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.

Academic Advisor


Assoc. Prof. Emre Erşen, Editor

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.

 

Diplomatic Staff


 

Sibel Erkan, Deputy Director General

Sibel Erkan received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Ankara University, Political Science Faculty. Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1992 she worked in various institutions in public sector. In the MFA, she served in the Deputy Directorates General for the Consular Affairs, International Organizations, Protocol and Bilateral Economic Affairs, covering the European and Balkan countries, Russian Federation, Caucasus and Central Asia. During her foreign assignments, she served in Naples, Baghdad, Zagreb, Ljubljana, also as Consul General in Burgas/Bulgaria, and recently as DPR at Permanent Mission of Turkey to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

In addition to the foreign policy developments within the scope of the countries where she served, her interests within the realm of Council of Europe include relations with Turkey and the reform process of international organizations.

Yasin Temizkan, Head of Department

Yasin Temizkan earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and public administration from Middle East Technical University. He holds a master’s degree in strategic and defence studies from University of Malaya, where he is currently undertaking doctoral studies.

Having joined the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2004, he held several positions at the Ministry’s Middle East Department and Directorate for Information Technologies, as well as at the Turkish missions in Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, Batumi and Nicosia.

His areas of interest include cybersecurity, cyberwarfare, e-government, cross-border cooperation, regional integration, and Cyprus issue, among others.

 

Nuh Naci Başer, Second Secretary

Nuh Naci Başer received his bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Communication Engineering from Yıldız Technical University. He began his diplomatic career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992. He worked at the Turkish Embassy in Riyadh, Rome, Zagreb, Sofia and Turkish Consulate in Jeddah.

His interests include regional issues related to the Middle East and the Balkans.

 

 

Semih Erkan, Second Secretary

Semih Erkan received his bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Yıldız Technical University. He earned his master’s degree in Mathematics from Georgia Southern University, served as teaching assistant at the same time. He began his diplomatic career at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2011, worked in Human Resources Department and had a post at the Turkish Embassy in Kuwait.

His interests include political and socio-economic structures of Gulf countries and Middle Eastern security issues.

 

Mehmet Zeki Günay, Third Secretary

Mehmet Zeki Günay received his B.A. in International Relations from Bilkent University, M.A. in Eurasian Studies from the Middle East Technical University (METU), and Ph.D. in International Relations at METU. He studied Russian at Orel State University in the Russian Federation. Before joining the MFA, he worked at various universities as research assistant and assistant professor.

His research interests include the Eurasian region, Russian foreign policy, International Organizations, theories of International Relations.

 

Traje Tanrıkulu, Third Secretary

Traje Tanrıkulu received her B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Boğaziçi University and her M.Sc. in Development Studies from London School of Economics. She has been working at SAM since August 2019.

Her research interests include international organisations and refugee issues.

 

 

Oğuzhan Kılınç, Decedent

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

 

 

 

 

Administrative Staff


 Mustafa Şenol, 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, 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 Kayserili, 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, 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, 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, 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.