Sabancı University, Istanbul


Professor Senem Aydın-Düzgit

Senem Aydın-Düzgit

Senem Aydın-Düzgit is a Senior Scholar and the Research and Academic Affairs Coordinator at Istanbul Policy Centre and a Professor of International Relations at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Sabancı University. She was previously a Jean Monnet Chair of EU Political and Administrative Studies in the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University. Her main research interests include European foreign policy, Turkish foreign policy, discourse studies and politics of identity. She holds a Ph.D. from Vrije Universiteit Brussels, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a BA from Boğaziçi University. Her articles have been published in the Journal of Common Market Studies, West European PoliticsCooperation and Conflict, Politics, South European Society and PoliticsAlternativesInternational Relations, and Politique Européenne. She is the author of (with Alper Kaliber) Is Turkey De-Europeanising?, (with Nathalie Tocci) Turkey and the European Union, and Constructions of European Identity. She is a member of the ECFR Council, a board member of the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM), a member of the Global Relations Forum (GIF) and a member of the Carnegie Rising Democracies Network. She also serves as the Associate Editor of South European Society and Politics. She was awarded the Young Scientist Award of Turkey’s Science Academy (BAGEP) in 2014 and was admitted as a Fellow of the Young Academy of Europe (YAE) at the beginning of 2020.

Professor Berk Esen

Berk Esen

Berk Esen is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Sabancı University, Turkey. He received his PhD in Government from Cornell University in 2015 and was an IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow in the Center for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. His research interests include the political economy of development, party politics and authoritarian regimes with a focus on Latin America and the Middle East. His research has appeared in Party Politics, Journal of Democracy, Third World Quarterly, Government and Opposition, Armed Forces & Society, PS: Political Science & Politics, South East European Society and Politics, Journal of Near East and Balkan Studies, Mediterranean Politics, Middle East Journal, Turkish Studies and Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. Berk is the recipient of the Sakıp Sabancı International Research Award for his work on democratic backsliding in Turkey and Hungary and the Turkish Science Academy Young Scientist Award (BAGEP).

Professor Ayşe Kadıoğlu

Ayşe Kadıoğlu

Ayşe Kadıoğlu has been a Professor of Political Science at Sabancı University since 1998. She was the Acting President of Sabancı University (2016-2018) and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabancı University (2013-2017). She was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, Sakıp Sabancı Centre for Turkish Studies during the 2019-2020 academic year, and is also a member of the Advisory Board for this centre. She was a Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy (2019-2020), and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s Minda de Gunzburg Centre for European Studies (2018-2019). She has a PhD in Political Science from Boston University; an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago; and a B.S. in Political Science from the Middle East Technical University. She has been a regular participant in Yale Law School’s ongoing annual Middle East Legal Studies Seminar since 2004. She is one of the Advisors for the online network Free Speech Debate. She served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Istanbul (2013-2018), a member of the Executive Board of the Education Reform Initiative at Sabancı University (2013-2018), and a member of the Executive Board of the Istanbul Policy Centre, Stiftung Mercator Initiative (2016-2018). She was a deputy member of the Board of Directors of the Hrant Dink Foundation in Istanbul (2011-2015). She was a Visiting Scholar and Senior Associate Member at St Antony’s College, Oxford University in 2005 and 2010. She was a member of the Advisory Board of Bucerius PhD Program in Migration Studies, Zeit Stiftung (2010-2013). She was a member of an Advisory Group of Council of Europe and co-authored a report titled Living Together: Combining Diversity and Freedom in 21st Century Europe in 2011. Her fields of research are migration and citizenship studies, new authoritarian regimes, comparative nationalisms, political ideologies in Turkey, early twentieth century liberal thinkers in Turkey, women and Islam, Turkish secularism, memory, and democracy.

Professor Fuat Keyman

Fuat Keyman

Fuat Keyman is the Director of the Istanbul Policy Centre; Vice President for Institutional Affairs and Social Impact, and Professor of International Relations at Sabancı University. He is a leading political scientist in Turkey and an expert on globalisation, democratisation, international relations, Turkey-EU relations, Turkish foreign policy, and civil society development. He is a member of the Turkish Science Academy. In 2013, he was awarded the Strategic Vision Award for Scientists by TASAM (Turkish Asian Centre for Strategic Studies). He has worked as a member on the Council of Wise People as part of the Peace Process to the Kurdish issue. He also serves on advisory and editorial boards for a number of respected international and national organisations as well as for academic journals. Additionally, he is a member of the scientific advisory boards for the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP) and The Global Centre for Pluralism. He has been the research director for various projects, such as Peter Berger and Samuel Huntington’s Many Globalizations; Strengthening Checks and Balances in Turkey (SIDA, Sweden); Enacting European Citizenship (European Council Framework 7 Project); Mapping Civil Society in Turkey (CIVICUS); and received a prestigious grant on urbanisation from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. Since 2002, as well as his academic work, Keyman has been sharing his ideas and analysis of Turkey in a global context through various newspaper columns and TV programs. He is the author and editor of more nearly thirty books.

Professor Meltem Müftüler-Baç

Meltem Müftüler-Baç

Meltem Müftüler-Baç is Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and a Professor of International Relations/Jean Monnet chair at Sabancı University. She is a graduate of Robert College, received her B.A in Political Science from Boğaziçi University, and her M.A and Ph.D. in Political Science/International relations from Temple University, USA. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1996, and Full Professor in 2004. She worked at Bilkent University from 1992 to January 2002; as a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago (1999-2000), Affiliate Professor at University of Stockholm (2013-2016), and visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Perry World House, (2019-2020). She joined Sabanci University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in 2002. Professor Müftüler-Baç has authored books including Diverging Pathways: Turkey and the European Union, Re-Thinking the Dynamics of Turkish-European Union Relations and Interparliamentary Cooperation:  Parliamentary Cooperation and Diplomacy in EU external relations (with Kolja Raube and Jan Wouters). Her publications have appeared in numerous international outlets.  She participates in EU funded large scale collaborative research projects in Framework programs and received numerous grants from the EU both for research and teaching. Professor Müftüler-Baç holds two prestigious awards from the Turkish Academy of Sciences: the Young Social Scientist Investigator Award in 2002, and the Distinguished Young Scientist Award in 2003. She was awarded with the Jean Monnet Professor ad personam title from the European Commission in 2004. 

Professor Oya Yeğen

Oya Yeğen

Oya Yeğen is an Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabancı University. She received her PhD in Political Science from Boston University in 2016 with her dissertation on politics of constitutional change in Chile and Turkey. She has previously taught at Okan University, Simmons College and Boston University. She teaches courses that lie at the intersection of politics and law. Her research interests include politics of constitution-making, judicial politics and health politics. Dr. Yegen was the recipient of Dr. Yavuz Abadan Constitutional Law Award in 2015. Her work has been published at the Southern European Society and Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development among others.


Samet Apaydın

Samet Apaydın

Samet Apaydın is a PhD student in Political Science at Sabancı University. He is also a research assistant in Sabancı University’s Political Science and International Relations program. His primary research interests include migration governance, electoral effects of migration, terrorism, and quantitative research methods. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations. In his master’s thesis, entitled ‘The Role of Refugee Flows and Porous Border in Shaping Voting Behaviour,’ he analysed the effects of the recent refugee crisis in Turkey on local citizens’ voting behaviour. He is planning to continue his work on the intersections of migration and voting behaviour as well as party politics in Western European countries.

Ali Baydarol

Ali Baydarol

Ali Baydarol is interested in studying EU-Turkey affairs within EU politics. Specifically, in the past he has worked on the privatisation issue within the EU (both in his master’s thesis and in his published articles) with a particular emphasis on the Slovenian case. He has also conducted research on the voter turnout decisions in the EP elections.

Seyma Koç

Seyma Koç is a PhD student in Political Science at Sabancı University. Her current research topics include democratisation, authoritarianism, populism, and local governance. She is currently studying the unfair competition in Istanbul as the opposition has been facing continuous impediments from the AKP since they gained control, and the strategies the opposition-controlled municipality develops to maintain the capacity to produce new projects. Seyma graduated from Boğaziçi University’s Political Science and International Relations department and then received her master's degree from Sabancı University. She wrote her MA thesis about liberal parties in Europe and the factors affecting their emphasis on human rights and freedom.

Ersagun Kocabaş

Ersagun Kocabaş

Ersagun Kocabaş is a PhD student in Political Science at Sabancı University. His research interests lie primarily in civil–military relations, peace operations, and foreign policy making. His dissertation project focuses on the effect of UN peacekeeping troop deployments on civil–military relations in sending states. Building on the previous literature, it investigates how these contributions affect coup-proofing strategies adopted by sending state leaders with respect to post-deployment coup risk that varies across political regimes on the basis of profits made from UN peacekeeping reimbursements. Ersagun holds a BA from Marmara University and an MSc from SOAS University of London.

Samer Sharani

Samer Sharani

Samer Sharani is engaged in studying ontological security at the collective, (inter)national and societal level and at the individual level. Besides that, he also studies agonism as a wide concept, especially concerning topics such as agonistic peace, agonistic liberalism, and agonistic democracy. Refugees’ home returns are a secondary phenomenon he conducts research on.  He focuses on the Syrian civil war, Central Asian national buildings, democratisation in some countries, and the EU’s migratory policies to apply, test, and develop the theoretical frameworks depicted above.

Elif İnci Ünal

Elif İnci Ünal

İnci Ünal is a PhD student at Sabancı University, as part of the department of Political Science. She is also a Research Assistant at Beykoz University in the department of Political Science and International Relations. She studies Political Theory and Comparative Politics. Her current research interests revolve around climate politics, climate justice, science and democracy, and deliberative democracy. İnci received her BA and MA in Political Science from Galatasaray University and Sabancı University respectively. In her MA thesis she focused on the governance of a speculative climate geoengineering technology that is currently under research, called Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI). She argues for establishing a global Citizens’ Assembly for the democratic governance of SAI.