Altay Atlı

Koc University

Dr. Altay Atlı is a lecturer at the Department of International Relations of Koç University, and the founding director of “Atlı Global”, an Istanbul-based boutique advisory firm providing consulting and executive services on global affairs and political risk. His areas of academic interest include international political economy, Asian international relations, Turkey’s relations with Asian countries, business-government relations and the political economy of Turkish foreign policy. A graduate of the German High School (Deutsche Schule) in Istanbul, he completed a B.A. degree in Economics at Boğaziçi University, an M.A. degree in International Business at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science and International Relations of Boğaziçi University. Dr. Atlı was affiliated with Boğaziçi University’s Asian Studies Center as well as Sabancı University Istanbul Policy Center, and he also worked as a research coordinator at Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).

Dr. Atlı was chosen as a "Global Emerging Voices Fellow” by Torino World Affairs Institute, in partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Australian National University, and Stiftung Mercator; and he was recognized as a “Young Academics Fellow” by the Global Relations Forum. He is an expert member at the China Network of Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) and in addition to the weekly TV show “Rising Asia” he prepares and hosts on Ekotürk, a Turkish national channel, he regularly appears on programs in channels like Bloomberg, BBC World, Turkish Radio Television (TRT), TvNet, CGTN, Channel News Asia, China Radio International, commenting on developments in global affairs and Turkey’s international relations.  

Özge Taylan

Yildirim Beyazit University

Özge Taylan was graduated from Gazi University, Department of International Relations. She earned her LL.M. in International Law: Rights and Responsibilities degree from the University of Sussex, UK. Currently, Taylan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of International Relations, Middle East Technical University and faculty member at Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University. Before joining Yıldırım Beyazıt University, she worked at the Ministry of Economy, Republic of Turkey. She also served as a Visiting Scholar at Yonsei University/South Korea in 2017. Her research interests include US Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, development studies, U.S.-Turkish relations, and East Asian studies. 

Tarık Oğuzlu

Antalya Bilim University

Prof. Dr. Tarık Oğuzlu is currently the Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations and the Director of the Center for Social, Economic and Political Research (SEPAM, at Antalya Bilim University. He received a Ph.D. degree in International Relations from Bilkent University in 2003 and a Masters’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2000; he also received a Masters degree in International Relations from Bilkent University in 1998.

Oğuzlu was granted the Jean Monnet Scholarship of the European Commission in 1999. He currently works on a wide ray of subjects, such as international relations theories, Europeanization of foreign policy, European Union foreign and security policy, transatlantic relations, Turkish foreign policy, Turkey’s relations with EU and NATO/US, Turkey-Greece relations, the Cyprus dispute, and Turkey and the Middle East relations. He is one of the co-editors of the book “Turkey’s Rise as an Emerging Power” and has had academic articles published in a number of journals, including Political Science Quarterly, Washington Quarterly, Middle East Policy, International Journal, Security Dialogue, Middle Eastern Studies, Turkish Studies, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, European Security, International Spectator, Contemporary Security Policy, Mediterranean Politics, Australian Journal of International Affairs, Journal of Balkans and Near Eastern Studies, Insight Turkey and International Relations, etc. He is extremely excited to be contributing to THO or something about where he works now. 

Temmuz Yiğit Bezmez

Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK)

Temmuz Yigit Bezmez is currently working at the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) as an Assistant Coordinator for the Turkey/Asia-Pacific Business Council in Istanbul. 

Temmuz holds a Bachelor's degree in Politics Science from Galatasaray University in Turkey and a Master’s degree in International Trade from Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne – he was the recipient of the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. He also completed an exchange program at Sciences Po University in Paris. Temmuz is a regular contributor to a number of publications, including Business Diplomacy Magazine, International Political Academy (UPA) and the Gergedan Social Sciences Magazine. 

Before beginning his current position with DEIK, he worked as an intern at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva. He has been taking part in developing policy guidelines and coordinating capacity with the UNECE – building activities to achieve SDGs No.10 and No.11 of UN Global Agenda 2030. 

From 2018 until 2019, Temmuz was the President of the International Law and Diplomacy Association at Galatasaray University, where he organized a “Diplomacy Academy” to bring together policymakers, diplomats, and academics on global issues. He also served at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he was an intern at the Centre for Strategic Research; there he attended several seminars and lectures and was involved in writing literature reviews about the conflict in Syria. Temmuz is interested in the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific region, public governance, diplomacy, French politics, social movements, and leadership development. He has a strong passion for creating awareness among young people for global issues and prioritizes contributing to the progress of civil society. 

Alpcan Karamanoglu

Originally from Bursa, Turkey, Alpcan Karamanoglu spent his high school and university years travelling around the globe. He studied at the prestigious international high school in Italy, UWC of the Adriatic, on a full scholarship awarded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Having realized his passion for Turkish foreign policy and relations, he went to Colorado College to receive his Bachelor in International Political Economy as a Davis Scholar. During his undergraduate degree, he also spent a year at the London School of Economics, focusing on finance and European politics.

His professional experience involves acting as a researcher for DC think tanks, and as data analyst for UNICEF in Switzerland and for a university in Connecticut. Currently, he is an Energy Economist for a consultancy group based in London. In addition to Turkish and English, he speaks Italian and Spanish. Loves to do yoga, hiking, and reading non-fiction.

Arda Mevlütoğlu

Born in 1980, Arda Mevlutoglu holds a BSc degree (Hons) in Astronautical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University and a MS degree in Science and Technology Policy Studies from Middle East Technical University. 

Arda has been working in defense sector since 2004. He has worked as a systems engineer, technology consultant and senior consultant in several firms in the defense sector in Turkey, assuming responsibilities in large number of modeling, simulation, training and aerospace projects. He established and managed communications and program activities in between many national and foreign defense contractors, armed services and government organizations as well as academic and research institutions.

His academic activities are focused on aerospace and defense technologies, defense policies and armament issues. His works have been published as book chapters, reports, journal articles and monographs. He is a frequent commentator in international and Turkish media, and he is also giving seminars and conferences on defense technology, armament and regional balance of power issues regularly. He is the owner of Siyah Gri Beyaz blog on defense and security and co-host of Silahlar ve Tereyagi podcast.

Arda is based in Ankara. Speaks English and German. He is married with two children.

Umay Yılmaz

Umay Yilmaz received her bachelor degree Environmental Engineering in 2004. She started to work for Green Dot Organisation of Turkey, CEVKO to create a sustainable recycling system in Turkey. She actively involved many projects and case studies with Ministry of Environment and Urbanism, associations, foundations and NGOs in order to improve legislation and its implementations, increasing awareness, improving collaboration between stakeholders. She has two articles about waste management named as The Effects of Waste Prevention on Natural Resource Consumption and Packaging Waste Management Implementations in Turkey. In 2011, she has started to work for Tetra Pak Turkey. She implemented Tetra Pak global strategies regarding environment, waste management, sustainability, environment awareness, responsible sourcing in Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan area. In 2014, she took additional regional roles for recycling planning and environment communications in Middle East and Africa. She received many awards and recognitions for her efforts for environment and sustainability projects. 

In 2018 she started to work as freelance Environment and Sustainability Consultant for circular economy, effective waste management, sustainability and climate change.

Currently, she is the Secretary General of Turkish Corrugated Board Manufacturers Association – OMÜD and also doing a masters degree on Earth System Science  in Istanbul Technical University studying specifically the effects of climate change on energy demand.

Lawrence Cenk Laws

Lawrence Cenk Laws is a public international lawyer.  A native of Falls Church, Lawrence is also an attorney licensed in Virginia.  He holds a B.S. in International Politics from Georgetown University, a J.D. from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, and an L.L.M. in Public International Law from Koc University Faculty of Law in Istanbul, Turkey.  His L.L.M. thesis focused on linguistic minority rights under international law, with specific analysis on the linguistic legal rights regime in Turkey.

Lawrence was the former Program Director at the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA), a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization aimed at increasing political participation and civic engagement among the Turkish American community.  He was also a researcher for THO's Summer Research Program in Turkey, which focused on refugees and asylum-seekers in Turkey.  With that program, Lawrence compared the temporary legal protections granted in Turkey to Syrian refugees with the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program here for Syrians in the U.S.

His areas of focus include international law & politics, human rights, minority rights, civil rights & liberties, refugee & asylum law, and humanitarian issues.  He is bilingual in Turkish and English.

Arianna Guerrero

Arianna G. Guerrero is an undergraduate student majoring in International Relations & Politics at Carnegie Mellon University. Currently, she serves as the President of First Together, an organization that seeks to enhance and support the first-generation experience of students on CMU’s campus. Another student organization she is actively a part of is the WIIS Chapter at CMU where she is the Research and Curriculum Development Leader working to promote greater leadership of women in international peace and security fields. Recently, she was a research intern at the American Foreign Policy Council conducting research for the Russia and Ukraine Program, Central Asia Caucasus Institute, Defense Technology Program, as well as the US Foreign Policy and National Security division. Prior to that, she served as a research assistant analyzing wars in the context of urban landscapes and its effects on military susceptibility. Additional research projects she has undertaken include investigating the effect of increased legislative oversight on the implementation of covert action. Arianna has also previously interned at the Travelers Insurance Company where she conducted focused marketing research for their ESG initiatives.

Arianna’s varied experiences have helped to solidify her interest in pursuing a career in diplomacy and intelligence and her proficiency in multiple languages has exposed her to the importance of cultural awareness and international dialogue.

Abdul Abbas

Abdul Abbas is pursuing an economics degree at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Being a Canadian student of business gives him the ability to look at contemporary policy issues through a unique lens. His previous work with THO in D.C. widened his understanding of the relations between the U.S. and Turkey, and by proxy, the U.S.’s relationship with the Middle East at large. He looks forward to adding his unique voice to ongoing discussions regarding U.S.-Turkey relations through THO’s liaison program.

Sammie Ellard

Sammie Ellard was born and raised in Northern California and is an undergraduate student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast of California. She is earning a degree in Political Science with a concentration in Global Politics and a minor in French. Sammie has a deep enthusiasm about international affairs and global politics due to her extensive travels throughout Europe and courses at university. Sammie has appreciated learning about the significance of shared histories and present-day events in international affairs as well as the necessity of a diverse cohort in forming foreign policy.

As a participant of The Washington Center’s Summer Internship Program, Sammie hopes to diversify her knowledge of foreign policy and explore her aspirations in the field of international affairs. She hopes to use her experiences and knowledge to bring new ideas and analyses while gaining a diverse understanding of US-Turkey relations and NATO policies.

Benjamin Ramey

Mr. Benjamin Ramey is a recent graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University where he studied International Relations with minors in European Studies and Political Economy. He focused his studies on US grand strategy, European security, Turkish Politics and Turkish Language. He has researched Turkish foreign policy, human rights, terrorism, and religious violence. He has interned in legislative offices, government relations firms, advocacy groups, and think tanks. One of his favorite opportunities was interning for Hudson Institute where he researched Turkish politics and security as well as how COVID-19 was impacting fragile states. Currently, he is working as a paralegal contractor for Protiviti Government. He was also recently named an alternate for a Fulbright open research grant to Turkey. In his free time, Ben enjoys spending his time outside backpacking, kayaking, skiing, and golfing. He also enjoys music and has an ever growing vinyl collection. He is looking forward to conducting research on the US-Turkey and Turkey-NATO alliances in hopes to find pragmatic strategies to strengthen the alliances. 

Jennifer Schaffer

Jennifer Schaffer is a research analyst at Martin+Crumpton Group and a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). At SAIS, she concentrated in Strategic Studies and International Economics, with a minor in the Middle East. Before attending SAIS, Jennifer was a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda. She received her undergraduate degree in International Studies and Mathematics from American University, with a concentration in the Middle East and Quantitative Analysis. She also holds a professional certificate in Cybersecurity Analysis from IBM. She currently resides in DC and writes about Turkey, NATO, and cyber warfare. 

Rylee Boyd

Rylee Boyd is a Masters student in Strategic Studies at the University of Aberdeen and a Research Assistant at the National Security Institute. Previously, she was an intern at the American Security Project and She Grows It. She holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Alabama. In addition to English, speaks Ukrainian and Russian. Her research interests include transatlantic relations, international security, emerging technology, NATO, U.S.-Turkey relations, and human rights.