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IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellowship Program

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellowship at SWP

Turkey is an indispensable partner for Europe's Foreign and Security Policy. The IPC-Mercator Fellowship program at SWP aims at closing gaps in the research on Turkey and strives to enrich the political debate on Turkey and its region at the German and the European level. The program invites academics from Turkey or with close working relations to Turkey to conduct research while being actively involved in policy consulting. So doing, the IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellows gain insight in policy making in Germany and Europe.

The IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellowship program is funded by Stiftung Mercator.

Project coordination at SWP

Former Fellows

Dr. Mesut Yeğen

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 10/2021 - 09/2022

Dr. Mesut Yeğen was an IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow at German Institute for International and Security Studies (SWP). Before, he was a full time professor at Department of Sociology, Istanbul Şehir University and Department of Sociology, Middle East Technical University.

His research and publications focus on nationalism, nation-building, citizenship, Turkish politics and the Kurdish question in Turkey and the Middle East.

His research project at CATS examined the impacts of recent authoritarianism in Turkish domestic politics and revisionism in Turkish foreign policy on the Turkish state’s understanding of Turkish nationhood.

Dr. Kadri Tastan

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 07/2021 - 09/2022

Dr. Kadri Tastan was an IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow at CATS at German Institute for International and Security Studies (SWP). He is a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Between 2011 and 2017, Kadri was an expert on European affairs, energy, climate change and environmental issues at the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). Alongside the advocacy role of the European affairs, energy, climate change and environmental issues at TOBB, from 2013 to 2015, Kadri was an adjunct professor at the TOBB University of Economics and Technology.

He holds a PhD in Economics and European studies from the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris). Tastan has also been a researcher at the Centre for Studies in International Development, Economics and Social Movements (CEDIMES) in Paris during the preparation of his PhD.

His research focuses on Turkey, Middle East, Turkey–EU relations, Turkey’s relationship with transatlantic partners, European integration, trade, energy and climate change.

His research project at CATS explored the potential and limitations of a possible Turkish - European cooperation on the energy field.

Berk Esen

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 09/2021 - 08/2022

Berk Esen is an IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow in the Center for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).

He received his PhD in Government from Cornell University in 2015 and was also a visiting researcher at Columbia University and Torcuato di Tella University. Before he joined Sabancı University as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, he served as Assistant Professor and Vice Chair at the department of International Relations at Bilkent University.

His research interests include the political economy of development, party politics and authoritarian regimes with a focus on Latin America and Turkey. His research has been funded by the Science and Technology Institute of Turkey (TUBITAK) and published in various political science journals.

Güney Yildiz

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 04/2020 - 09/2021

Güney Yildiz is a journalist and researcher dividing his time between London, Berlin and Ankara. His work focuses on radicalisation and Turkey, the Kurdish Issue and the broader Middle East. Alongside the IPC-Mercator Stiftung Fellowship at the Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, SWP), he was also a journalist with the BBC News in London and a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute (MEI) in Washington D.C. He had advised the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of House of Commons of the U.K. Parliament, as a specialist adviser. He pursued a PhD degree at the University of Cambridge on political mobilisation by armed non-state actors in the Middle East. As a long-time journalist with the BBC News, he broke numerous top U.K. and international stories that have been picked up by other domestic and international broadcasters. He carried out senior broadcast journalist, reporter, producer and presenter roles during his career at the BBC. He was previously a visiting fellowship with the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a pan-European think-tank, where he worked as a specialist researcher on Syria.

Nebahat Tanrıverdi Yaşar

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 05/2020 - 10/2021

Nebahat Tanrıverdi Yaşar is a current CATS Fellow. Before she was an IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow at CATS at German Institute for International and Security Studies (SWP) and has been studying on the topics such as North African politics, foreign policies of North African countries, social movements, the Arab Spring and the transformation processes. Previously, she was a freelance researcher between 2015 and 2020. From 2010-2015, she worked in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM), a non-profit research center based in Ankara. She also worked in PANAROMA, a foreign policy journal as assistant editor, FTN News Agency and the UAE Embassy in Ankara. She holds an MA degree in Middle East Studies from Middle East Technical University and is pursuing a PhD degree at the Department of International Relations at Middle East Technical University on foreign policies of North African countries. Tanrıverdi Yaşar has published many national and international publications so far and contributes to various journals and media outlets.

Prof. Dr. Gencer Özcan

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 09/2020 - 02/2021

Gencer Özcan worked in Marmara University’s Department of Politics and International Relations, as in-structor and faculty member (1983-1999) and Yıldız Technical University’s Department of Politics and International Relations, as faculty member (1999-2009) before he joined İstanbul Bilgi University’s De-partment of International Relations in 2009 as faculty member. He was the Vice President of Turkish Polit-ical Science Association, 2010-2017 and member of the executive board of The Council of International Relations in Turkey (2010-2018). He has been teaching courses on Turkish Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy Analysis and Modern Middle East History. In addition to the issues he covers in his courses, his areas of interest include civil-military relations, foreign and security policy making process in Turkey, disciplinary history of international relations in Turkey and Turkish-Israeli relations.

Dr. Can Kasapoğlu

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 02/2018-04/2020

Can Kasapoğlu is a War Studies and Security Studies scholar and defense analyst. He was Visiting Fellow at several think thanks including the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) in Israel and the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS) in France. From 2015 to 2016, Can Kasapoğlu was a Visiting Research Fellow at the NATO Defense College in Italy. He worked as a Visiting Scholar in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense College in Italy. His research interests focus on strategic weapon systems with a special focus on chemical & biological warfare, missile proliferation and missile defense, hybrid warfare, NATO’s collective defense and cooperative security issues, Turkish and Israeli relations, global and regional military modernization trends and geopolitics.

Galip Dalay

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow  04/2019 - 03/2020

Galip Dalay was IPC-Mercator Stiftung Fellow at the Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (German Institute for International and Security Affairs, SWP) in Berlin, visiting scholar at the University of Oxford (2018- 2019), and non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, Doha Center. Dalay works on the Middle Eastern politics, with a particular focus on Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq, the regional Kurdish politics, and changing patterns of the international powers' involvement within the region. He also works on the question of regionalism and regional order in the MENA region. Besides book and academic publications, his piece has appeared, of others, on Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Project & Syndicate, Newsweek, Le Monde, Al Jazeera, The World Post, Middle East Eye, World Politics Review, and Open Democracy.

Dr. T. Deniz Erkmen

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 08/2018 - 08/2019

Dr. T. Deniz Erkmen is Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations at Ozyegin University in Istanbul, Turkey. Her research interests include authoritarianism, emergency rule, protests and protest repression, globalization, cosmopolitanism and middle classes with a focus on Turkey and Middle East. Her research has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed academic journals. She has also published various op-ed pieces (in Turkish and English) in venues such as Open Democracy and Bianet.

Dr. Sinem Adar

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 08/2017 - 12/2018

Dr. Sinem Adar was an IPC-Mercator Fellow at the German Institute for International Affairs and Security (SWP) during the period 08/2017-09/2018. She has previously held postdoctoral research positions in Germany and the US. Her research interests include minority politics, particularly in the Middle East, nationalism, migration and populism. Her research has appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals and edited volumes. Dr. Adar has also published op-ed pieces (in English and Turkish) that appeared at Jadaliyya, Al Jazeera English, Muftah and Bianet.

Dr. Ayşen Üstübici Önay

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 01/2018 - 07/2018

Aysen Üstübici is an Assistant Professor at Koc University Department of Political Science and Department of Sociology. Her areas of interest are international migration, irregular migration, social and public policy, informal labour market and gender studies. In 2018 she published her book “The Governance of International Migration: Irregular Migrants’ Access to Right to Stay in Turkey and Morocco” (University of Amsterdam), comparring irregular migration regimes from the perspective of state and non-state actors and their impact on migrant incorporation in Turkey and Morocco. Further she conducted two research projects; one on local integration of urban refugees in Istanbul and the other on the wider impact of externalization of border policies. She has published articles in journals like Geopolitics, new perspectives on Turkey, Migration and Development.

Dr. Arzu Yilmaz

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 08/2016 - 10/2018

Dr. Arzu Yilmaz is the Chair of the Department of Politics and Public Policy at the American University of Kurdistan. She was an IPC-Mercator Stiftung fellow at German Institute for International Affairs and Security (SWP) for 2016/2017. She previously served as a lecturer at the University of Duhok in the Department of Political Science. Her research interests include Kurdish Question, Middle East Politics, Migration/Refugee, Nationalism and Gender. She is the author of the book entitled “Atrus’tan Maxmur’a: Kürt Mülteciler ve Kimlgin Yeniden Insasi” (From Atrus to Maxmur: Kurdish refugees (from Turkey) and the new construction of Identity), Iletisim Yayinlari, Istanbul, 2016. Dr. Yilmaz has published frequently as a columnist for the Turkish daily addition Radikal 2, and Birikim focusing on the Kurds and Middle East politics.

Dr. Ioannis N. Grigoriadis

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Senior Fellow 09/2016 – 08/2017

Dr. Ioannis N. Grigoriadis is Associate Professor and Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Bilkent University and Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP). He has taught at British, Greek and Turkish universities and has held research positions in Germany, Greece and the United Kingdom. His research interests include European and Middle Eastern politics, nationalism, energy and democratisation. He has authored two books, “Trials of Europeanization: Turkish Political Culture and the European Union” (London & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and “Instilling Religion in Greek and Turkish Nationalism: A ‘Sacred Synthesis’” (London & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). His research work has appeared in numerous academic journals. He also has been a columnist for the Greek daily Kathimerini and for the Turkish daily Taraf.


Alida Vračić JD

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 08/2015 - 12/2016

Alida Vračić is the director and co-founder of Populari, a think tank established 2007 in Sarajevo. Prior, she worked with the European Stability Initiative (ESI) in Istanbul on judicial and economic issues of Turkey in the frame of Turkey’s EU membership process. At the Human Rights Centre of Sarajevo University she run Balkan-wide projects in the fields of justice and judiciary, the institution of the ombudsman and the role of bar associations. She also worked for the State Court Prosecutor's team at the Human Rights Commission within the Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Hercegovina.


Dr. Zülfukar Çetin

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 10/2014 - 09/2015

Dr. Zülfukar Çetin is currently a lecturer at the Alice Salomon Hochschule. Additionally he acts as elected member of the Migration Council (RfM) Berlin and of the Federation of Turkish Associations in Berlin and Brandenburg (TBB).
Prior to his Fellowship at SWP he did research in close cooperation with Sabanci University Istanbul. During his Fellowship he was invited by the (German) Federal Agency for Family and Civil Society (BAFzA) to act as expert witness in the realms of right wing extremism, racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism.


Dilek Kurban JD

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 04/2013 - 09/2014

Dilek Kurban was a Marie Curie Follow at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and a member of the European Commission’s Network of Independent Experts in the Non-Discrimination field. She researched the European human rights law regime and the role of the European Court of Human Rights in protracted ethno political conflicts.
Prior to her Feollowship at SWP, Kurban served as the Director of the Democratization Program at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV).


Dr. Yaşar Aydın

IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow 04/2013 - 09/2014

Dr.Yaşar Aydın is currently lecturer at the Hafen City University Hamburg and the Protestant University of Applied Sciences Hamburg (Das Rauhe Haus).
Prior to his Fellowship at SWP, Aydin was a researcher at the Hamburg Institute for Social Resarch (HIS) an a lecturer at Hamburg University. Prior to his fellowship at SWP he worked at the Hamburgisches WeltWirtschaftsInstitut, (Hamburg Institute of International Economics) in a project dealing with the topic »Migration of highly educated people with a turkish origin from Germany to Turkey” and cooperted with on a regular basis with Antalya University.