Executive and Supervisory Board

Executive and Supervisory Board


Chairman, EDAM

Ambassador (R) Tacan Ildem, a member of NATO Experts Group that presented a report entitled “NATO 2030: United for a New Era”, is a senior Turkish diplomat. Since the start of his long career in 1978 till February 2021 he held bilateral and multilateral positions including NATO Assistant Secretary General between 2016 to 2020. He served as the Turkish Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to NATO and the OSCE. He also served as Director General for International Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chief of Cabinet, Principal Foreign Policy Advisor and Spokesperson of the President of the Republic. His postings abroad also include those at the Embassies in Washington DC, Athens and New Delhi. Ambassador Ildem is a graduate of Ankara University Faculty of Political Science. He is a recipient of the decoration of Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity and the Medal of Gratitude of Albania.


Director, EDAM

Sinan Ülgen graduated in 1987 from the University of Virginia with a double major in computer sciences and economics. He undertook graduate studies at the College of Europe in Brugge, Belgium where he received, in 1990, a masters degree in European economic integration. He then joined the Turkish Foreign Service as a career diplomat. In 1992, he was posted to the Turkish Permanent Delegation to the European Union in Brussels where he became part of the team that negotiated the Turkey-EU customs union.

Ulgen is the founder and managing partner of Istanbul Economics. The consultancy specializes in market entry strategies for international companies, political and economic risk analysis related to Turkey and regulatory affairs.

Ulgen is also the director of the Istanbul based think tank, Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM) and a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels. His research and opinion pieces have been published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Center for European Policy Studies, Center for European Reform, the Atlantic Council, German Marshall Fund, Brookings and the World Economic Forum as well as newspapers such as Le Figaro, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, European Voice, Project Syndicate and the International New York Times. He is also the co-author of a book on Turkey-EU relations with Kemal Dervis and a frequent commentator on Turkish affairs in the international press. Ulgen served on the academic advisory board member of the NATO Defence College in Rome. He was a member of the Europe Council of the World Economic Forum. He was also a member of the international policy experts group set up by the NATO Secretary General Rasmussen.


General Manager and Member of the Executive Board, Istanbul Economics Research

Can Selçuki holds a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from the Bilkent University and an MSc degree in Economics from University Bocconi. Currently, he works as the General Manager of Istanbul Economics Research which is a market research and online big data analytics company based in Istanbul. Before, Can worked as an economist at the World Bank Ankara Office for 4 years working both with the public and private partners in private sector development. His work at the World Bank focused on regional development, competition and innovation policies. Prior to working at the World Bank, Can worked as an economics researcher at the Brussels based think tank the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) for three years. He is the author of papers and reports on trade competitiveness, regional development and innovation policy in Turkey.



Head of Banking and Finance Department, Bilgi University

Ural Aküzüm attended Galatasaray High School, Montpellier University in France and Marmara University Department of Law. Having completed his doctorate in Public Law, he continues his academic career as the President of the Bilgi University School of Advanced Vocational Studies Banking and Finance Department and as Assistant Professor. He has published three books and numerous academic and non-academic papers. Mr Aküzüm is a lawyer of the Bar of İstanbul and possesses a certificate of a notary from the Ministry of Justice aside from being a registered mediator for the ministry. He is also a deputy of the brand, industrial design and patents for the Turkish Patent Institute. He is continuing his 15 years of law practice and consultancy career from his self-owned law firm in the fields of foreign investment, administrative law, investment and construction arbitration. In the civil society field, Mr Aküzüm takes part in business organizations, namely since 2015 he has been serving as vice president at TEBC (Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation). He continues duties as a member of the audit committee at AmCham Turkey, as a member of FERB and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Turkish-Azerbaijani Friendship Foundation as well. Mr Aküzüm has served in the Bilgi University founding foundation for 10 years as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and a trustee.


Meltem Müftüler-Baç is currently Dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Professor of International Relations and Jean Monnet Chair ad personam at Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey. She received her B.A in Political Science from Boğazici University in 1988, MA and Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from Temple University, the USA in 1989 and 1992, respectively. She became assistant professor in 1992, associate professor in 1996 and professor in 2005. Before joining Sabancı University in February 2002, she taught at Bilkent University from 1992 to February 2002 as Assistant and Associate Professor, where she was also the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Bilkent University between 2000 and 2002. She worked previously at Temple University (USA), Bilkent University (Turkey), and was a Visiting professor at the University of Chicago, and an Affiliate Professor at University of Stockholm (2013-2016), a Visiting Scholar and Affiliate Faculty at the Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania (2019-2020). At Sabanci University, Professor Müftüler-Baç coordinated the Social and Political Studies undergraduate program from 2002 to 2011, established the master’s program in European Studies and coordinated it from 2004 to 2014, and established and coordinated the BA program in International Studies from 2011 to 2014.

Prof. Müftüler-Baç has authored multiple academic books, Turkey’s Relations with a Changing Europe published by the Manchester University Press in 1997, Divergent Pathways: Turkey and the European Union published by Barbara Budrich in 2016, and co-edited Turkey and the European Union Relations: Dilemmas, Opportunities and Constraints, with Yannis Stivachtis, Lexington books in 2008, and Parliamentary Cooperation and Diplomacy in EU External Relations with Jan Wouters and Kolja Raube, in 2019. Her publications appeared in Journal of European Public Policy, Middle Eastern Studies, East European Quarterly, Journal of European Integration, South East European Politics and Society, Security Dialogue, International Studies Perspectives, Turkish Studies, Women’s Studies International Forum, West European Politics, International Journal, Journal of Democracy, Journal of Language and Politics, Asia-Europe Journal, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, European Journal of Women’s Studies, East European Politics. Her work has been supported by the EU’s research programs consistently. She participated in the F6 project ‘Reconstituting Democracy in Europe’ from 2006 to 2012, FP7 project ‘TRANSWORLD’ for 2012-2015, and FP7 project ‘MAXCAP’ for 2013-2016. She is participating currently in two H2020 projects; InDivEU-Integrating Diversity in the EU 2019-2022, and MAGYC- Migration and Asylum Governance 2018-2022. In 2011, she received a grant for a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence from the European Commission. Her work is widely cited in Turkey-European Union relations, on EU enlargement, Turkish foreign policy and Turkish politics.

Prof. Müftüler-Baç holds two prestigious awards from the Turkish Academy of Sciences: Young Social Scientist Investigator Award in 2002 and Distinguished Young Scientist Award in 2003. She was awarded with the Jean Monnet Professor ad personam title from the European Commission in 2004. Her research and academic outputs could be reached at her website: http://myweb.sabanciuniv.edu/muftuler, ResearchGate and her Google Scholar page.



Ret. Lt. Gen. Kökmen was born in Eskişehir, Turkey in 1959. After completing his primary school education in Şafaktepe Primary School (Ankara) and high school education in Sincan High School (Ankara), he joined the Turkish Air Force Academy in 1977. He graduated from the Air Force Academy on August 30, 1981.

Ret. Lt. Gen. Kökmen served in a variety of positions at the squadron and wing levels. Most notably, he has served as the commander of the 182nd Squadron, the wing commander of the 6th Main Jet Base, the base commander of the 8th Main Jet Base, the Chief of Personnel Branch at the Headquarters, the Chief of Plan and Policies at the Headquarters, Deputy Commander of the 1st Air Force Command Headquarter, the Air Defense Commander, and the Air Force Chief of Staff.

Throughout his 38 years of service, Ret. Lt. Gen. Kökmen has logged more than 3900 flying hours including over 200 combat hours with different types of aircrafts (F-16, F-104). He has the NATO Medal, the United Nations Medal, and Turkish Armed Forces Medal of Courage and Self-Sacrifice. He is married to Ayşenur Kökmen, and they have two sons and two grandsons (Ege and Ada).


Emel Parlar Dal is full professor at Marmara University’s Department of International Relations. She received her BA from Galatasaray University in 2001, her MA degrees respectively from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University (2002) and Paris 3 Nouvelle Sorbonne Universities.(2003) She received her PhD degree on International Relations from Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle University. (2009) She conducted research at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva during the 2010-2011 academic year thanks to Swiss Government scholarship. In 2013 she was an academic visitor at St. Anthony’s College Middle East Centre, Oxford University. During 2015-2016 she worked as the coordinator of a TUBITAK-SOBAG research project on the contribution of Turkey and the BRICS to global governance. Her recent publications have appeared in Third World Quarterly (SSCI), Global Policy (SSCI), Contemporary Politics, International Politics (SSCI), Turkish Studies (SSCI), International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis (SSCI), and Perceptions. Her most recent works are Assessing the Development–Foreign Policy Nexus of the Asian Rising Powers: South Korea, China, Japan and Indonesia, Global Policy, 2021; Middle Powers in Global Governance: The Rise of Turkey ( ed.), Palgrave, 2018; Rising powers in international conflict management, 2019 Special Issue ( guest editor), Third World Quarterly; Status Competition and Rising Powers, 2019 Special Issue ( guest editor), Comtemporary Politics; Russia in the Changing International System ( ed. with Emre Erşen), Palgrave 2019; Turkey’s International Political Economy in the 21st century, ( ed.), Palgrave 2019. She has recently been awarded by the EU Commission Jean Monnet Chair on the EU and Rising Powers in the Evolving Multilateralism for 2020-2023. She also received five different research grants respectively from the Academy of Korean Studies ( 2020-2022) and NATO Public Diplomacy Division ( 2020-2021). She is also project coordinator of Jean Monnet Center of Excellence on the EU’s Sustainability in Global Governance. ( 2022-2025, ERASMUS-LS, EUSUSGOV, N. 101048178)



Born in 1978, Hande Karakulah is a graduate of Ankara Atatürk Anatolian High School and Istanbul University Faculty of Law. Having completed her master’s degree in European Union Law, Hande started her legal career in 2001 at Şanver & Esin Law Firm. Later, he worked as a freelance attorney at ADMD Law Firm, of which he was a partner, and as a legal consultant in British American Tobacco Turkey, and then worked as the Chief Legal Counsel in Turkey, Middle East and Africa region of Natura&Co, of which Avon is also a part, for 10 years. Hande is currently working as the Legal and Scientific Director of L’Oreal Turkey.

The civil society adventure that started with the Young Lawyers Club experience that Hande founded with her student friends at the university has continued over the years in many non-governmental organizations, in different levels and roles. Membership and Vice President of the Young Arı formation within the Arı Movement paved the way for the role of Secretary General in the Economy and Foreign Policy (EDP) Forum founded by Kemal Derviş, thus having the opportunity to work for Turkey’s European Union ideal.

She is still a member of the Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies and the Transparency Association, and a volunteer of the Bir Adım Var Foundation. Also being the founding member of the SES Equality and Solidarity Association and a member of the Board of Directors, Hande strives to be a supporter of all kinds of progressive, civic initiatives, especially those related to women, just as she strives to be a good mother to Alp and a good companion to all her loved ones.


Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation, Secretary General

Arda Batu completed his high school education at The Browning High School, he then studied Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University. He completed his internship at the European Parliament and attained his MA degree from Marmara University European Studies Institute. His career began in 2004 at Yeditepe University’s Political Science& International Relations Department where he served as a research assistant. He transitioned to the corporate sector with HB Consultancy Group in 2007 whilst continuing his professional affiliation with the university. His keen interests in government relations and strategic communications led him to London-based consultancy, Aleph Consulting in 2010, and then to Istanbul-based regional corporate communications firm, StratejiCo in 2012. Arda was appointed as secretary-general to Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED) in June 2014. He has been serving on the editorial board of Turkish Policy Quarterly, a journal on international affairs, since 2009.


Faculty Member, Beykoz University

Prof. Ahmet K. Han is with the Faculty of Social Sciences at Beykoz University in Istanbul. His research interests are strategic thinking, negotiations and foreign policy analysis. Prof Han holds a B.A. in economics and international relations, an MA on political history and a Ph. D. on international relations from the Istanbul University and has studied negotiations in Harvard. He has been awarded a “Young Leaders of Europe” grant on U.S. Foreign policy by the Department of State of the U.S.A. and has been an observer for NATO on the state of the NATO/ ISAF Operation in Afghanistan twice, in 2005 and 2011. He has published extensively on Afghanistan, geo-strategy of energy politics, US Foreign Policy and Turkish foreign policy. Prof Han has worked as a columnist in Turkish dailies Radikal and Referans. He is also the chief editorial advisor of the Turkish edition of the New Perspectives Quarterly. Prof Han has extensive experience as an adviser and consultant to the private sector in the field of strategic business development and negotiations. He has also served as the International Relations Advisor for Turkish Exporters Assembly, the umbrella organization of Turkey’s exporting industries between 2003 – 2006. He has lectured for and held academic posts in Istanbul University, Bilgi University, İstanbul Commerce University, Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) War Academy (Staff College) and Air Force War College. From 2005 to 2008. Prof Han was responsible for structuring and teaching of the “International Negotiation Strategies” course module for TAF, a must course for all senior officers assigned to international military postings including NATO. He has also served as a visiting scholar in the University of St. Andrews’s Center for Syrian Studies in Scotland in 2011.


Dr. Mitat Çelikpala is Professor of International Relations and the Vice-Rector at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Eurasian security, energy, critical infrastructure security/protection, Turkish foreign and domestic policy, and the Caucasus. 

Prof. Çelikpala is a board member of the International Relations Council of Turkey, and the Managing Editor of the Journal of International Relations: Academic Journal. He previously served as an academic advisor to NATO’s Center of Excellence Defense Against Terrorism in Ankara (2009-2012), especially on regional security and critical infrastructure protection; and was the board member to the Strategic Research and Study Center (SAREM), Turkish General Staff (2005-2011); Academic Adviser to the Center for Strategic Research (SAM), Turkish Foreign Ministry (2002-2010) and the board member of the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM), Istanbul Turkey (2019–2021). He was a Senior Associate Member at St Antony’s College, Oxford University, UK (2005-2006). 

He has written for several academic publications, including Energy Policy, Middle Eastern Studies, International Journal of Turkish Studies, Insight Turkey and Journal of Southeast European and the Black Sea Studies. He also contributed many conference papers on Turkish foreign policy, Turkish-Russian relations, Eurasianism, and Turkish geopolitics, and he regularly appears in the media to discuss these topics.