PODEM

Center for Public Policy and Democracy Studies (PODEM) is a research and advocacy think tank based in Istanbul. PODEM seeks to contribute to the efforts towards a Turkey where democracy is fully institutionalized and democratic mindset prevails.

 

To this end, our research projects analyse the changing dynamics of the society of Turkey and of other relevant societies and states through rigorous field research and provide policy proposals in the light of our findings and share them with the public and relevant political and social actors. In that regard, PODEM aims to forge synergy between the government, public institutions, the business world, media and local civil society actors, and contribute to the reform processes and policy-making efforts as a bridge between local, national, and global civil society organizations. Our vision is to contribute to the creation of a Turkey where democracy, both as a system and as a mentality, is institutionalized, as well as the establishment of peace and justice on a national, regional, and global level.

 

The research areas: Peace and Reconciliation Process – Security and Democracy- Constitutional Reform – Religion, State and Society – Local Governance and Decentralization – Social Research – Turkey and Armenians – Turkey and Europe – Turkey and Its Neighbourhood (Middle East, Mediterranean, and the Caucasus) – Syria Crisis – Turkey and the United States – Humanitarian and Foreign Aid and Global Social Responsibility.

The Research Team

Sabiha Senyucel Gundogar
Sabiha Senyucel Gundogar
Ms Sabiha Senyucel Gundogar is a founding member and research director at PODEM. She previously worked at the Turkish Economic and Social Foundation (TESEV) for 12 years, the last five heading the foreign policy department. She is continuing her Ph.D. studies on political science in Istanbul Bilgi University. She has been involved in various projects funded by the EU, government agencies, and international donors. She is one of the authors of the Middle East Survey series run in the Middle East and North Africa for five years. Her main areas of expertise are Turkey’s foreign policy, Europe, the Middle East, and Mediterranean studies. Recently, she has been working on the effects of the increasing Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey and contributes to the domestic and foreign publications on Turkey’s foreign policy. Recently, she co-authored a new publication, together with Mr. Aybars Görgülü, 1915 and Beyond: Public Perception in Turkey, a research study focusing on the perception of different segments of the society in Turkey towards the ‘Armenian Question’.
Aybars Görgülü
Aybars Görgülü
Aybars Görgülü is a founding member and Senior Fellow at PODEM. He worked for TESEV from 2007 to 2015. Aybars Görgülü received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Sabanci University in 2013. His academic interest is in Turkey’s foreign policy and the Caucasus region. Dr Görgülü actively participates in civil society efforts aiming to normalize Turkey–Armenia relations and has several publications on this subject as well as on Turkey’s South Caucasus policies and Turkish foreign policy. Recently, he co-authored a new publication, together with Ms. Sabiha Senyucel Gundogar, 1915 and Beyond: Public Perception in Turkey, a research study focusing on the perception of different segments of the society in Turkey towards the ‘Armenian Question’.
Beril Bahadır
Beril Bahadır
Beril Bahadır is a project coordinator at PODEM. She holds a B.A. in International Politics from King’s College London (2014). Previously, she was the Projects Assistant at the TESEV Democratization Programme, where she managed the ‘Democratization Talks’ project and focused on judicial reform in Turkey.
Zeynep Gülöz
Zeynep Gülöz
Zeynep Gülöz graduated from Boğaziçi University in 2012 with double major BA degree in Sociology and Philosophy departments. She received her Master’s degree from Paris 1 Panthéon – Sorbonne University’s Political Science department with a thesis subject of “The Relation Between Political Identity and Discourse on the ‘Other’ in Turkey”. She joined PODEM on January 2016 as a Project Coordinator.