Prof. Dr. Bülent ARAS, Chairman
Bülent Aras received his B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University in 1994, and his Ph.D. in International Relations from the same institution in 1999. He was a visiting scholar at Indiana University’s Center for Eurasian Studies in 1998, Oxford University’s St. Anthony’s College in 2003 and a research scholar at the Paris-based European Union Institute of Security Studies in the summer of 2004. He became a full professor in 2006 at Işık University. He was Senior Visiting Professor of Turkish Studies at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford in 2010. He taught at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences of Istanbul Technical University before he was appointed as the chairman of the Foreign Ministry’s Strategic Research Center (SAM). He has been at this post since November 2010. He is also academic advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He has had 13 books published abroad and at home. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers and have been translated into several languages. Prof. Bülent Aras has been focusing on Turkish Foreign Policy, Middle Eastern Politics, and Central Asia, and as an expert in these fields he has done consulting work for numerous organizations. Prof. Aras’ writings include Palestinian- Israeli Peace Process and Turkey (Novascience, 1998), New Geopolitics of Eurasia and Turkey's Position (Frankcass, 2002), Turkey and the Greater Middle East (TASAM, 2004) and, as co-editor, Oil and Geopolitics in the Caspian Sea Region (Praeger, 1999), and September 11 and World Politics (FUP: 2004). His articles have appeared in Middle East Policy, Journal of Third World Studies, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Third World Quarterly, Political Science Quarterly, International Journal, Futures, Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, Mediterranean Quarterly, Nationalism and Ethnic Policy and Central Asia/Caucasus. His articles have been translated into Persian, Russian and Arabic. He wrote a weekly column on foreign policy at Sabah daily in 2009 and 2010. He is editor-in-chief of Perceptions and founding editor of Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations. He serves on the editorial boards of Turkish Studies, Journal of Balkans and Near Eastern Studies, Insight Turkey, Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, and Central Asia/Caucasus, International Law and Politics, Orta Asya ve Kafkasya Araştırmaları, Ortadoğu Etüdleri, Stratejik Öngörü.
Prof. Aras organized a series of conferences on several issues relating to Turkish foreign policy, security in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and became a member of several congressional scientific committees. He contributed to the establishment of the Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies (ASAM) and the Center for Turkish-Asian Strategic Studies (TASAM). He is a member of the international Board of Directors of the International Centre for Black Sea Studies. He provided consultancy for organizations such as Oxford Analytica, Microsoft, and Human Rights Watch.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mesut ÖZCAN, Deputy Chairman
Mesut Özcan received his B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Marmara University in 2000 and his M.A. in 2002 from the same institution. He defended his dissertation at the Boğaziçi University Atatürk Institute in 2007. He studied at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University on the Jean Monnet Master Scholarship in 2005-2006.
He worked as a research assistant at Beykent University between 2000-2005. Özcan was a visiting scholar at Kuwait University’s Department of Political Science in 2009. He worked at Istanbul Ticaret University’s Department of International Relations as an Assistant Professor between 2007 and 2011. Dr. Özcan joined SAM of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as deputy chairman in September 2011. He is also an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He has written three books: Sorunlu Miras Irak (Istanbul: Küre, 2003), Harmonizing Foreign Policy: Turkey, the EU and the Middle East (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), and Medeniyetler ve Dünya Düzen(ler)i, Mesut Özcan ve Muzaffer Şenel (ed), (Istanbul: Klasik, 2010). He has published articles and book chapters on Turkish Foreign Policy, Middle Eastern Politics and Iraq. He serves on the editorial boards of Insight Turkey, Divan and Perceptions.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selçuk ÇOLAKOĞLU, Advisor
Dr. Colakoglu received his B.A. from the Department of International Relations at Ankara University in 1995, obtained his M.A. from the Department of International Relations at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara in 1997, and completed his Ph.D. in the Department of International Relations at Ankara University in 2003. His dissertation was about the Northeast Asian security system. Recently, he worked as a visiting professor at the Department of Turkish Studies of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) in 1999 and 2000 in Seoul, South Korea. While currently working as an Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at Yıldırım Beyazıt University in Ankara, Turkey, he is also an advisor for the Center for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey.
Dr. Colakoglu is a member of the Turkish Association of International Relations and an assistant editor of the Turkish Journal of International Relations. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Central Asian & Caucasian Studies, the Ankara Review of European Studies, and Perceptions. His research interests include political and security issues in international relations, particularly in East Asia and Central Eurasia, and Turkish Foreign Policy. He also contributed to the studies on the Asia-Pacific region of the International Strategic Research Organization (USAK).
He has published two books and thirty articles and book chapters. His books are: Northeast Asia in International Relations (in Turkish, Ankara: USAK Press, 2009); Korean Society, Culture, Politics (in Turkish, Ankara: Orion Press, 2008). His published articles have been on international security, European and Asian politics and Turkish Foreign Policy, and he has published in journals including: Asian Communication Research, China Media Research, Studia Europaea, Studia Regionalia, Journal of Central Asian & Caucasian Studies, the Turkish Yearbook of Asia-Pacific Studies, and the Ankara Review of European Studies.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ferhat PİRİNÇÇİ, Advisor
Dr. Ferhat Pirinççi received his B.A. from the Department of International Relations at Uludag University in 2001. After obtaining his M.A., he completed his Ph.D. with the dissertation on armament in the Middle East at Uludağ University’s Institute of Social Sciences in 2010. He worked as a research assistant at the same University between 2002-2010. While currently working as an Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at Uludağ University in Bursa, Ferhat Pirinççi joined SAM as an advisor in 2012.
Dr. Pirinççi has written two boks entitled Tarih Yeniden Yazılırken: Saddam Hüseyin (Ankara: Platin, 2008, with V.Ayhan), and Orta Doğu’da Silahlanmanın Küresel ve Bölgesel Güvenliğe Etkisi, (Bursa: Dora, 2010) and published several articles and book chapters on the Middle East, Turkish foreign policy and U.S. foreign policy.
Assist. Prof. Dr. Murat YEŞİLTAŞ, Advisor
Dr. Murat Yeşiltaş received his B.A. in International Relations from Sakarya University in 2003 and his M.A. on the subject of humanitarian intervention and critical theory from the same University. He completed his Ph.D entitled ‘Locating Turkey: Geopolitical Mentality and The Military in Turkey’ in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Marmara University in 2012. He worked as a visiting researcher at Lancaster University, UK, between 2008-2009 and a visiting scholar at the Virginia Tech State University, Graduate School of Government and International Affairs, US, between 2010 and 2011. He works currently as an Assistant Professor in the Depatment of International Relations at Sakarya University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on critical geopolitics, political peography, and comparative foreign policy analysis.
Murat Yeşiltaş’s areas of research are critical geopolitics, political geography, Turkish foreign policy and the Middle East. His articles on Turkish politics and international relations has been published in various academic journals including Middle East Critique, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Perception: Journal of International Affairs, International Relations, Jeopolitik, Bilgi and Akademik Orta Doğu. Dr. Yesiltas is currently working on the following book and resarch projects; Locating Turkey: Geopolitical Mentalities in Turkey (2013), Turkey, Geography and Geopolitics (Edit) (2013) and Intra-Societal Security Dilemma in Turkey (Sakarya University).
Dr. Yesiltas organizes Crisis and Critique Conferences relating to Turkish internal and external politics at Sakarya University. He is also the assistant editor of Bilgi and Book Editor of Middle East Annual.
Özcan GÜLTEKİN, Third Secretary
A career diplomat joined the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 2010. He received his B.A. from the Department of Business Administration of the Middle East Technical University. He served as an inspector at the Turkish Petroleum Company in 2008. He worked at the Undersecretariat of Treasury as an Assistant Expert at the General Directorate of Foreign Economic Relations from 2009 to 2010. Prior to his assignmet at SAM, Özcan Gültekin served as Third Secretary at Deputy Directorate of Multilateral Economic Relations until 2011.
Fatih TEDİK, Third Secretary
A graduate from the Department of Political Sciences and Public Administration, Bilkent University, Fatih received his MSc in State, Society and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Joined the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 2011, he still pursues his PhD studies at the Department of Sociology, University of Birmingham.
Türkan DAĞDEVİREN, Third Secretary
Türkan Dağdeviren received her B.A. in Business Administration from Hacettepe University in 2006. She worked as an Assistant Expert at the Undersecretary for Defence Industries between 2007 and 2010, and Foreign Trade Expert at the Ministry of Economy for 2 years. She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012 as a career diplomat and serves as a Third Secretary at SAM since August 2012.
Engin KARACA, Expert
Engin Karaca received his B.A. in International Relations from Bilkent University in 2006. He works as an expert at SAM since 2009. Besides his contributions to the daily work of the Center, Engin Karaca is the Managing Editor of Perceptions: Journal of International Affairs and the responsible officer for the publications of SAM.
Engin Karaca is fluent in English and German.
Leyla ÇELİK, Officer
Leyla Çelik received her B.A. in Elemantary Science Education from the Middle East Tecnical University. She started her public service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2009 at the Undersecretary’s Chief of Cabinet Office from where she was appointed Prof. Dr. Bülent Aras, Chairman of SAM.
Gamze KAPUAĞASI, Officer
She received her BA in Political Science and International Relations from Yıldız Technical University in 2008. Following her graduation she started to work as a developement trainee at AIESEC in Cracow, Poland. Gamze Kapuağası worked at various NGO’s from 2009 to 2011 where she then joined the Department of Information Technologies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was appointed as the assistant to Deputy Chairman Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mesut Özcan at SAM in 2012. She continues to attend Media and Communication courses at Anadolu University.
Serkan RAZİ, Officer
Serkan Razi received his B.A. in International Relations from the Faculty of Political Science at Ankara University in 2008. He started to work as an officer at SAM in 2012.
Candan ÇETİNKAYA, Officer
Candan Çetinkaya received her BA from the Department of Landscape Architecture, Ankara University and from the Department of Bussiness Administration, Anadolu University in 2000 and 2006, respectively. Candan Çetinkaya started her public service at the Kırşehir Special Provincial Administration in 2009. She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012 and serves at SAM as the officer responsible for the archive and documents.