime (1931- 1946) from a comparative approach. She took part in research studies on EU communication strategies, European lobbying, the role of European think tanks and new type of European Civil Society Organizations. She has experience of FP Programs and worked as expert in FP6-VERITAS and FP6-EASIER Projects and she is active on project proposal preparation and management to EU programmes. She is a member of Bogazici University Alumni Association and KA-DER (Supporting and Training Woman Candidates Association).

She speaks native Turkish, fluent French and English, and beginner’s Spanish.

Prof. Oğul Zengingönül

Independent Consultant – ogul.zengingonul@gmail.com

Born in 1966 in Ankara, he graduated from Gazi University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences,  Business Administration Department.  He started his academic life in the year 1990 in Dokuz Eylül University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences as a Research Assistant. He received his master’s degree with his thesis named ‘’University-Industry Collaboration within the Framework of European Community Comett Program’’ from Dokuz Eylul University in 1992. Between 1993 and 1995, he conducted studies for his doctorate thesis in the University of North London and he completed his doctorate degree in 1998. Both of his mastre and doctorate theses were published as books. In the year 2005 he received the title of Associate Professorship with his book named ‘’Globalization: On the Axis of Poverty, Development and Labour Markets’’. He has more than 20 published articles, papers in many national and international conferences and four published books. He has also experience on FP and EU Programs based project proposal preparations.

He speaks native Turkish, fluent English and French.

Prof. Gonca Telli Yamamoto

Independent Consultant – goncatelli@superonline.com

She had been a Professor in the School of Applied Sciences at Okan University, Turkey where she also founded and directed Okan University Distance Education Center at. She teaches, consults and conducts research on mobile and integrated marketing, and new learning technologies in business. Her minor is Technology Management. She has been studying integrated marketing, technological developments and customer value for more than a decade in the academic field. She is also interested in broader implications associated with the emerging information society. She has written some books and chapters in sales, integrated and mobile marketing, IT Ethics and e-Learning. She has written more than 100 articles and more than 5 books and other academic works.

Arzu Altınay

Independent Consultant – altinar@yahoo.com

Born in 1968 in Ankara, she finished T.E.D. Ankara College and completed her BA and MA in English Literature at Hacettepe University, Faculty of Letters. She is currently working as a freelance Language Lead for a global brand. She has over +25 years experience working as translator, interpreter and localization expert. Her main fields of expertise are law, travel, EU projects. She is bilingual (TUR-EN) and dabbles in a bit of Spanish, French and Dutch. She joined TAGES team in 2014 as an independent consultant.

Özbil Tezcan

Project based consultant – ozbiltezcan@gmail.com

He was born in Ankara in 1964. He was graduated from Middle East Technical University Department of Engineering Sciences. He had lived long years in United States as an Independent contractor in industrial service field and owned and managed his own food and drink establishment. He moved back to Istanbul in 2015 and since then he is working as a free-lance consultant in innovative business and marketing sector. He joined TAGES team in September 2018 as a project based consultant.  He speaks fluently English as well as Turkish.

Acro (Acrobat)


Born in 24th of April, 2003 on the submission date of an FP6 ICT project and passed away during the pandemic period on 31st of August, 2020 the last year of Horizon2020. Acro served as the team motivator of TAGES for 17 years. She gave energy with her dynamic personality during the working hours. Her name remains as one of the symbols of TAGES.