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 Çiǧdem Balım (TAS Review Co-Editor) is a Distinguished Senior Researcher at Indiana University’s Center for the Study of the Middle East (CSME), and a senior examiner for the International Baccalaureate Organization. She worked at Hacettepe University, and as the Chair of the Department of Foreign Language Teacher Education at Gazi University. Between 1988 – 2004 she was at the University of Manchester, where she served as the Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and taught Turkish language and linguistics at BA and MA level. She has edited and contributed to eight books on Turkic Studies, has over fifty articles and book contributions. She lives in Manchester.


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 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.


Michael Berthoud has a BA in Economic History from the University of Exeter, an MA in English Language Teaching from Thames Valley University and an MSc in Scientific, Technical and Medical Translation with Translation Technology from Imperial College, London. He is a part-time ESOL teacher at the College of North West London and a freelance translator from French, German and Italian. He lived in Ankara and Istanbul from 1985 to 1991, working inter alia for the Turkish Daily News, the Istanbul Turco-British Association and Istanbul Technical University. After returning to England, he continued to study the language and maintains an interest in all aspects of Turkish life.


Polly Davies has a BA from Oxford University in Turkish with Islamic Art and Archaeology. She subsequently trained and worked as a maritime lawyer for 5 years, often representing Turkish shipowners in Istanbul and Izmir. She then completed an MPhil in Social Anthropology, again at Oxford, writing a thesis on perceptions of higher education in Eastern Tajikistan and now works at Oxford University Press. She has travelled widely in Turkey and has translated Turkish language footage for documentaries shown on the BBC and al-Jazeerah.


Dr Yaprak Gürsoy is a Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Aston University and a research associate at the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford. Prior to her current posts, she was an Associate Professor at Istanbul Bilgi University. Dr Gürsoy works on Turkish domestic politics and foreign policy from a comparative perspective. She is the author of Between Military Rule and Democracy: Regime Consolidation in Greece, Turkey, and Beyond (University of Michigan Press, 2017) and The Transformation of Civil-Military Relations in Turkey (Istanbul Bilgi University Press, in Turkish). Dr Gürsoy’s complete academic profile can be found on her personal website:


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.


Dr John Moreton (Treasurer and Acting Membership Secretary) originally graduated from Cambridge in Classical Archaeology and now has a PhD in Arabic-English translation from Leeds University, where he has also taught Turkish for Beginners since 2011. He has had active connections with Turkey, Cyprus and the Arab world since the 1970s, and over the years has lived or travelled in various parts of Turkey. He does Turkish-English translation work, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and has been an active member of BATAS since 2014.


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.


Dr Gül Berna Özcan is Reader in International Business and Entrepreneurship at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has published extensively on business-politics relations and entrepreneurship in Turkey and the emerging capitalist middle class in Central Asia. Her research has received numerous awards, including the Robert McNamara Fellowship of the World Bank, a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship and a Fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Gül Berna earned a PhD in Economic Geography from the London School of Economics and an MSc in City and Regional Planning from the Middle East Technical University, where she was also an Assistant Professor between 1994 and 1996. For further information see


Jill Sindall (Events Coordinator) 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.


Dr Mina Toksöz (Administrative Secretary) is an Emerging Markets and Country Risk Consultant. She has worked in economic forecasting at the Economist Intelligence Unit, and as equity strategist for Emerging Europe and country risk manager in investment banking. Her current associations include an Honorary Lectureship at the University of Manchester Business School and an Associate Fellowship at Chatham House (RIIA). The analysis of the Turkish economy has always been a focus set in the context of her wider expertise on Emerging Markets. She has a DPhil in Economics from Sussex University, and a BA from Bosphorus University. Her book The Economist Guide to Country Risk was published in November 2014.


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