Staff

Chairman

Dr.Ufuk ULUTAŞ

Chairman

Ufuk Ulutaş received his B.A. in Political Science and Public Administration from Bilkent University and his M.A. in Middle Eastern History from The Ohio State University. He completed his Ph.D. in International Relations at Ankara YBU. He studied Hebrew and Middle Eastern politics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He worked at the Ohio State University between 2002-2010 as a research/teaching assistant at the Department of History; as the Samuel M. Melton Fellow as well as George M. & Renée K. Levine Fellow at the Melton Center for Jewish Studies; and as a research assistant at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

He taught World History at The Ohio State University between 2006 and 2009. Dr. Ulutaş served as the Middle East Program Coordinator at SETA Foundation’s Washington D.C. office, and as a founding board member at the Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Policy Studies. He worked at the SETA Foundation in Ankara as the Director of Foreign Policy Studies and lectured at the Social Sciences University of Ankara’s Department of International Relations as an assistant professor. He is currently the Chairman of the Center for Strategic Research (SAM) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He authored many books, book chapters, articles and policy-oriented reports on Middle Eastern history and politics, Israel and Jewish history, Turkish foreign policy and US policy in the Middle East. He is the author, most recently, of “The State of Savagery: ISIS in Syria” and serving on the editorial board of the Perceptions journal. His academic interests include Syria, Palestine, Israel and violent non-state actors in the Middle East.

Prof. Emre ERŞEN, Editor

Editor of Perceptions

Emre Erşen is an Associate Professor at Marmara University’s Department of Political Science and International Relations. He completed his PhD at the same department. He also conducted research at University of Kent (United Kingdom), Higher School of Economics (Russia), Institute for Human Studies (Austria) and Jagiellonian University (Poland) as a visiting scholar. His research interests include Turkish foreign policy, Turkish-Russian relations, Eurasianism, Caucasus, Central Asia and geopolitics. He has presented papers in various international conferences and published articles in academic journals including Geopolitics, Energy Policy, Turkish Studies, Insight Turkey and Journal of Eurasian Studies.


Prof. Giray SADIK

Editor of SAM Papers

Prof. Giray SADIK is Chair in the Department of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science and Director of European Studies Research Center, both at Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey. Previously, he was Eisenhower Fellow at NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy, and Swedish Institute Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Global Political Studies at Malmö University, Sweden. Prof. Sadık received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Georgia, USA, specializing in International Relations and Comparative Politics. His current research focuses on international security, Transatlanic relations, hybrid threats, counterterrorism, European security and foreign policy, border and maritime security. Among his various international publications, his book Europe's Hybrid Threats: What Kinds of Power Does the EU Need in the 21st Century? was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK. Prof. Sadık is among the members of the Expert Pool of the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats. Recently, Prof. Sadık was elected as 2022-2023 Steering Committee Member of the OSCE Network of think Tanks and Academic Institutions.

Assoc. Prof. İsmail Erkam Sula

SAM Diplomacy Simulation

İsmail Erkam Sula is a faculty member at Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Department of International Relations. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from Bilkent University. His main research areas are scientific research methods, foreign policy analysis, international relations theories, active learning techniques. He has various academic publications, seminars, and conference papers in these fields. His postdoctoral research project conducted at Harvard University Institute for Quantitative Social Science titled Foreign Policy Analysis and Quantitative Research Methods was supported by TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye) in 2018-19. Between 2022-25, he will lead a Jean Monnet Module project titled GRADEU that focuses on creating a dataset on the governance of global risks. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sula has been coordinating the design and implementation of diplomacy simulations carried out within the Center for Strategic Research of the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2021.

Alper Aktaş

Alper AKTAŞ

Diplomatic Staff / Deputy Director General

Alper Aktaş earned his B.A. degree in International Relations from Middle East Technical University. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001. In Ankara, he held several positions in Deputy Directorate General for the Northeastern Mediterranean and Directorate General for Bilateral Economic Affairs, Deputy Directorate General for Relations with Iraq, Office of the Chief Foreign Policy Adviser to the President, and Deputy Directorate General for Overseas Promotion. During his foreign assignments, he served in the Turkish Embassies in Baghdad, Paris and London, as well as in the NATO Defence Collage in Italy. He was also appointed as the Consul General to Plovdiv and New York. He holds a Master’s Degree and speaks English, French and Italian. He is married and has a child.

His areas of interest include the Middle East, Iraq, Syria, Iran and sectarian conflicts.


Sarp SARSAR

Sarp SARSAR

Diplomatic Staff / Third Secretary

Sarp Sarsar received his B.A. degree in Political Science and International Relations from Boğaziçi University. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Türkiye in November 2021 and he has been working at the Center for Strategic Research since then. Before joining the MFA, he worked as research assistant at Boğaziçi University.

His research interests include the United Nations System, international security, and Türkiye-US relations.


Sinan DEMİRDÜZEN

Diplomatic Staff / Ataache

Sinan Demirdüzen received his B.A. degree in International Relations from Bilkent University. He spent one semester of his undergraduate education at the University of Limerick in Ireland, within the scope of Erasmus Exchange Program. He earned his master's degree in International Relations from TOBB University and he is a PhD candidate at the Kırıkkale University in the department of International Relations. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Türkiye in November 2020 and he has been working at the Center for Strategic Research since then. Before joining the MFA, he worked as assistant specialist in private sector and as research assistant at Kırıkkale University.

His research interests include theories of International relations, foreign policy analysis, American foreign policy and Turkish foreign policy.


Oğuzhan KILINÇ

Diplomatic Staff / Decedent

Oğuzhan Kılınç took office in SAM between July 2018 to February 2019. He passed away on 12 February 2019.

Mustafa ŞENOL

Administrative Staff/ Expert

Mustafa Şenol received his associate’s degree in Business Administration from Kırıkkale Vocational School of Ankara University in 1985 and bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Anadolu University in 2009. He began his career at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988 and took office at the Cabinet of the Minister, Deputy Directorate General for Protocol and Directorate of Information Technologies. He worked at the Turkish Embassy in Amman and at the Consulate General of Alexandria during his foreign assignments.


Osman KORKMAZ

Administrative Staff/ Officer

Osman Korkmaz received his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Abant Izzet Baysal University. He began his career at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2011. He worked at Directorate General for Protocol, Deputy Directorate for Maritime, Aviation and Borders. He worked also at the Cabinet of Prime Minister between 2016-2018.

His interests include Ethnicity and Nationalism, as well as Caucasus region.


Büşra KAYSERİLİ

Administrative Staff/ Officer

Büşra Kayserili received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Selçuk University in 2014. She continues her master in Sociology in Necmettin Erbakan University. She began her career at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2016 and took office at the Cabinet of the Minister.

Among her academic interests are Political Sociology as well as Historic and Ethnic Sociology.


Ebru TOPÇU

Administrative Staff/ Officer

Ebru Topçu received her bachelor’s degree in Faculty of Languages History and Geography, Department of Information and Records Management from Ankara University in 2010. She began her career at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2011 and took office at Directorate of Diplomatic Archives.


Hacer Sümeyra ARSLAN

Administrative Staff/ Officer

Hacer Sümeyra Arslan received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Kırıkkale University. She began her career at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2011. She worked at Deputy Directorate General for Cultural Diplomacy, Internal Audit Unit and Deputy Directorate General for East Africa.


Erdal DOĞAN

Administrative Staff/ Officer

Erdal Doğan received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Hacettepe University. He began his career at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1990 and took office at the Directorate General for Information.