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A. Necdet Pamir

Petroleum engineer (METU graduate) and senior energy strategy and policy expert on world energy politics, energy security, sustainable energy policies and energy management. Worked for the national oil and gas company TPAO for 26 years; more than half of it being in managerial positions to include the Deputy General Manager status. Contributed to the successful implementation of Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline as a top level public servant for the Republic of Turkey with his dual capacity in TPAO and Prime Ministerial Pipeline Coordination Team. Lectured in 6 different universities and still teaching on energy policies, scenarios, strategies, sustainable energy, energy security and related matters in Bilkent & Atılım Universities, Ankara. Member of the Scientific Committee (Responsible for Subsea Resources), KOÇ University Maritime Forum (KÜDENFOR). Writes a column in monthly magazine Bütün Dünya (a Başkent University publication). Senior lecturer and prominent invited keynote speaker on intarnational conferences. Frequently interviewed by local and international TVs, radios and a well known writer on energy politics. Experienced top level manager both in public and private energy companies. Co-directed Deputy Chairman and General Coordinator) Turkey's first and most prominent think thank (Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies-ASAM) between 2000 (its establishment date) and 2007 as its Deputy Chairman and General Coordinator.

Ahmet Dogan

Political, societal and security risk analyst.

Alain Matalon

Alexia Tasouli

Alexia Tasouli is a journalist from Greece accredited in the Hellenic Presidency, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has interviewed a number of well-known world personalities and has covered political leaders who have paid official visits to Greece during the last 15 years. She has covered live broadcasting of elections and all the major political events in Athens as well as the preparation of the Olympic Games, Athens 2004. Alexia Tasouli has covered the life of the Greek diaspora when abroad and these reports were broadcast in the main news bulletin of MEGA CHANNEL TV station. She is working with various Cyprus media as a political correspondent from Greece and she is a diplomatic editor in the Ethnos newspaper. She was also a political editor in REAL NEWS newspaper for 7 years. She has coordinated a number of international conferences e.g. Delphi Economic Forum, Thessaloniki Energy Summit. Ms Tasouli’s first Master's degree is on Marketing and the second on Energy Law and Economics.

Ali Maturidi

Veteran in conflict zones.

Ali Tuygan

Ali Tuygan is a graduate of the Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in January 1967. Between various positions he held in Ankara, he served at the Turkish Embassy in Brussels, NATO International Staff, Turkish Embassies in Washington and Baghdad and the Turkish Delegation to NATO. From 1986 to 1989 he was Principal Private Secretary to the President of the Republic. He then served as ambassador to Ottawa, Riyadh and Athens. In 1997 he was honored with a decoration by the Italian President. Between these assignments abroad he served twice as Deputy Undersecretary for Political Affairs. In 2004 he was appointed Undersecretary where he remained until the end of 2006 before going to his last foreign assignment as Ambassador to UNESCO. He retired in 2009. In April 2013 he published a book entitled “Gönüllü Diplomat, Dışişlerinde Kırk Yıl” (“Diplomat by Choice, Forty Years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”) in which he elaborated on the diplomatic profession and the main issues on the global agenda. He has published articles in Turkish periodicals and newspapers.

Almila Ilhan


Burak Bekdil

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based Turkish political columnist who wrote for Hurriyet Daily News [formerly Turkish Daily News] for 29 years. He has covered Turkey for the U.S. weekly Defense News since 1997. Previously, Bekdil worked as Ankara Bureau Chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He contributes to annual national defense sector reviews for anti-corruption institutions like Transparency International and Global Integrity. Bekdil is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and regularly writes for the Gatestone Institute and Middle East Quarterly. He also contributes to Perspectives, a journal of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv. James Cuno, art historian and President of the J. Paul Getty Trust, describes Bekdil as "a frequent critic of Prime Minister [now president] Recep Tayyip Erdogan." In 2001, a Heavy Crimes Court in Ankara sentenced Bekdil to a suspended, 20-month prison sentence for his column in which he satirized corruption in the judiciary. Bekdil's comments, quotes and articles have been published in international media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, BBC, The Guardian, Reuters, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times, The Commentator, New York Times, Kathimerini, National Review Online, Algemeiner, NPR, Washington Times, Die Presse, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Toronto Star, Financial Times, Al-Monitor, Le Figaro, ABC, El Pais, Stern, Al-Arabiya, Helsingin Sanomat, Racjonalista, Defence Greece, Moyen-Orient, Courier International, ISN Security Watch and Coloquio (of Congreso Judio Latinoamerico) and the Jewish Chronicle (London). (Born: Ankara, 1966; Undergraduate: Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara; Post-graduate: Department of Economics, University of Surrey, United Kingdom)

Dr. Eugene Kogan

Dr Eugene Kogan is a prolific writer and has presented an extensive series of papers on: Conversion and related problems in the Soviet/Russian military industrial complex; Russian arms exports; The privatisation process in Russian industry, including within the military-industrial complex; Defence industrial policy in Central and Eastern Europe; Arms export policy; Israeli defence industrial policy and arms export strategy; Space technology; Energy and energy-security in the Euro-Asiatic area; Russian-Turkish relations; Chinese aviation and space industry; South Caucasus countries defence and security agenda. Dr Kogan currently resides in Tbilisi and works as defence and security expert.

Dr. Gary Grossman

Dr. Gary M. Grossman is an Associate Director of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) at Arizona State University (ASU). Dr. Grossman is internationally recognized for leadership in exploring the linkages between politics, economies, and societies, particularly as they relate to global development. He was awarded a US Fulbright Research Grant to Turkey from 2002-2004 and has served ASU and the State of Arizona as President of the University Senate; Chair of the Arizona Faculty Council of the Arizona Board of Regents; and as Faculty Athletics Representative to the Pac-12 Conference and NCAA, as well as many administrative appointments over his 24 years at the university.

Ece Ilhan

Strategist. Scholar. Sherpa. Storyteller. Digital and cultural brand strategist and storyteller with deep and diverse expertise in consumer insights, market research, social media marketing, transmedia brand storytelling, and media engagement. She consults politicians (NDA), nonprofits (Chicago Urban League, Obama For America ILL), digital startups (CareMerge, Adon Solutions, Song Lyrics, MarkitX, Evening Flow, FashionShoes, EverPurse, Cheeky Chicago, Freebie), and incubators and accelerators (1871Chicago, ARISE2.0, TEKNOJUMPP, ODTU Teknokent, ITU Cekirdek). She has published at top marketing academic journals, presents her studies at conferences, teaches several courses at undergraduate and graduate levels, and organizes workshops in US and across the world. Her research has received and nominated for several Best Paper awards and has recently received two MSI (Marketing Science Institute) grants. She also was a part of the President Obama’s election campaign at Obama For America Headquarters with the Tech and Digital Team in 2012.

Emre Samur

Born in Bitlis, Turkey in 1984 he is a graduate from Gazi University in Ankara in Automotive Teacher Education in 2010, and Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir in Mechanical Engineering in 2016. He worked in media and advertising for over six years in creative departments and now runs his own business in the same sector. Aside from his professional and commercial life he is dedicated to education volunteering to provide mathematics and physics lessons to the underprivileged families’ children. At the same time he is an avid animal rights advocate.

Enerji IQ

Enerji IQ is the Turkey’s first local energy market intelligence and information provider, established as an independent dedicated company on October 2012. Enerji IQ published the first weekly issue in November 2012 and the first bi-weekly English issue in April 2013 and successfully formed a regional subscriber portfolio, with the genuine operational news, in-depth trend and regulatory analysis with commentary on price drivers.

Ergun Olgun

Mustafa Ergün Olgun is the Former Undersecretary of the TRNC Presidency and Coordinator of the Turkish Cypriot Technical Committees which negotiated the 2004 United Nations Comprehensive Settlement Plan for Cyprus. He is currently the Coordinator of the Presidential Consultative Council for the Negotiating Process and External Relations Coordinator of the Besparmak Think Tank Group. Mustafa Ergün Olgun was born in Nicosia, Cyprus and has a Master’s degree in Governance from the University of George Washington, Washington, DC. He worked both in the public and private sectors, as well as a contract consultant for UNDP, before he was enrolled by the TRNC Presidency in 1993. He initially served there as Special Political Adviser.

Ezgi Cetin

Fuad Kavur

Fuad Kavur' (born 1952 in Istanbul, Turkey) is a British opera and film director and producer. Kavur came to London in 1963 when his uncle, Kemal N. Kavur, was the Turkish ambassador to the Court of St. James. He comes from a family of diplomats: one paternal uncle, Kemal N. Kavur, served as ambassador to Finland, Bulgaria, the Soviet Union, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland; another, Sadi Kavur, was ambassador to Yugoslavia, Sweden and Portugal.[1] In 1984 Fuad produced the feature film Memed, My Hawk (also known as The Lion and the Hawk), based on the novel Memed, My Hawk by the Turkish writer Yashar Kemal. It was directed by Peter Ustinov and starred Ustinov, Herbert Lom, Simon Dutton, Siobhán McKenna, Michael Elphick and Denis Quilley. Memed My Hawk had a royal premiere in London in the aid of UNICEF.[2] However, both the filming and screening of Memed My Hawk was (and still is) banned in Turkey by the government as "communist propaganda".[3] Fuad was a company director of Peter Ustinov Productions from 1982 to 1992.[4] In 2001, he was the executive producer of Atatürk, a television documentary on Kemal Atatürk, narrated by Donald Sinden. Since 2014 Kavur has been preparing a feature film, Atatürk.[5] In July 2013, Kavur assembled a group of artists & writers, 30 in all, to sign an open letter addressed to the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, criticising his handling of the Gezi Park Protests in June, which left 8 people dead, 11 blinded and 8,000 injured. The signatories included Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, David Lynch, Sir Ben Kingsley, James Fox, Sir Tom Stoppard, Christopher Hampton, Lord Fellowes, Frederic Raphael, Edna O'Brien, Rachel Johnson, Christopher Shinn, Branko Lustig, Vilmos Zsigmond and Atatürk's biographer Andrew Mango. The letter was published as a full page advertisement in the London broadsheet, The Times, on 24 July 2013 and led to the Prime Minister Erdogan threatening to sue The Times and the signatories.[3]

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group

Jasper Mortimer

Jasper Mortimer is a South African-trained journalist who works mainly for France24 TV. While travelling the world, he was waylaid in the Middle East, married a Turkish woman and settled in Ankara in 2007.

Metin Gurcan

Metin Gurcan served in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Iraq as a Turkish military adviser from 2002 to 2008. After resigning from the military, he became an Istanbul-based independent security analyst. Gurcan obtained his PhD in 2016 with a dissertation on changes in the Turkish military over the preceding decade. He has published extensively in Turkish and foreign academic journals, and his book “What Went Wrong in Afghanistan: Understanding Counterinsurgency in Tribalized, Rural, Muslim Environments” was published in August 2016.

Murat Ozcelik

Ambassador Özçelik served as a member of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for over 30 years till his retirement from the Foreign Service in 2013. During this time he held various positions, including Turkish Embassy in Riyadh, Turkey’s Permanent Representation to the then-European Economic Community in Brussels, Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. and Turkish Consulate General in Shanghai. He was appointed Assistant Special Representative to Iraq in December 2006; served as Turkey’s Special Envoy to Iraq between 2007 and 2009; and Turkey’s Ambassador to Iraq between 2009 and 2011. In September 2014, Ambassador Özçelik was appointed the Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Republican People’s Party (“CHP”), the main opposition party in Turkey. Between November 2014 and November 2015, Ambassador Özçelik served as the Vice Chairman of Foreign Relations for CHP. Ambassador Özçelik also served as a Member of Parliament in 2015. Ambassador Özçelik graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the Middle East Technical University in 1976 and also attended a post graduate program on European Union integration at the Free University of Amsterdam in 1988. He is married with two children.

Mustafa Bacaksiz

Nevsin Mengu

Born in Ankara in 1982. Studied Political Science at University of Bilkent. Did her masters on Sociology at University of Galatasaray. Worked at several news outlets like Haberturk and Hurriyet. Mostly covered Middle East as a correspondent. From 2009 to 2010, worked for TRT TURK in Tehran. From 2011 until 2017, anchored CNNTURK 18 o’clock news. Now writing opinion pieces for Birgün newspaper and doing weekly interviews for Deutsche Welle.

Nilufer Narli

Nilüfer Narlı chairs the Department of Sociology and is a professor of political sociology at Bahçeşehir University. Narlı’s research and teaching interests include Islamist movements, political participation among Muslim women, irregular patterns of migration in the Balkans, the European Union’s harmonization reforms, the military and good governance in Turkey. She has undertaken several research projects on issues including the impact of computer teaching and learning, and a project called “Governance and the Military: Perspectives for Change in Turkey,” for the Centre for European Security Studies. She served as a conflict resolution trainer at seminars held by the Southeast Europe Leadership Initiatives for Women in the Balkans in 2000 and 2001. She was a member of the Turkish delegation to the 50th and 51st Sessions of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women in 2009 and 2010. She is the author of several publications, including the 1991 book “Unveiling the Fundamentalist Woman: A Case Study of Malay Undergraduates.”

Onur Deniz

Ozgur Eksi

Özgür Ekşi was born in 1969. He received his BA from University of Istanbul, on International Politics, MSc from University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), MA from University of Paris South XI, Centre Européen de Recherches Internationales et Stratégiques (CERIS). He speaks both French and English. He held various positions at Aktuel Magazine, NTV Television Channel, Milliyet Daily Newspaper, Turkish Daily News, Anatolian News Agency, Hürriyet Daily and Hürriyet Daily News between 1993-2012. Mr. Ekşi has been specialized in the defense industry since 2007. He currently holds the Deputy Editor in Chief position at C4Defence which is Turkey’s first and only online magazine in the defense sector. It is a monthly publication available in Turkish and English.

Ozgur Unluhisarcikli

Özgür Ünlühisarcıklı is the director of GMF's office in Ankara, Turkey. His areas of expertise are Transatlantic Relations, Turkish politics, democratization and civil society. Prior to joining GMF, he was the manager of the Resource Development Department of the Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey. Previously, Ünlühisarcıklı worked as the director of the ARI Movement, a Turkish NGO promoting participatory democracy, and as a consultant at AB Consulting and Investment Services. After graduating from the Robert College (Istanbul), Ünlühisarcıklı received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Marmara University and his master's degree from Koç University. He speaks fluent English in addition to his native Turkish.

Robert Ellis

Robert Ellis is a regular commentator on Turkish affairs in the Danish and international press. Earlier he was advisor to the Turkey Assessment Group in the European Parliament and a Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute in New York.

Semih Idiz

Started journalism career in Economic Press Agency in Ankara, and later worked in the Anatolian News Agency, Cumhuriyet daily, Turkish Daily News, NTV news channel, daily Star, daily Aksam, CNN Turk, and daily Milliyet. Currently writes for Al Monitor and Hurriyet Daily News. He has had articles, commentary and analyses published in the Financial Times, the Times, Mediterranean Quarterly and Foreign Policy. He has also been a frequent contributor to local news channels as well as to BBC World, CNN, VOA, NPR, Radio New Zealand, Deutche Welle, various Israeli media organizations, Al Jazeera etc. as a foreign policy expert.

Serdar Dinler

Sevket Bulent Yahnici

Şevket Bülent Yahnici ( 1950 , Ankara ), Turkish politician. He is a graduate of Ankara University Faculty of Law . Member of Board of Trustees of Bilgi University, Member of Board of Directors of Ankara Club, Parliament XXI. He was a Member of Parliament of Ankara.

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Sigma Selected

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Soner Cagaptay

Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. He has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics, and Turkish nationalism, publishing in scholarly journals and major international print media, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Jane's Defense Weekly, Foreign Affairs, Atlantic, New Republic, and Newsweek Türkiye. He has been a regular columnist for Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey's oldest and most influential English-language paper, and a contributor to CNN's Global Public Square blog. He appears regularly on Fox News, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, BBC, and CNN-Turk. A historian by training, Dr. Cagaptay wrote his doctoral dissertation at Yale University (2003) on Turkish nationalism. Dr. Cagaptay has taught courses at Yale, Princeton University, Georgetown University, and Smith College on the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. His spring 2003 course on modern Turkish history was the first offered by Yale in three decades. From 2006-2007, he was Ertegun Professor at Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies. Dr. Cagaptay is the recipient of numerous honors, grants, and chairs, among them the Smith-Richardson, Mellon, Rice, and Leylan fellowships, as well as the Ertegun chair at Princeton. He has also served on contract as chair of the Turkey Advanced Area Studies Program at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute. In 2012 he was named an American Turkish Society Young Society Leader.

Sule Kilicarslan

Academic at İstinye University, Sociologist, Businesswoman, Strategist. For more info:

Umut Comak

Web editor and graphic designer of Sigma Insight. 4th grade student at Atilim University.

Unal Cevikoz

Ünal Çeviköz was born in İstanbul in 1952. He has BA degrees in English Literature and Political Science from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and an MA degree in International Relations from Brussels University. Çeviköz joined the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1978 and served in various posts in the Ministry as well as abroad. In 1989, he was detached from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs starting a position at NATO’s International Secretariat. In 1994, he was commissioned with launching the NATO Information Office in Moscow. Following this, he prepared the NATO-Russia Founding Act and in 1997 he returned to his duty at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, Turkey. He served as Turkey’s Ambassador from 2001 to 2004 in Azerbaijan and from 2004 to 2006 in Iraq. From 2007 to 2010, he was back in Ankara as Deputy Undersecretary for Bilateral Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2009, he prepared the protocols signed between Turkey and Armenia. In 2010, he was appointed as Ambassador to London. After completing his duty in the summer of 2014 he retired from government service. He has been elected as the President of the 28th General Assembly of International Maritime Organization and held this position between 2013 and 2015. He has been the President of Ankara Policy Centre (2014-2018) and a columnist in Radikal, Hürriyet and Hürriyet Daily News. He is a member of several think-tanks. Currently he is the Deputy Chairperson in CHP (Republican People’s Party). Çeviköz speaks English, French, Russian, Italian and German.

Yusuf Kanli

Born in Cyprus in 1959, Yusuf Kanlı is a graduate of the English Language and Literature Department of the Faculty of Letters of the Ankara University. He started journalism with the Turkish Daily News in 1978. Until he briefly left the paper in 1985 (for military service in Northern Cyprus) he served as diplomatic correspondent, assistant foreign news editor and assistant editor. During this period he was as well one of the two co-authors of an annual reference book on Turkey, “Turkey Almanac”. After completing his military service he returned the Daily News as assistant editor. In 1989 he became executive editor and also started writing daily opinion articles. He continued to be one of the co-authors of the “Turkey Almanac” annual reference book. In February 1993, over differences with the publisher on editorial policy, he quit the paper and joined the Anatolia News Agency (AA) as deputy foreign news chief. He stayed with the Anatolia News Agency until September 1995. In this period, he covered the Armenia-Azerbaijan war over Nogorno-Karabagh, covered developments in the post-independence Central Asian republics. Because of his refusal as the duty editor to run a manipulated news story demanded by the then lady prime minister of the country, he was fired from the AA, a development that Kanlı considers as his “medal of honor” in the profession. On his return to the Daily News for a third time in October 1995, he first became an editor at large but soon assumed the responsibility of electronic publishing and established Turkey’s first daily updated English language news web site, the TDN Online on May 19, 1996 (now In January 1997, he became executive editor of the Daily News for a second time and stayed in that post until he was appointed as editor-in-chief in June 2004. In February 2007, he quit all executive duties and became a contract columnist of the newspaper. He has been also writing weekly articles in Turkish for a variety of newspapers and news portals in Northern Cyprus. He is a former chairperson and the honorary chairperson of Diplomacy Correspondents Association (DMD) of Turkey, an active member of Association of Foreign Policy Council, a member of the executive board and vice chairperson of the Association of Journalists and coordinator of the Press for Freedom project, which has been monitoring and reporting on press and freedom of expression issues in Turkey since 2013. He has been a member of several associations and foundations, mostly established by Turkish Cypriots living in Turkey or abroad. He is married to Dr. Aydan Kanlı and has one daughter, Cansu. He has Turkish, Turkish Cypriot and Cypriot triple nationality.