Koç Holding A.S., one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates, used to tap a lot of firms for its corporate work. Not anymore. Since working with Yüksel on the privatization of Bulgaria’s state-owned telecom company in 2004, it has almost exclusively used her team for M&A—even though the firm doesn’t have an office in Turkey. Recently she led the $3.4 billion sale of Koç’s stake in Turkish retailer Migros Türk, the country’s largest-ever private equity deal. In 2010 she also helped The Carlyle Group, L.P.’s MENA fund—a client she won for the firm—acquire a stake in Turkey’s second-largest health care services company. Yüksel, a native of Turkey, relocated from New York to Dubai in 2007 to help the firm reenter the region; being a woman running the firm’s Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey office out of Dubai is “interesting,” she says. “I can’t attend certain meetings and have to cover up during others. It’s an added challenge.”