Hoş geldin Ilgaz!

Sıdıka Ilgaz Duman joins us as visiting professional. She grew up in Istanbul and she is a Turkish-qualified lawyer. Ilgaz studied law at the Istanbul Bilgi University, with a minor in international trade and business.

During her studies, she was involved in several projects related to international dispute resolution. She was part of a group of students representing Turkey for the first time in international mediation competitions organized by the ICC and ADR ODR International. Her team won the ADR ODR International Mediation Competition in 2022. Following this, she pursued further training in mediation and eventually became Turkey’s youngest mediator accredited by the Singapore International Mediation Institute.

Over the years, she built a focus on maritime law, compliance and finance law. In her senior year, she worked in compliance roles at Mercedes Benz Finansal Hizmetler and DF Advocates Law Firm. She completed her mandatory internship at AKT Law Firm, primarily focusing on resolving maritime and insurance disputes through litigation and arbitration.

Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s degree at Humboldt University in Berlin in International Dispute Resolution.

We look very much forward to working with Sıdıka Ilgaz Duman and have so many questions…


What was your first job?

A waiter in a café in a beautiful neighborhood of Istanbul! It was a very nice experience because I had the opportunity to meet and talk with many Turkish celebrities whom I had watched on television. I am still in touch with some of them!


Breakfast or dinner?

I’ve gotten used to the Turkish breakfast culture, where people spend hours together eating different dishes in one meal. So definitely breakfast!


What do you cook when you spontaneously have friends over for dinner?

Stuffed meatballs and pasta with home-made pesto sauce.


Mountains or Seaside?

Since my childhood, I spent my summers in my mother’s hometown Kyrenia, Cyprus.  The sea holds a special place in my heart. There are so many activities that can be done by the sea, and it’s a very calming view!


If you could meet someone famous, dead or alive, who would it be?

I am sure that many young Turkish people would give the same answer to this question. I would definitely like to meet Atatürk, the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, who saved the country from a very difficult situation with a great sense of nationalism and loyalty. I would be eager to tell him about all the achievements of the Turkish youth.


Which was your favorite place to live so far?

Since my mother is from the island of Cyprus and I did my internship on the island of Malta, I had the chance to experience island life quite a bit. Although it always gives me positive energy with its warm climate and cheerful people, I am a city person at heart! While I am still young, I would like to live close to restaurants, cinemas and the city center where life is the most active.  That’s why I think Vienna is the best place to live when you are young. When I’m older, I would love to live on the island of Bozcaada in Turkey and enjoy the sunshine while drinking homemade wine!


Digital or analogue?

I think everything that is digitalized takes us away from naturalness. For example analog cameras capture a memory as it is because you don’t have the opportunity to think about how you look in the photo. So, my anwer is analogue.


Favorite time of day?

Around 10:00 in the morning. Because the sun is out and almost everyone is awake, it’s the most energetic time of the day.


Window or aisle seat?

I prefer to sit by the window because it makes me excited to see the country/city I am going to from above. (Also, it is much easier to sleep in the window seat!)


Country you wish to visit?

Since I was 4 years old, the answer to this question has not changed: Egypt!


What song will always get you on the dancefloor?

I can never resist any song of ABBA.


Good advice you’ve received?

A piece of advice my father gave me: If you can’t have what you love, learn to love what you have.


Biggest pet peeve?

I don’t get along well with crows! There were a lot of crows where I grew up, and some of them would be very aggressive and hostile.


Most played on your music playlist right now?

Michael Sembello – Maniac.


Favorite (public) holiday?

23 April, which is National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey. It is the date on which the Turkish Nation declared its sovereignty.


Last new thing you learned?

Around the globe, different nations call the same beverage either “tea” or “chai”.  Last thing I learned is that if tea spread to a country by sea, it is called “tea” in that country. If it is spread by land, it is called “chai”.


Which movie can you watch over and over?

The Shawshank Redemption.


Three words to describe Berlin?

Individualism, grey, welcoming.


Three words to describe your hometown Istanbul ?

Crowded, unique, historical.


Night owl or early bird?

I want to be an early bird, but I am a night owl!


Favorite pizza topping?

Marinara sauce, mushrooms and corn.



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