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Ankara Policy Center

Ankara Policy Center (Ankara Politikalar Merkezi - APM) was established in 2014 as a non-partisan and independent think tank. APM's mission is to support decision-making processes with evidence-based analytical research. APM contributes to the formulation of innovative strategic options and to the better understanding of social transformations. APM plays an active part in debates and discussions at the civil society level and promotes participation in policy making.

The main purpose of APM is to strengthen international communication on domestic and foreign policy issues, to enhance participation in the policy development process and to promote an issue-based problem-solving approach. APM seeks to advance a better understanding of the priorities and concerns of the countries and peoples in the Caucasus region.

APM develops new ideas and fresh insights by assessing Turkey's strengths and weaknesses and evaluating the opportunities and risks faced in the region; furthermore, it offers alternative strategic options to decision-makers. APM supports initiatives for achieving peace and democracy in the Middle East and Caucasus by building local, regional and global networks and coalitions among civil society actors. APM therefore cooperates with national and international institutions and organizations that share the same goals and values.

Dr. Burcu Punsmann

Dr. Burcu Gültekin Punsmann holds a PhD from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, France. Her research specialization is in regionalism, border studies, peacebuilding and humanitarian aid. Dr. Gültekin Punsmann is currently affiliated with APM and contributes to the ISSICEU project as a Senior Researcher. Her work analyses the foreign policy implications of the democratization process and focuses on the instruments of Turkish policy towards the Caucasus region. Her research will provide insights into the impact of Turkey on conflicts in the region and elaborate policy recommendations on how to develop a partnership between Turkey and the EU. Burcu Gültekin Punsmann has conducted consultancy assignments for NATO, the European Parliament, the UN and the Asian Development Bank. Between 2003 and 2009 she collaborated with the London-based international NGO International Alert, looking at the economic dimensions of peacebuilding in the South Caucasus.

Dr. Hülya Demirdirek

Dr. Hülya Demirdirek received her M.Phil and doctorate in social anthropology from the University of Oslo, Norway, where she worked as a research fellow for five years. She worked as an assistant professor of anthropology at two universities in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Her publications are primarily concerned with gender, ethnicity, nationalism, citizenship, post-socialist socio-economic transformations and temporary migrant labour. After her return to Turkey in 2012 she worked mainly on projects related to gender and society at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey. Dr. Hülya Demirdirek is currently affiliated with APM and contributes to the ISSICEU project as a Senior Researcher, responsible primarily for research and analysis relating to societal flows. Along with mapping and evaluating flows of ideas, labour and capital from a historical perspective, she will identify micro- and macro-level mechanisms and explore their impact on civic participation and conflict in the Caucasus.

Hasan Kanbolat

Hasan Kanbolat is the founder and director of the Ankara Policy Center. He completed his undergraduate study at Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences, Department of Economics, and received his Master's degree from Istanbul University, Department of History. He has worked at the ANKA News Agency, the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and at the Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies (ASAM). He served as founding director of ORSAM (Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies) between 2008 and 2014. Hasan Kanbolat contributes as a columnist to the daily newspaper Today's Zaman. He has published extensively on issues related to Turkey's relations with Central Asia, the Caucasus, Middle East and Black Sea Region. Hasan Kanbolat`s role in the ISSICEU project is advisory on issues relating to the formulation of Turkish foreign policy and on the analysis of the Circassian diaspora's impact on Turkey's relations with the Caucasus region. In addition, Hasan Kanbolat will take a leading role in relations with mass media and in dissemination strategies.

Seval Kök

Seval Kök works as a research assistant at APM. She received her BA in Business Administration from Cumhuriyet University and an MA in International Relations from Yıldırım Beyazıt University, both Turkey. She worked as a junior expert at the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) between 2009 and 2014. Ms. Kök is responsible for the collection of data in Turkey for the ISSICEU project.