It has been a pleasure and an honor to lead the Center for Strategic Research (SAM), one of the oldest think tanks in Turkey, which is also the only research center that operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. SAM has made great contributions since its establishment in 1995 as a bridge between diplomats and the academic community, under the leadership of distinguished Ambassadors. For the first time in its history, SAM is chaired by an academic by profession during Prof. Ahmet Davutoğlu’s era who, as a distinguished scholar himself, pays enormous attention to intellectual activities. With his encouragement and support, we have been doing our best to make SAM a center of activity for strategic thinking and planning.
SAM has proved its commitment to promoting research in foreign policy issues in coordination with domestic and international scholars, regional counterparts, universities and state institutions that are in need of policy consultancy. In the new era we are determined to turn SAM into a leading institution that celebrates teamwork, not only with SAM staff, but also with those from the scholarly and policy community who are willing to cooperate with us on various projects. Our joint projects with academics from diverse universities, including those in Anatolia, government institutions such as the Office of Public Diplomacy and sister think tanks are concrete examples of our willingness for constructive interaction with as many participants as possible. SAM is determined to bring the academic community and policy makers together more than ever and make a difference in the traditional state-civil society relations.
We consider SAM’s traditional journal Perceptions as our flagship publication. Thanks to the invaluable contributions of our fellow scholars, Perceptions has been becoming a much more credible journal. In addition to an all new and improved Perceptions, we have launched two more periodic publications: SAM Papers and Vision Papers. The former aims to analyze recent foreign policy debates, while the latter will reflect the views of H.E. Prof. Davutoğlu on the issues in his wide agenda. Along with all these, publications of SAM staff appear in several outlets.
Last but not the least; SAM has also been functioning as an educational institution within the Ministry. By means of academic training programs for young diplomats we have been investing in the future of Turkish foreign policy.
I hope you will like our new web site. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or comments. Your feedback is important to us.
Prof. Bülent Aras