The Economic and Social Studies Conference Committee 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. By the 1990s, as the dynamics of the period indicated the need for new endeavors which would go beyond the previous ones, similar initiatives aiming to develop policy recommendations based on research findings were introduced in various universities and NGOs. Since this need for change and innovation necessitated the establishment of a new organization built upon the rich experience and intellectual capital of the Conference Committee, the decision to turn the Economic and Social Studies Conference Committee into a think-tank by the name of the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) was taken in 1994.

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.

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. In this very era, where production and dissemination of information is heavily influenced by technological advancement, TESEV’s data based digital policy tools that are developed for supporting better urban policy are emphasized.

Since 2012, TESEV’s scores on best think-tanks, and think-tanks with the most public policy impact, both regionally and worldwide, are very high. TESEV’s score is the highest among think-tanks in Turkey.