A native of Ayvalık, a seaside town in Balıkesir Province on Turkey's northwestern Aegean coast, Atilla Özmen played football since childhood and, in 1998, at the age of 10, was already a regular at Istanbul youth club, Küçükköy Belediye, where he remained until 2002, when a move, for the 2003–04 season, was arranged to İnegölspor club in nearby Bursa. The following three seasons (2004–07) were spent at Izmir's club Altay S.K., which has the same jersey colours (black and white) and with which he maintained good relations. In 2007, he was one of the players traded between Altay and Beşiktaş on loan. For Bank Asya 1. Lig 2008-09, he joined Altay back again.