Current CATS Fellows

Dr. Jens Bastian

July 2022 - June 2023

Dr. Jens Bastian is a CATS fellow and independent economic analyst. He also serves as Senior Policy Advisor at ELIAMEP (Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy) in Athens, Greece.

His work focuses on China’s expanding infrastructure investment and bank lending footprint in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.

From September 2011 to September 2013 he was appointed by the European Commission as a member of the Task Force for Greece. His previous professional experience includes working as Lead Economist for the European Agency for Reconstruction in Thessaloniki, Greece, at Alpha Bank in Athens, Greece, as well as various academic positions held at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, U.K., Nuffield College, Oxford and the London School of Economics, London, U.K. He received his Ph.D. from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy in April 1993.

Dr. Hamidreza Azizi

June 2022 - Nov 2022

Dr. Hamidreza Azizi is a CATS Fellow at German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). He is also an associate researcher at Clingendael – the Netherlands Institute of International Relations. Between March 2020 and May 2022, he was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in SWP’s Africa and Middle East Division. Azizi holds a Ph.D. in Regional Studies from the University of Tehran and has worked as a lecturer at several Iranian universities, including the University of Tehran (2016-2018), Shahid Beheshti University (2016-2020) and Allameh Tabataba'i University (2020-2022/ virtual courses).

Azizi’s research interests include security and geopolitical issues in the Middle East and Central Eurasia, Iran’s foreign policy, Iran-Turkey relations, and Iran-Russia relations. His research project at CATS focuses on potential areas of cooperation and conflict in Iran-Turkey relations in light of the changing regional geopolitics in the Middle East and the South Caucasus.

Edgar Şar

June 2022 - Feb 2023

Edgar Şar is a CATS Fellow at German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and a PhD candidate in Political Science at Bogazici University. He received his MA degree in Political Science with his thesis “The Relationship Between Secularism and Democracy: The Case of Turkey in the 2000s”.

In his current researches, he focuses on the processes of autocratization and the role of the opposition. His research interests include theories of secularism and democracy and democratization.

Şar is co-founder of the Istanbul-based Think Tank IstanPol.

Prof. Dr. M. Murat Erdoğan

Apr 2022 - Dec 2022

M. Murat Erdoğan is a CATS Fellow at German Institute for International and Security Studies (SWP) and Faculty Member of Political Science Faculty of Ankara University and Director of Mülkiye Migration Research Centre. He was at Turkish German University (2017-2022) and Hacettepe University (1987-2017).

His academic research interests include voluntary and forced migration, refugees, and people of Turkish origin living abroad, EU, political cartoons, political behaviour and Turkish foreign policy. He conducts comprehensive public opinion research on a regular basis and publishes particularly the “Euro-Turks-Barometer” on Turkish diaspora in Europe, and the “Syrians Barometer” on Syrians in Turkey. He is a member of UNESCO-Turkey, board member of ISC of Metropolis International and the President of IGAM-Academy.

His research projects at CATS aims to examine firstly political behavior of Turkish society (“diaspora”) in Germany and secondly social cohesion process of Syrian refugees in Turkey and Germany.


Nebahat Tanrıverdi Yaşar

Mar 2022 - Nov 2022

Nebahat Tanrıverdi Yaşar is a CATS Fellow at German Institute for International and Security Studies (SWP) and a freelance researcher. Previously, she was an IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow at CATS  in-between 2020 and 2021.

Her main research areas include Turkish foreign policy, Turkey and the North African States, Turkey's policies towards the African States,  Security and defence policy, transition processes in the region. She was a researcher in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM), a research center based in Ankara (2010-2015). Previously, she worked with PANAROMA, a foreign policy journal, FTN News Agency, and the UAE Embassy in Ankara.

Her research project at CATS aims to examine the current status of the economic, political, and social policies of Turkey and China in Africa and to explore the interactions between China and Turkey in Africa.

Dr. Tuba Eldem

Feb 21 - Jan 22 / Feb 22 - Oct 23

Dr. Tuba Eldem is a CATS Fellow at German Institute for International and Security Studies (SWP) and an assistant professor of Political Science and International Relations at Fenerbahçe University. She holds a PhD in Political Science from University of Toronto (2013) and carried post-doctoral research at the Research College of the Transformative Power of Europe, Freie Universität, Berlin.

Her main research areas are Turkish politics and Turkish defense and security policy, civil-military relations, Turkey-NATO relations, non-traditional security threats, cybersecurity and geopolitics of cyberspace. Her research project at CATS focuses on the relevance of NATO for the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkey’s future in NATO.

Dr. Ilke Toygür

Sep 20 - Jun 21/ Jul 21 - Jun 22 / Jun 22 - Sept 22

Dr. Ilke Toygür is CATS Fellow at German Institute for International and Security Studies (SWP). She was Analyst of European Affairs at Elcano Royal Institute and has been a Visiting Researcher in European University Institute (EUI), University of Mannheim, and Brookings Institution.

Her main research areas include Turkish politics and Turkish foreign policy, European integration, Euroscepticism, political parties and elections in Western Europe, Geopolitics of Europe and transatlantic relations.

Her research project at CATS aims to dismantle EU institutions’ positions when it comes to foreign policy challenges presented by Turkey.