Research Team

Research Team


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.


Secretary General

Çiğdem Üstün, graduated from Political Science and Public Administration Department at Bilkent University with honors and completed her MA Degree at European Studies and International Relations Department in University of East Anglia, UK with distinction. She holds a PhD in European Studies from the University of Limerick (Ireland) on Comparison of EU and Turkish Security Cultures. Her PhD thesis was published in 2010 by I.B. Tauris. She got her associate professorship in 2014 on EU Studies. Her research interests are European integration, enlargement, EU-Turkey relations, EU’s neighborhood policies. She is currently working as a faculty member in the Economic, Administrative and Social Sciences, Department of International Relations at Nişantaşı University, İstanbul. She has been visiting researcher and lecturer at University of Limerick, University of Catania and University of Cambridge. She is a member of International Relations Council of Turkey, Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies in Târgovi?te, Association for Development Migration and Social Policies and Women in Foreign Policy Initiative. She joined the editorial team of journal of International Relations (Uluslararası İlişkiler) as an associate editor in 2019. She has numerous articles, books and book chapters and opinion eds published in her areas of expertise; EU-Turkey relations, neighborhood policies and Turkish foreign policy. She worked in several EU funded projects under the Promotion of the Civil Society Dialogue Between EU and Turkey, Universities Grant Scheme, the 7th Framework Programme, the IPA Information and Communication Programme, Support for actions promoting a better-informed public debate about EU Enlargement, in a number of Sivil Düşün (Think Civil) Programme.


Security and Defense Studies Program Director

Dr. Can Kasapoglu is the Director of Security and Defense Studies Program at EDAM. A War Studies scholar and defens analyst, Dr Kasapoglu gained his PhD degree from the Turkish War College, and his M.Sc. degree from the Turkish Military Academy-Defense Sciences Institute.

Dr. Can Kasapoglu was an Eisenhower fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome and a visiting scholar at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn. Specialized in defense matters and open-source strategic intelligence, he previously held research posts at reputable think-tanks, such as the SWP of Germany, FRS of France, and the BESA Center of Israel.

Along with Edam, Dr. Kasapoğlu works as a “Eurasian Military Analyst” at the Jamestown Foundation, a leading DC-based think-tank with a specific focus on Russia & post-Soviet studies. He is also the Editor of the Turkish Defense Review Journal, published periodically by the Turkish Heritage Organization.

Dr. Can Kasapoğlu gave briefings at various NATO venues, and lectured at the Baltic Defense College Command High Command Course. Dr. Kasapoğlu has published for many think tanks such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Carnegie Endowment for International Piece, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, RUSI. Dr Kasapoğlu is a frequent contributor to international press and strategic community outlets such the Washington Post, Anadolu Agency, the New York Times, Al Jazeera, TRT World, BBC, France 24, Deutsche Welle.

His works can be followed @EdamDefense.



Sine Ozkarasahin is a defense and security analyst at EDAM. Her work mainly focuses on open-source intelligence analysis and emerging defense technologies. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Leiden University in International Studies and a master’s degree in International Development and Middle Eastern Studies from Sciences Po Paris. Her previous experience includes working for international organizations such as the UNHCR and UNESCO. She is knowledgeable in various foresight techniques and experienced in conflict monitoring and assessment. Her research interests are emerging disruptive technologies, geopolitics, and early threat detection. Her work can be followed on the EDAM website and on Twitter (@sineozkarasahin).