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Group.png TESEV  
(Think tankWebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
HeadquartersIstanbul, Turkey
Sponsored byCenter for International Private Enterprise, Freedom House, National Endowment for Democracy, Open Society Foundations, World Bank
Membership• Aydın Uğur
• Necla Zarakol
• Ali Çarkoğlu
• Devrim Çubukçu
• Gökhan Gündoğdu
• Mehmet Kabasakal
• N. Kaan Karcılıoğlu
• Mehmet Alp Orçun
• Sedat Şükrü Ünlütürk
• Fatma Nur Ger
• Ferit Bülent Eczacıbaşı
• Recep Yılmaz Argüden
• Tarhan Erdem
• Tavit Köletavitoğlu
• Üstün Ergüder

The Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (Turkish: Türkiye Ekonomik ve Sosyal Etüdler Vakfı, TESEV), based in Istanbul, is Turkey's leading think tank.

TESEV was founded in 1994 to serve as a bridge between academic research and policy-making process in Turkey. It is known for his liberal economic views hostile to state intervention[1] Over the years, it has received significant funding by foreign governments and billionaires.

Foreign Funding

The institution's relations with the Open Society Foundation and the financial support it received in the early 2000s has been a controversial issue in Turkey. According to an interview published in 2008, TESEV's total budget was over 2 million dollars. 400,000 US dollars of this was funded by the Soros' Open Society Foundations, the rest was obtained from (unspecified) local sources.[2]

According to a report published in 2007, the institution was receiving grants from the World Bank and other organizations and between 2005 and 2007, TESEV received funding from the US government, via its regime change front organizations Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Center for International Private Enterprise; and the DCAF (Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces),the European Institute and the Open Society Institute, for use in research and development activities.

It receives funding from the Vehbi Koç Foundation. from the Bilderberg-active Koç familiy.[3]

Its membership include over two hundred people from academicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, managers, industrialists, journalists, union leaders and various professionals.


The Economic and Social Studies Conference Committee was founded in 1961 under the leadership of Dr Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı pioneered not only the establishment of free discussion platforms about various topics, but also put serious effort in assisting the decision-making bodies by organizing conferences, panels and meetings as well as through its publications.

It decision to change it into a think-tank by the name of the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) was taken in 1994. In its own words, "it is a thought production center established to conduct research to establish a link between findings based on scientific research and policy decisions, to organize conferences, open sessions, round tables for the broadest dissemination of free thought and knowledge".

From its establishment in 1994 until 2004, TESEV produced significant reports on poverty, economy and sectorial policies. In the beginning of 2004, by slightly altering its study fields, TESEV decided to reorganize its studies under three headings: Democratization, Good Governance and Transparency, Foreign Policy[4].

At the Regular General Assembly which took place in February 2015, a new Executive Board was elected to TESEV, and a new research team was established. During this period two new working areas were introduced, namely Social Inequalities and Inclusion, Sustainable Development; and studies began to be concentrated on urban governance and gender equality.

It organizes conferences in cooperation with the German foundations Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung[5] and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung[6].

Its board member Baybars Örsek is also Director of Poynter's International Fact-Checking Network.



Center for International Private Enterprise
Freedom HouseCIA backed group interested in internet censorship
National Endowment for DemocracyThe "traditional intermediary of the CIA", promoting the US "national interest" by "soft power".
Open Society FoundationsA NGO operating in more countries than McDonald's. It has the tendency to support politicians (at times through astroturfing) and activists that get branded as "extreme left" as its founder is billionaire and bane of the pound George Soros. This polarizing perspective causes the abnormal influence of the OSF to go somewhat unanswered.
World Bank


Known Participant

1 of the 15 of the participants already have pages here:

Üstün ErgüderRector of Bosporus University, Board Member of the Vehbi Koç Foundation