Author List

  • Abdennour Toumi

    Abdennour Toumi is a journalist and a North African Studies specialist who received his PhD in Political Science from Toulouse University in France. His articles have been published by many outlets, and he has featured in reputable media channels including Daily Sabah, TRT World and BBC Turkish. He worked as a lecturer in the Department of Middle East and North African Studies at the Portland Community College, and was a member of the Portland State University Center for Middle Eastern Studies. His focus is on issues such as the socio-political mutations of North Africa; the role of Turkey in this region; the problem of immigrants, and the interactions of the North African diaspora in France.
  • Umud Shokri

    Umud Shokri is a Washington-based Senior Foreign Policy and Energy Geopolitics advisor. Author of “US Energy Diplomacy in the Caspian Sea Basin: Changing Trends Since 2001”, he served as a Visiting Research Scholar in the Center for Energy Science and Policy (CESP) and the Schar, School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and advisor at Gulf State Analytics (GSA). In this role, he oversees work on managing the geopolitics of energy and climate change, ensuring a just transition for workers and communities, and equipping US foreign policy and the multilateral system to deal with climate change and the energy transition. Umud holds a Ph.D. in International Relations. His primary research interest lies in energy diplomacy, energy transition, US energy policy, the geopolitics of energy, Iran-Turkey relations, Iran-Russia relations, the Caspian Sea region, Central Asia and the GCC. He has fifteen years of extensive professional experience in global energy market studies, energy security and geopolitical risk. He has published articles in various academic journals including Energy and Environment, Energy Intelligence, Middle East Policy, National Interest, Oil and Gas Journal, Springer, Palgrave Macmillan Publishing and appeared on the various media outlets, including Al Jazeera, SkyNewsArabia, TRT World, Deutsche Welle, Anews, BBC Persian, Iran Int TV, and several others.
  • Bassam Barabandi

    Bassam Barabandi is a former Syrian diplomat and the co-founder and Director of External Relations for People Demand Change. He has worked in the diplomatic service of the Syrian Government for 14 years before leaving the Syrian Embassy in Washington DC in 2013. He has a BA in political science and public administration. Barabandi has written extensively on the Syrian conflict and has had work published in journals such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, MEI, The Atlantic Council, and The Atlantic. He has conducted interviews with BBC, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, Sky News, France24 and other media outlets.
  • Ali Bakir

    Ali Bakir is a Research Assistant and Professor at Ibn Khaldun Center for Humanities and Social Sciences. He is following geopolitical and security trends in the Middle East, great power politics, small states' behaviors, and emerging unconventional risks and threats with a special focus on Turkey’s foreign and defence policies, Turkish-Arab and Turkey-Gulf relations. He writes regularly for several Arabic, English, and Turkish platforms, and he has contributed to English-language outlets including Al-Jazeera English, Middle East Institute, The Atlantic Council, Carnegie Endowment MEC, Al-Monitor, and TRT World. He tweets @AliBakeer.
  • Rich Outzen

    Rich Outzen is a senior U.S. Army advisor and a member of the State Department Policy Planning Staff. He has previously served as an instructor at the National Defense University, where he taught courses on strategy and the Middle East. He specializes in Middle Eastern political, military, and security affairs, and in the foreign policy of the US.
  • Ismail Sari

    İsmail Sarı graduated from the Department of History at Istanbul University in 2001 and received his master's degree in History and International Relations from the same university in 2003-2005. Receiving the best doctoral dissertation award in 2016, Sari served as a post-doctoral researcher at Columbia University between 2018 and 2019 and as a visiting professor at the Missouri State University during his studies in the United States. Sarı's research focus concerns Iranian foreign policy, the contemporary Shiite secularization process, the intellectual roots of the regime and opposition in Iran, and contemporary Iranian and US politics. Sari is currently working as a lecturer at Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University.
  • Ismail Numan Telci

    Ismail Numan Telci is the Editor-in-Chief of MENA Affairs. He is also the Deputy Director and Gulf Studies Coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM) and an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Middle East Institute (ORMER) at Sakarya University. Telci is the author/editor of four books: Dictionary of Egyptian Revolution (2014), Egypt: Revolution and Counter-Revolution (2017), Egyptian Foreign Policy Since the Revolution: From Search for Change to Quest for Legitimacy (2019), Gulf Foreign Policy: Dependency, Interventionism, Neutrality (2021). His research focuses on the politics and foreign policy of the Gulf region, Egyptian politics, and Arab revolutions and social movements. He has contributed to various international media platforms such as TRT World, Al Jazeera, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Le Monde and Xinhua.
  • Gokhan Ereli

    Having graduated from Kırıkkale University’s International Relations Department in 2014-2015 with the highest CGPA in his graduating class, Ereli enrolled in the Middle East Technical University (METU) International Relations Master’s with thesis program in 2015. He earned his master’s degree with the thesis titled “The impact of American exceptionalism on US foreign policy.” Currently, he continues to study on his dissertation as a PhD Candidate in International Relations at Middle East Technical University (METU). At the same time, Ereli works as the Gulf Studies Coordinator at Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM), and is interested in the Gulf (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar) and American foreign policy. His academic interests are Middle East in world politics, identity politics, post-positivist IR theories, contemporary French philosophy, religion and nationalism.
  • Mehmet Alaca

    Mehmet Alaca is an academic researcher focusing on Iraq, regional Kurdish politics, and Shia militias in the Middle East. He is currently an Ankara-based diplomatic correspondent and a non-resident fellow at Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM). Mehmet holds an MA from the Department of Politics and International Relations of the Middle East at Exeter University in the United Kingdom. Twitter: @mehmtalaca
  • Hamidreza Azizi

    Hamidreza Azizi, Ph.D., is an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. He was an assistant professor of regional studies at Shahid Beheshti University (2016-2020) and a guest lecturer at the department of regional studies at the University of Tehran (2016-2018). On Twitter: @HamidRezaAz
  • Navvar Saban

    Navvar Şaban is a conflict analyst and expert at Omran Center for Strategic Studies and a non-resident researcher at ORSAM. He is a MBA holder from the Australian University of Wollongong in Dubai. He holds a Bachelor in Computer Science from the American University in Dubai, and a diploma in Military Studies from İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim Üniversitesi in Istanbul. His field of interest is Syria, specializing in Iranian influence in Syria, focusing on their militia activity in the military, economy, and at the administration level.
  • Tallha Abdulrazaq

    Dr Tallha Abdulrazaq is an award-winning researcher at the University of Exeter's Strategy and Security Institute, specializing in military operations and counterterrorism." His Twitter handle is @DrTalAbdulrazaq.
  • Ismail Yasa

    Ismail Yaşa graduated from the Faculty of Hadith of the Islamic University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia, and from the Faculty of Economics of Anadolu University in Turkey. After living for almost 19 years in Saudi Arabia, he returned to Turkey in 2014. He is currently working as a columnist for the newspaper Diriliş Postası. His articles, which are in Arabic, are published on the website of the Al Jazeera and Al Arab. He continues to write Arabic articles about Turkey for the site Arabi 21.
  • Enes Canli

    Enes Canlı is a journalist focused on Middle Eastern and North African affairs. He worked as a stationed correspondent for Anadolu Agency in post-coup Egypt, Qatar, Lebanon, and Tunisia. He covered many critical events in the region such as the Al-Aqsa protests in Jerusalem, the 2019 Algerian uprising against Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Khalifa Haftar's attacks to capture Tripoli, and the Beirut Port explosion.
  • Liqaa Maki Al Azzawi

    Liqaa Makki is a Senior Researcher at the Al Jazeera Center for Studies in Doha, Managing Editor of the Center's Lubab Peer-Reviewed Journal. Apolitical and a strategic analyst, Makki is interested in issues and crises in the Middle East, and relations between its countries. He possesses a PhD in Mass Communication, and he has worked as a professor of journalism at the universities of Baghdad and Qatar. He is also a journalist and executive producer for several newspapers and Al Jazeera. Makki has done a lot of research and studies on media and political issues, and he is a writer of articles and columns.
  • Sami Hamdi

    Sami Hamdi is the Managing Director of the International Interest, a global risk and intelligence company. He advises governments on the geopolitical dynamics of Europe and the MENA region, and has significant expertise in advising companies on commercial issues related to volatile political environments and their implications on market entry, market expansion, and managing of stakeholders. Sami is also featured as a commentator on English, Arabic, and French media including Aljazeera, Sky News, BBC, TRT, Sputnik, and other outlets.
  • Muharrem Hilmi Ozev

    Dr. Muharrem Hilmi Özev is a political scientist interested in studying Geopolitics, Conflict Resolution, Energy Security and Gulf Affairs. Dr. Özev graduated from the Marmara University's IR department. He received his master's degree from Yıldız Technical University, Turkey and doctoral degree in the Institute of Middle Eastern and Islamic Countries at Marmara University, Turkey. Currently he is teaching at the Political Science and International Relations Department of the Faculty of Economics in Istanbul University. He follows the developments in Turkey and the Gulf countries and works to improve understanding and cooperation at academic and social levels. He also writes and comments on Turkish and Gulf affairs on national and international platforms.
  • Mohsen Shariatinia

    Mohsen Shariatinia is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the National University of Iran (Shahid Beheshti) and is a political economy fellow at the Institute for Trade Studies, in Tehran. His research and teaching work is mainly focused on Iran’s Asia policy and evolving ties between East and West Asia.
  • Mehmet Rakipoglu

    Mehmet Rakipoğlu completed his undergraduate degree in the Department of International Relations, Faculty of Political Sciences at Sakarya University. Rakipoğlu, who has been continuing his PhD in the field of the Middle East Studies at Sakarya University's Middle East Institute since 2017, has been working as a Research Assistant in the International Relations Department of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Batman University from 2019 onwards. He has written many opinion papers, analyses and reports for national and foreign media and think tanks. His research interests include the foreign policy of the Gulf countries, Turkey’s Gulf Policy and political Islam, social movements in the Middle East, the relation between religion and politics, etc.
  • Mursel Bayram

    Mürsel Bayram is an Associate Professor at the SSUA Institute for Area Studies. He completed his doctorate at Kırıkkale University's International Relations program. His focus covers the African continent, with a specific focus on the Horn of Africa and North Africa, as well as the role of international actors in the region.
  • Bilgay Duman

    Bilgay Duman is a Middle East specialist at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM). He has been carrying on his doctoral study at Abant İzzet Baysal University's Department of International Relations since 2011. He wrote his postgraduate thesis on “The Turkmen and Kirkuk in post-Saddam Period”. His articles and interviews have been published in various media agencies and organizations, and in national and international press. In addition to a great number of conferences he attended, he has frequently carried out field studies in the Middle East, and also he took part in international watchdog teams and served as a UN electoral watchdog during the elections in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Khattar Abou Diab

    Khattar Abou Diab is a Franco-Lebanese political scientist, geopolitical consultant, specialist in Islam and the Middle East, and Professor of International Relations at Paris Sud University.
  • Tarek Cherkaoui

    Dr. Tarek Cherkaoui is the Manager of the TRT World Research Centre. He has extensive experience in strategic management, research, and consultancy across international media, tertiary education, and the creative industries. He is an expert in international media and strategic communications, and holds a Ph.D. in Media and Communication Studies from the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. His research interests include international broadcasting, media discourse, international news framing, information warfare, public diplomacy, soft power, nation branding, image management, crisis communication, and political and military affairs – specifically within the MENA region. He has put forward several publications, including ‘The News Media at War: The Clash of Western and Arab Networks in the Middle East’ (2017).
  • Recep Yorulmaz

    Recep Yorulmaz is an economist with research and teaching experiences in public economics, public finance, fiscal policy, and Islamic finance. His current research interests focus on the topics of middle eastern economies affiliated with ORSAM. He has various papers published in national and international refereed academic journals and non-academic analyses under ORSAM.
  • Shireen T. Hunter

    Shireen Hunter is a Research Professor at Georgetown's Walsh School of Foreign Service and is affiliated with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). From 2007 to 2014 she was an ACMCU visiting professor, having been a visiting scholar from 2005 to 2007 working on a project on reformist Islam funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. She previously directed the Islam Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, with which she had been affiliated since 1983. She has also held appointments at the Harvard Center for International Affairs and Brookings Institution. From 1965 to 1979 she was with the Iranian foreign service, serving in London, Geneva, and Tehran.
  • Mustafa Yetim

    Dr. Mustafa Yetim is an Assistant Professor at Eskişehir Osmangazi University. He completed his undergraduate studies in 2009 at Karadeniz Technical University and then received his master’s degree in 2011 from Sakarya University. He finished his Ph.D. in 2016 at Ankara University. He has published several book chapters, articles, commentaries and analyses on topics such as Turkish foreign policy towards the Middle East, Turkey-Qatar relations, Hezbollah, Lebanon, and the Middle East.
  • Umar Karim

    Umar Karim is a Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute London (RUSI). His research focuses on the evolution of Saudi Foreign Policy since the ascension of King Salman and how Saudi foreign policy has been affected by the changing decision-making patterns and power hierarchy within the Kingdom. His other research interests include the politics of the Middle East with topics varying from Saudi-Iran relations, the Syrian conflict, Turkey in the Middle East, and Pakistan’s engagement within the Middle East.
  • Mohammad Pervez Bilgrami

    Mohammad Pervez Bilgrami is a political analyst who follows geopolitical and security trends in the greater Middle East with a particular focus on Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt and the GCC. He has written for various platforms and his work has also been translated into several languages including French, Spanish, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Albanian, Chinese, Thai and Bahasa Indonesia. On twitter @mpervezbilgrami
  • Turan Gafarli

    Turan Gafarli is a Researcher at TRT World Research Centre. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics from Queen Mary University of London and a Master of Arts in Transnational Studies from University College London. Turan worked as a researcher for Lord German, Treasurer of the Liberal Democrat Party, in the House of Lords whilst also interning at the Turkic Council, the Council of Europe and the United Nations Office in Geneva. His research interests include Eurasia and Transcaucasia, the Turkic World, globalization and the nation-state debate. He also contributed to the book entitled 'Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom – 100 Years of Partnership (2019)' and is the editor of the upcoming book entitled ‘"The Karabakh Gambit: Responsibility for the Future." Turan is also a member of the Chatham House Royal Institute of International Affairs.
  • Watheq Al-Sadoon

    Watheq Al-Sadoon is the Director of the Arabic Studies Department and an Iraq Studies expert at ORSAM. He holds a Ph.D. in History of International Relations and a Master's degree in Strategic and Military Science. His research is concentrated on Iraqi affairs, security strategies and the security dimension in international relations. He wrote the books titled: "Weakness and Strength Factors in Iraqi-Turkish Modern Relations" and "The security dimension in contemporary Iraqi-Turkish relations." His joint books are: "Political Decision Making in the Arab Gulf Countries," "Studies in Contemporary Caucasus History" and "Iraq and Arab Gulf Countries." He has more than 30 research paper published in Iraqi, Arab and Turkish journals and tens of articles published in periodicals, newspapers and websites. He obtained a research fellowship and scholarship to cover a research program from the Institute of International Education (IIE) in New York in 2014-2017. He is certified as a political analyst at TRT Arabi TV and Anadolu News Agency.
  • Ali Abo Rezeg

    Ali Abo Rezeg is a Palestinian-Turkish researcher and journalist. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University. He has a master’s degree in International Relations from the Eastern Mediterranean University. He also has two books under publication. He is currently working as a chief correspondent (publisher, analysis writer) for Anadolu Agency and as a columnist for Daily Sabah. He has papers, opinions, and features published in Insight Turkey, Journal of Iranian Studies, Al-Jazeera, Peninsula, and the Middle East Monitor.
  • Sertac Timur Demir

    Sertaç Timur Demir is a Turkish academic and researcher currently working as an Associate Professor in the Department of Radio, Television, and Cinema at Gümüşhane University. He completed his BA in Communication and Film Studies in 2007 in Anadolu University. He received his master’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies at Lancaster University, where he also obtained his PhD in Sociology. He has six books and more than fifty articles published in magazines and journals such as Middle Eastern Analysis, SETA, Politics Today, Human Studies, Human and Society, Beytulhikme, and TRT Akademi. His research interests cover cinema, media discourse, modernity, digital culture, and time/space philosophy.
  • Rena Netjes

    Rena Netjes is an Arabist who focuses on governance and security issues in northern Syria. Netjes used to be a correspondent in Egypt and Libya. Her writings and bylines have appeared in outlets such as The New York Times, De Telegraaf and Atlantic Council.
  • Arda Mevlutoglu

    Arda Mevlutoglu holds a BSc degree in Astronautical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University and Master's degrees in Science and Technology Policy Studies and in International Relations from Middle East Technical University. His research focuses on aerospace and defense technologies, defense policies, and regional security issues.
  • Omer Behram Ozdemir

    Omer Behram Ozdemir is a Levant Studies Expert at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He received his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Canakkale 18 March University, and was awarded a master’s degree in International Relations by Sakarya University where he is pursuing a PhD. From 2011 to 2020, he worked as a Research Assistant at Sakarya University at the Middle East Institute and the Faculty of Political Sciences. He has authored articles, book chapters and analyses on the Syrian civil war, non-state armed actors and foreign fighters.
  • Halil Kursad Aslan

    Halil Kursad Aslan has been working as an Economic Studies Expert at ORSAM since 2020. He graduated from the METU Department of Political Science and Public Administration in 1994. He completed his Master's program with a thesis at Marmara University in 1999 and received his second Master's degree in Political History and International Relations. He received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at Kent State University in Ohio in 2011. Dr. Aslan, who was an Assistant Professor at Eskisehir University between 2011-2015, has been giving lectures in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Istanbul Medipol University since 2015. Dr. Aslan's main research areas are international political economy, foreign policy and global politics.
  • Seher Bulut

    Seher Bulut graduated from the Department Software Engineering at the Vienna University of Technology in 2009 and her master's degree in the Department of Information Management from the same university. She completed her Ph.D. degree with a dissertation titled "Turkey and Israel's foreign policy after 2000: A role theoretical comparison" in the Department of International Relations at Selçuk University in 2018. Between 2010 and 2016, Dr. Bulut conducted research on her dissertation topic in the Departments of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Münster in Germany. Dr. Bulut's interests in research include Turkish foreign policy, Israeli foreign policy, developments and policies regarding the Syrian crisis, the Turkish diaspora and integration in Europe, etc. Bulut is currently working as a lecturer at Ankara Medipol University.
  • Ibrahim Karatas

    Dr. Ibrahim Karatas is a political analyst and journalist who specializes in Turkish foreign policy, the Middle East and security.
  • Muhammad Soliman Al Zawawy

    Dr. Muhammad Al Zawawy is currently working as a lecturer at the Middle East Institute, Sakarya University, Turkey, and was a head of the International Relations unit at Arab Center for Humanitarian Studies, Cairo, Egypt, and worked as a non-resident researcher at Al Bayan Center for Research and Studies, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He authored and co-authored number of books, among which are “Sea of Fire: Rise of Dispute Catalysts in the Eastern Mediterranean”, “Egypt’s National Security: Challenges of Regional Environment after the Arab Spring”, and “Islamist in Egypt: Readings in their Classifications, Doctrines and Practice”. He obtained his Ph.D. from Middle East Institute, Sakarya University, with the thesis titled: “Geopolitical Transformations in The Middle East and Their Impact on Regional Coalition Building”, and his Master’s degree from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, with the thesis titled: “Security Issues in The Turkish European Relations and Its Impact on The Eastern Mediterranean”, and his BA from Faculty of Arts, Cairo University. His academic interests are geopolitics, alliances, Islamism, Eastern Mediterranean gas, and armament in the Middle East.
  • Selcuk Bacalan

    Selcuk Bacalan was born in Kirkuk in 1983 and completed his primary and secondary education in Kirkuk. By winning a scholarship, he graduated from Gazi University’s Faculty of Education and Department of Social Studies in 2008. In the same year, he received a scholarship for a Master’s degree and completed his Master's degree in 2008-2010. He worked as a lecturer at Erbil Salahattin University in 2010-2011 and at Kirkuk University’s Faculty of Education between 2011 and 2015. In 2019, he completed his PhD in the field of national identity at Gazi University’s Institute of Educational Sciences. Between 2020 and 2021, he served as the Vice President of the Turkmeneli Cultural Center, which is affiliated to the Turkmeneli Cooperation and Culture Foundation. Selçuk Bacalan is an academic with research experience in the field of national identity, national culture, immigrants and migration. He continues his studies as a Turkmen Studies Expert at ORSAM.