BATAS Council

BATAS Council is the body that manages the association’s affairs. It consists of both elected and co-opted members, all of whom give their time voluntarily. The officers of BATAS (Chairperson, Treasurer, etc) are appointed by Council in accordance with the association’s constitution, and themselves serve on Council ex officio. Two of the elective positions on Council fall vacant every year, and elections take place at the AGM (held in late April or May). Members of BATAS who would like to serve on Council are encouraged to put themselves forward for election (details available from the Administrative Secretary).


Dr Arın Bayraktaroğlu taught Turkish Language and Literature at Cambridge University (1977-1982) and worked as Co-Director of The Cambridge Centre for Languages (1982-2007). Her academic interests have been in Cultural Studies, Sociolinguistics, and Pragmatics. She has published books and articles in refereed journals. She also translated two of Irfan Orga’s books (Portrait of a Turkish Family and The Caravan Moves On) into Turkish, published by Everest Yayınları in 2009 and 2014 respectively. Presently she is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and a Member of the Combination Room of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge University.


Dr Brian Beeley (TAS Review Co-Editor)read geography and anthropology at the University of Durham (BA -1956; PhD -1960, thesis on rural Malta). Then, following some economic research (The Economist) and planning experience (Turkish State Planning Organisation), he taught at universities in the US, Iran, and the UK, specialising where possible on the Middle East. After retirement in 2000 he acted as consultant to the Arab Open University and the Ethiopian Civil Service. He is currently Co-Editor of BATAS’ Turkish Area Studies Review.


Polly Davies  read Turkish with Islamic Art and Archaeology at Oxford University. She then worked for five years as an English solicitor, specialising in maritime law and working primarily with Turkish ship-owners in Istanbul and Izmir. Over the years she has travelled widely in Turkey and also in other Turkic-speaking countries. She is currently an MSc candidate in Social Anthropology at Oxford University.


Angela Gillon read modern languages in New Zealand and subsequently graduated with an MA Hons (French) from Oxford. She joined the Foreign Office Research Department in 1964, and in that department worked on Turkey, Cyprus and Greece from 1977 until she retired in 2002. During that time she made regular visits to Turkey and continues to follow political developments there.


Professor William Hale (Acting President) is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Political and International Studies at SOAS, and a former Professor with special reference to the politics of Turkey in the Department. He is the author of The Political and Economic Development of Modern Turkey (1981, repr.2015), Turkish Politics and the Military (1994), Turkish Foreign Policy 1774-2000 (2000, 3rd edn Turkish Foreign Policy since 1774, 2012), Turkey, the United States and Iraq ( 2006) and Islamism, Democracy and Liberalism, The Case of the AKP (co-authored with Ergun Özbudun, 2011) besides numerous articles on Turkey’s politics and foreign relations.


Dr Celia Kerslake (Chairperson) has a BA in Turkish and Arabic from Cambridge and a DPhil from Oxford. She had an academic career teaching Turkish language, literature and history at Edinburgh (1980-88) and Oxford (1988-2011). She is the joint author of two Turkish grammars, and in her retirement is working on an introduction to modern Turkish literature. She has been a regular visitor to Turkey (especially Istanbul) since the 1960s and has followed with great interest the enormous changes in Turkish society, culture and politics over that period.


Dr Natalie Martin (Public Relations Officer) studied Philosophy at the University of Birmingham and Modern Turkish Studies at SOAS. She then worked as a journalist for twenty years before going back to academia and did a PhD at Loughborough in Turkey-EU relations. She is now a lecturer in International Relations at Nottingham Trent University and a Visiting Fellow at Loughborough.


Sigrid Martin-Wünscher (TAS Review Co-Editor) studied German & Politics at Göttingen (Germany) and Southampton universities, became a Lecturer in German at Kent University (1969) and was responsible for some 25 years for an MA Translation course which included Turkish as an option. Her own involvement with Turkey started with a Kent-Boğaziçi academic exchange, leading to her development of a course on Turkish authors writing in German.


Jill Sindall has lived, worked and travelled extensively in the Middle East and Turkey. She read Middle Eastern History at SOAS, and – as part of her MA (at SOAS and King’s College, London) – studied the history of Byzantium, the end of the Ottoman Empire and contemporary Turkish politics. Her particular interests are the formation of the Ottoman Empire, its history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the birth of the Republic of Turkey.

Professor Richard Tapper is a social anthropologist, now retired from teaching at SOAS (1967-2004). He did field research among the Turkic-speaking Shahsevan tribes in Iran in the 1960s, in Afghan Turkistan in the early 1970s, and in an Anatolian town in the early 1980s, when he was a member of Margaret Bainbridge’s original TASG. For further details of his academic biography, publications etc., see his website:


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