After having completed his secondary education at Istanbul St. Joseph High School and his undergraduate studies at the Middle East Technical University at the Department of Economics and Statistics in 1976, Aydın Uğur continued his postgraduate studies at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He received his master’s (1983) and PhD (1986) degrees in Political Science from Ankara University Faculty of Political Science. Uğur, who worked at the Faculty of Communication at Ankara University (1981-1989) and at the French Speaking Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Marmara University (1989-1997), joined Istanbul Bilgi University since its foundation and held several administrative positions at this university. Having worked as the Dean of the Faculty of Communication between 1997 and 2004, he served as the founding director of the first Cultural Studies MA Programme in Turkey. Aydın Uğur also served as the Rector of the university between 2004 and 2009. Prof. Dr. Aydın Uğur, who is the author of numerous articles published nationally and internationally about the issues at the intersection of culture/politics/communication, has also been serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities alongside his faculty post at Istanbul Bilgi University’s Department of Sociology since 2010. Aydın Uğur, lately focused his work on “alternative modernities” and issues of identity, has continuously scrutinized the subject of relation establishment between academia and social sciences.
After she graduated from Ankara University Communication Faculty, she worked in TRT News Center for 10 years. After she left TRT, she worked as a senior reporter and manager in Güneş Neswspaper’s Ankara and Istanbul bureau, which had the highest circulation for a period of time. After leaving journalism, she became the public relations director of a holding company. She served as a consultant/director for Istanbul Television from outside while she was the PR director of the largest advertising company at that time after her five years mission ended at the holding company. She published TÜSİAD’s public media organ GÖRÜŞ while she continued her job at the advertising company. After she left, she worked for TÜSİAD for a little period of time and in 1993 she established her own company. She kept publishing GÖRÜŞ in her own company until 2004. In her 45 years of professional experience in the communications sector, she has also from time to time worked in the area of political communications and to this day also lectures at several universities. She served as a board member for 3 years in both TESEV and Özel Sektör Gönüllüler Derneği and 1 year in TÜHİD. She continues being a board member of Uluslararası Şeffaflık Derneği Turkey.
Ali Çarkoğlu is currently a professor of political science at Koç University in Istanbul. He received his Ph. D. at the State University of New York-Binghamton in 1994. He previously taught at Boğaziçi and Sabancı universities in Istanbul. He was a resident fellow in 2008-2009 at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS). He was elected as member to the Science Academy (https://en.bilimakademisi.org/ ) in 2013. His areas of research interest include voting behavior, public opinion and party politics in Turkey. He has taken part in teams of researchers conducting several surveys of public opinion on political Islam, philanthropy in Muslim countries, corruption, informality, attitudes towards EU membership and voting behavior in Turkey. His publications appeared in the International Journal of Communication, Political Geography, European Political Science Review, Democratization, European Journal of Political Research, International Journal of Press / Politics, Environmental Politics, Turkish Studies, New Perspectives on Turkey, South European Society and Politics, Middle Eastern Studies, Political Studies and in edited volumes. His book co-authored with Ersin Kalaycıoğlu appeared from Palgrave: The Rising Tide of Conservatism in Turkey (2009). He co-authored a report on philanthropic giving in Turkey with S. Erdem Aytaç which is published by the Third Sector Foundation of Turkey (TUSEV) in 2016 Individual Giving and Philanthropy in Turkey.
Devrim Çubukçu graduated from Political Science and International Relations Department of Boğaziçi University. He obtained his Master’s degree at George Mason University on electoral systems, public pressure groups and constitutional economics. Devrim Çubukcu joined Eczacıbaşı Holding in 2015 where he currently is advisor to the Chairman of the Executive Board on public affairs following his positions as Vice-President of corporate communications and advisor to CEO. Çubukçu is member of Executive Boards of Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Foundation, Eczacıbaşı Sports Club, and Kanyon Company. He is Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Corporate Communications Association of Turkey, member of Business Councils of Germany, UK, and France of the Foreign Economic Relations Board, and member of Executive Board of Private Sector Volunteers Association. Mr. Çubukcu has 25 years of experience in communication both in Turkey and abroad.
Gökhan Gündoğdu is a Turkish entrepreneur and philanthropist based in Istanbul, Turkey. He is the founder and Chairman of both Gündoğdu Holding Company and Gündoğdu Foundation. Mr. Gündoğdu received Global Education Award from International Academic Center of San Remo, Italy in 2012 in recognition of his visionary approach to early years education by creating International Children`s University Project. Gündoğdu received B.A. in Economics and Management from Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY, where he became members of the Omicron Delta Epsilon (International Honor Society in Economics), Sigma Beta Delta (International Honor Society in Business, Management and Administration) All American Scholar (United States Achievement Academy). He graduated from Çukurova University’s Graduate School of Management with an M.B.A. and then completed his PhD at the same department. Mr. Gündoğdu is a alumni of YT/YA (Young Turkey/Young America) Exceptional Leader Program by the Atlantic Council. He currently contributes to the Council’s cause as a Millenium Leadership Program “MLP” Board Member. In addition, he serves at many social and professional clubs such as TESOL International Association, TESEV, Black Tulip IKSV, Paul Harris Fellowship Program of Rotary International, Friends of High Line, Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs, Istanbul Modern, La Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Dr. Mehmet Kabasakal is an assistant professor of political science. He has a B.A. Degree from Boğaziçi University and PhD from Ankara University Faculty of Political Science. He worked in private and public organizations and NGOs as a director or an advisor.
Between1975-78 he worked in RPP (CHP) Research and Planning Center as a counselor for Party Leader. During that period, he also contributed to Özgür İnsan monthly political journal and directed Umut newspaper, and worked as a board member of Köylü Derneği (NGO). He was an advisor in Prime Minister’s Office and State Planning Organization between1978-80. In January 1981 he organized the Atatürk Research Institute at Boğaziçi University as a founding secretary general, later deputy director. After the establishment of Higher Education Council (YÖK) he resigned from Boğaziçi University in 1983.
In 1990 he was elected as Executive Board Member of Conference Board (Konferans Heyeti) which has been established by Dr. Nejat Eczacıbaşı in early 1960s. As a deputy chair, he contributed to the reorganization of the Conference Board as a ‘’think tank’’ (TESEV). After the foundation of TESEV, he took part in the board as a member. Later in 1996 he also accepted the management responsibility of TESEV as general director. Between1999-2006 he was appointed as secretary general to direct İstanbul Chamber of Industry. He is one of the founders of some think tanks and NGO’s such as TESEV, TÜSES, TESAV, Tarih Vakfı, Kriton Curi Çevre Vakfı and İTKİB Eğitim Vakfı.
Kabasakal started teaching at Bilgi University, and since September 2006, he has been teaching at Okan University. In addition to teaching and research, he directed the Center for Life Long Learning, became Head of International Relations Department, as an Advisor to the Rector, he was responsible from PR Department and Career Center at Okan University.
Contemporary issues in Turkish politics, democratic consolidation, political parties and intra party democracy are the main areas of his interest and focus of his research. Since 1986 he was organizing monthly conferences on contemporary issues of Turkish politics which are known as PERA Meetings. He got Yunus Nadi National Award by his PhD dissertation. Kabasakal has many books and articles on political parties, democratic consolidation and political problems of Turkey.
Alp Orçun was born in Istanbul in 1948. He completed his secondary education at Istanbul Lisesi/Istanbuler Gymnasium (1959-1966) and his undergraduate studies at Ankara University Faculty of Political Science, Department of Economics-Public Finance (1966-1970). Orçun, who worked as an economics correspondent at Barış Newspaper; the Istanbul representative of Anka News Agency; a research assistant at Economics Department of Marmara University and the editor in chief of Dünya Newspaper, served as the Corporate Communications Director of the Eczacıbaşı Group and as the General Secretary of Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Foundation. Currently, he is working as the Adviser to the Chairman of the Board at the Eczacıbaşı Group.
He was born in Isparta Eğirdir in 1956. After completing his secondary education at Buca High School in Izmir, he graduated from Middle East Technical University (METU) Department of Mining Engineering in 1979. He started his working life as a labour inspector within the Ministry of labour and continued his work until 1982, and then worked in various private sector organizations in the fields of mining, textile and apparel. In 1987, He founded Sun Tekstil A.Ş. with his wife Günseli Ünlütürk and his brother Sabri Ünlütürk. He currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors of Ekoten A.Ş that is one of The Sun Group companies. Between 1995 and 1998 he served as Chairman of the Board of Aegean Exporters’ Association (EİB) Apparel and Apparel Exporters’ Association and Chairman of the Board of Presidents of the Aegean Exporters’ Union. He has been the founding member of the foundations and associations such as Textile Research and Development Foundation (TARGEV), Family Business Association (TAIDER), Our City Association, which was founded by Historical Kemeraltı Construction Investment Trade A.Ş. (TARKEM), Neighborhood Disaster Volunteers Foundation (MAG), and Turkish Marine Environment Protection Association (TURMEPA). He is also a member of the “Better Judgment “and Greenpeace Association. Ünlütürk served as a member of the board of directors and vice-chairman of business organizations such as Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSIAD), Turkish Confederation of Enterprise and Business (TÜRKONFED) and The Federation of Industrial Associations (SEDEFED) and the DEIK Foreign Economic Relations Board. He is currently a member of TÜRKONFED advisory board.