Aysuda Kölemen completed her PhD in Political Science at the University of Georgia, Athens, USA. Her area of research is comparative politics of the USA, Western Europe and Turkey. Aysuda joined Bard College Berlin as a PSI fellow in 2019. She has been an active member of Off-University since its founding. She currently works on autocratization and academic freedoms as well as the impact of social policies on the construction of motherhood and gender roles in Turkey from a comparative perspective. Her most recent and upcoming publications are With Coşkun, G. B (2020). Illiberal Democracy or Electoral Autocracy: The Case of Turkey. In The Emergence of Illiberalism (pp. 166-187). Routledge. Forthcoming: (2021) No, Your Other Left! The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party, Amerikastudien, 66.
Yasemin Özgün received her master’s degree in Political Theory from University of Essex, England, with a thesis titled “The Paradox of Representation in Politics”. She got her PhD with the thesis titled "Democracy Discourse of the Period of 27 May 1960” at Ankara University, Institute of Social Sciences. Amongst her field of interests are political sociology, media and politics, gender studies, political economy, Turkish political life. Özgün has written in 2020 about “Feminizm ve Aile Tartışmaları- Teori, Politika- Pratik İlişkisi ve Çelişkileri”, (“Feminism and Family Debates- Theory-Politics- Practices Relations and Contradictions”) in Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Düşünce: Feminizm, and published in 2011 with Ö. Müftüoğlu on "Turkey after 2008: Another Crisis – The Same Responses?" in Trade Unions and the Global Crisis: Labour's Visions, Strategies and Responses, Melisa Serrano, Edlira Xhafa and Michael Fichter (eds).
Siyaves Azeri has started his new position as a professor of philosophy at the School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen in Siberia, Russian Federation. Following his dismissal from his position at Mardin Artuklu University in Turkey and having been banned from public employment, by the decree law 679, alongside hundreds of other academicians, issued by the Erdogan administration on 6 January 2017, he worked as a visiting researcher at the École Normal Supérieure in Paris from September 2017 to August 2018 and, for the following two years, at the Université de Lorraine, Archives Henri-Poincaré-Philosophie et Recherches sur les Sciences et les Technologies (AHP-PReST) in Nancy, France. Azeri is also an associate of the Thesis Twelve: Mardin Value-form Circle. He writes on a large gamut of subjects in different international journals and books. His areas of interest include Hume’s empiricism, Kant’s transcendentalism, Marxian materialism, the problem of consciousness, and the critique of epistemology.
Saladdin Ahmed teaches political theory and international relations at Union College in Schenectady, New York, and he holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa. In his book Totalitarian Space and the Destruction of Aura (SUNY, 2019), he investigates old versus new forms of totalitarianism. Currently, he is at work on a book project on revolutionary philosophy. His academic articles have appeared in Telos, Critique, Critical Race and Whiteness Studies, Philosophical Frontiers, and Forum Philosophicum, among others. His thought pieces can be found on Al-Jazeera, The Jerusalem Post, The European, openDemocracy, Institute for Social Ecology, and Telos.
Founded in November 2017, aramızda: Toplumsal Cinsiyet Araştırmalar Derneği is invested in creating a pluralistic space of feminist solidarity that provides a platform for networking, creativity and research in the field of Gender and Queer Studies. The founding members of the collective were feminist academics and students who got dispelled from the university within the framework of a governmental decree or who faced dire conditions with regards to the right for education on gender and LGBTIQ+ studies and the support mechanisms in preventing sexual harassment in the campus. Together, they responded to this situation by claiming a space outside of the university, and continue their studies, research and organizing in the realm of the arts, civil society and politics. 13 of aramızda's scholars are currently collectively organizing a course with Off-University:
Ece ÖZTAN, Melda YAMAN, Yasemin ÖZGÜN, Nalan MUMCU, Dilek HATTATOĞLU, Emine SEVİM, Evun Sevgi OKUMUŞ, Merve DİLTEMİZ MOL, F. Ceren AKÇABAY, E. İrem AKI, Pınar YILDIZ, Demet BOLAT
İLKER GÖKHAN ŞEN
Dr. İlker Gökhan Şen continues to work on the topics of direct democracy, comparative constitutional law, history and law of Turkish constitutions, human rights, and democracy education. He has published books and articles in English and Turkish around these issues. In his research, he applies an interdisciplinary approach. As one of the signatories to the “Academics for Peace” petition, Şen was dispelled from his position at the Eskişehir Anadolu University Law Faculty by the Turkish government in 2017. Currently, Dr. Şen lives in Halen Bergen, Norway where he works as a research fellow at Chr. Michelsen Institute.
Barış Işık was born in Ankara in 1984. In 2011, he concluded his Master’s Thesis at Freie University Berlin carrying the title “„§ 173 StGB Beischlaf zwischen Verwandten - Im Licht des Vergleichs mit der Rechtslage des Inzests in der Türkei -” . He was awarded a PhD by Istanbul University for his dissertation “Geçmişe Yürüme Yasağı Bağlamında Zamanaşımı” in 2019. In the same year, he lost his position at the Anadolu University Law Faculty in a controversial manner. He was amongst the authors of the book “Duymak Zorundasiniz: 10 Ekim Katliami Davasi”, which was honored by receiving the Halit Çelenk Hukuk Jury’s Special Prize.
MELİKE BELKIS AYDIN
Melike Belkıs Aydın was born in Istanbul in 1984. In 2013, she completed her postgraduate studies at the Social Sciences Faculty of Anadolu University with the thesis “The Results of Artificial Insemination Techniques in Terms of Pedigree Law and Personality Rights”. Her doctoral dissertation dealt with a “Hermeneutic Approach to Law: Philosophical Hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer” and was submitted successfully in 2019. In September 2019, her position at the Anadolu University Law Faculty was terminated in an unlawful manner. Her short story book “Pembe Kızıl’ won the Türkan Saylan Sanat Prize in 2016.
Nahed Ghazzoul is an assistant professor in Linguistics. She holds a PhD in Linguistic from Lancaster University, UK. 2008; a Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, from Lancaster University, UK. 2006; an MA in Linguistics (TESOL), University of Surrey, UK. 2004. She taught at different academic institutions including Aleppo University/Syria, Lancaster University/UK, and Jerash and Alzaytoonah University/Jordan. Currently, she is a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University. She got a postdoctoral fellowship at East AngliaUniversity/UK by the end of 2019. Her specialised researches focus on linguistics, and pedagogical issues, and her field of interest is ‘Refugees Studies’. She published a couple of papers in high indexed Journals.
Teoman Aktan is a political scientist with a focus on social movements, human rights, and social justice in Middle East. He holds a PhD in Political Science and Public Administration from Istanbul University. His doctoral thesis focused on the genealogy of autonomy, with Iran and Azerbaijan as case studies. He has carried out research projects on organizational commitment (2010), ethnic nationalism (2011), and the intergenerational value conflicts (2012). Dr. Aktan collaborated as a social worker and interpreter with several non-governmental organizations on issues related to refugees in Turkey. He is currently a research fellow at Columbia Global Center/Amman.
Mabruk Derbesh is currently a fellow at Columbia University. He got his higher static education in Canada and the US where he was awarded a PhD in Applied Management and Decision Science with a focus on social science. He has been a faculty member at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, University of Tripoli, where he taught management. He wrote extensively in the main Libyan magazines and newspapers for many years and was known for his unique Arabic writing style and harsh criticism of the static political discourse and religious extremism. He is also the founder of the Libyan Institution of Academic and Intellectual Freedom. In recent years, he focused his research on constructing a platform for Academic Freedom in the MENA region, and although he argues that it is still a novel concept to many in the Arab world, he sees a global threat to Academia and free thought even within the liberal apparatus in the West.
Gülengül Altıntaş received her BA degree from the Department of Film and Television at Istanbul University in 2000. After her graduation she went to USA and completed the certificate program “Content Creation for Entertainment Media” at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2001. Upon her return to Istanbul she worked as an assistant director in various productions including commercial films, TV productions and movies. She attended scriptwriting workshops given by professors from New York Tisch School of the Arts and Hungarian Film Academy. She worked as a TA at the Film and Television Department of Istanbul Bilgi University and received her MA degree in 2006 from the same department with her dissertation on cyberculture and cinema. She shot several short films and received several awards. Currently she is teaching scriptwriting courses, working as a freelance script consultant and writing her PHD Thesis on Turkish Cinema in the field of oral history research.
Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu is a political economist from Azerbaijan. He has commenced his career at Economic Research Center in 1999. He is a senior policy analyst for social and economic studies at Azerbaijan’s Economic Research Center, a Baku-based NGO that promotes economic development and good governance. Dr. Ibadoghlu was a member of the Steering Committee of the EU Eastern Partnership Program’s Civil Society Forum (CSF) and served as a representative of Eurasian’s civil societies representative to the international board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) for 2013–2019.His research focuses on politics on natural resources and revenue management. He was a researcher at the Higher Economic School, Warsaw in 1999/2000, at Central European University, Budapest in 2004/2005, in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008/2009, at Duke University in 2015/2016, at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2017/2018. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for European Studies of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA and he is teaching courses as a visiting professor at the Department of Political Sciences.
Dr. Leila Alieva is an affiliate of the Russian and East European Studies at the Oxford School for Global and Area Studies and a tutor at the Oxford University Department for Continued Education. Prior to that she was a member of the Senior Common Room of the St. Antony’s College of the University of Oxford and the academic visitor. Before she moved to the UK, she had been leading a ‘think-tank’ in Baku, Azerbaijan. Dr. Alieva’s research focus is on the political economy of oil, conflicts, democracy building and energy security. She has also been a consultant to EBRD and oil companies. Previously she was a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center (Kennan Institute), NATO defense college (Rome), National Endowment for Democracy (Washington DC), and Paul Nitze School for International Studies (Johns Hopkins University). She has edited and authored books, chapters and articles published by Oxford University Press, Sharp, Janes Intelligence Review and many others. She has been awarded by various academic scholarships and is a holder of the UK ‘exceptional talent’ visa in her professional field since 2017.
Utku Balaban is a visiting associate professor at Amherst College’s Anthropology and Sociology Department. He taught at Ankara University until 2017 when the government expelled and blacklisted him along with over thirty colleagues as signatories of the Peace Petition to protest the violence against the Kurdish civilian by government forces in 2015. He pursues his studies on urbanization and industrialization. His current work focuses on the interrelationship of the late urbanization and industrialization with the rise of Islamism in Turkey.
Ali Rıza Güngen is a political scientist and independent researcher. Dr. Güngen received his Ph.D. from Middle East Technical University and was granted the Young Social Scientist award by the Turkish Social Sciences Association in 2013. Güngen is the co-author of the 2014 book Financialization, Debt Crisis and Collapse (in Turkish) and co-editor of 2019 book The Political Economy of Financial Transformation in Turkey. His articles appeared in journals such as The Journal of Peasant Studies and New Political Economy. His research currently focuses on sovereign debt management across the global South, financial inclusion, and state restructuring in Turkey.
ICLAL AYSE KÜCÜKKIRCA
Iclal Ayse Kucukkirca completed her PhD degree at the SPEL (Social, Political, Ethical and Legal Philosophy) programme at Binghamton University, New York in 2011. The title of her dissertation is Homelessness and Homemaking. Her areas of interest are gender/sexuality studies particularly women’s movements, and feminist political philosophy and the construction of the home place in different geographies through different axes. She has worked as a lecturer at the Philosophy department of the Binghamton University and at the History department of the University of Wisconsin, River Falls and as an Assistant Professor at the Philosophy department of Mardin Artuklu University.
Yüksel Taşkın was born in 1972, in Rize, Turkey. He received his BA degree in Political Science and International Relations (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, 1994). He completed his MA (1995) and doctoral studies (2001) at the same department. He started to teach at Marmara University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences in 2002 and got his associate professorship in 2009. He was a visiting scholar at New York University Center Near Eastern Studies (1999-2000), at Leiden University International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (Falls 2005-2006), and at Northwestern University Buffett Institute for Global Studies (Spring 2011-2012). His research interests are “sociology of politics”, “intellectuals and social movements”, and “society and politics in the Middle East.” A selection of his publications is as following: Anti-Komünizmden Küreselleşme Karşıtlığına: Milliyetçi Muhafazakâr Entelijansiya (İletişim Yayınları, 2007), AKP Devri: Türkiye Siyaseti, İslâmcılık ve Arap Baharı (Birikim Yayınları, 2013),1960’tan Günümüze Türkiye Tarihi (co-writing with Suavi Aydın, İletişim Yayınları, 2014).
BARAN ALP UNCU
Baran Alp Uncu is a political sociologist who specializes on social movements and environmental politics. After receiving his MA degree at McGill University, he completed his PhD in sociology at the London School of Economics. He worked as a faculty member at Marmara University between 2007-2017. As part of the purge against the Academics for Peace in Turkey, he was expelled from Marmara University. He continues his academic work as an independent researcher in collaboration with civil society organizations and research institutions. His main fields of interest are social movements, civil society, globalization, and climate politics. He has carried out research on environmental movements (Bergama Movement, Northern Forest Defence (KOS)), politics of climate change, and Gezi protests in Turkey. Additionally, he conducted several research projects on other topics such as political and social behavior of conservatives, youth and social and economic conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey. He has been currently engaged in the Cities For Climate campaign by 350.org Turkey, and he is the author of Climate for Cities campaign book.