Our Staff

Aybars Görgülü

Executive Director 


Aybars Görgülü is a founding member and Executive Director at Center for Public Policy and Democracy Studies (PODEM). He worked for Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) from 2007 to 2015.

Dr. Görgülü received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Sabancı University in 2014. He holds an MA degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France and a BA degree in Social and Political Sciences from Sabancı University. Görgülü teaches on Turkey’s foreign policy and the Caucasus politics at Istanbul Kültür University and has several publications on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy issues.


Emre Ertuğrul

Finance and Administration Officer

Emre Ertuğrul received his degree in Management from Anadolu University. He served as an Accounts and Finance Officer in ÇEBİTEKS TEKS. A.Ş.between 2001 – 2010, and as a Finance and Administration Officer in TESEV between 2011 – 2015. Ertuğrul joined PODEM in July 2015 as a Finance and Administration Manager.


Zeynep Gülöz Bakır

Project Manager

Zeynep Gülöz Bakır 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 and currently works as Project Manager.

Gülşah Dark

Project Officer


Gülşah Dark received her BA in Translation and Interpreting from Istanbul University in 2012. She holds an MA degree in Translation Studies from University of Surrey, the United Kingdom. She has professional experience in translation and editing as well as media sector. She previously worked as translator and later Features Editor at Daily Sabah, an English-language newspaper based in Istanbul, from 2014 to 2017. She currently works as Project Officer in PODEM.


Emir Bayburt

Project Officer


Emir Bayburt graduated from Tel Aviv University’s International B.A. in Liberal Arts Program in 2015, majoring in Middle Eastern Studies. Following his B.A. graduation, he continued his education in Tel Aviv University’s Masters in Middle Eastern Studies Program, graduating in 2016. Throughout his studies, he closely worked with the faculty members in the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, where he focused on the issues of secularism, democracy and education in contemporary and Republican Turkey. He works as a Project Officer in PODEM.

Nida Nur Yüksel

Project Assistant

Nida Nur Yüksel completed her BA in Boğaziçi University’s Translation Studies Department in 2018. She worked as intern editor at Kaknüs Publishing in 2017 and actively involved in civil society activities as a volunteer.  She is currently pursuing her MA in Translation Studies at Boğaziçi University. Yüksel works as Project Assistant in PODEM.