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Özgür Ünlühisarcıklı is the director of GMF's office in Ankara, Turkey. Prior to joining GMF, he was the manager of the Resource Development Department of the Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey. Previously, Ünlühisarcıklı worked as the director of the ARI Movement, a Turkish NGO promoting participatory democracy, and as a consultant at AB Consulting and Investment Services.

After graduating from the Robert College (Istanbul), Ünlühisarcıklı received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Marmara University and his master's degree from Koç University. He speaks fluent English in addition to his native Turkish. 

Media Mentions

A new mechanism needs to avoid a grand bargain approach or expectations that all outstanding issues between the two allies can be resolved in the short run. The new mechanism should instead focus on cooperation where possible, fixing what is fixable and managing outstanding differences before they turn into major crises.
[President Erdogan] is not listening to the economists which is typical of strongmen. [The president was] increasingly less tolerant of dissent, particularly from within the party.
It [is] now getting increasingly difficult for Mr. Erdogan [to] pass the new threshold even with MHP support. Therefore, they want to change this. But the MHP has two objections: It would destroy the principle of counter dependency and political legitimacy would be questionable if they don’t get half the vote.
[Erdogan] could have said Biden is not selling me jets, so I’ll buy [them] from the Russians. He’s not doing that. So despite the difficulties in the US Congress, he seems willing to walk the walk, which I think is positive.
A crisis of perhaps unprecedented magnitude was possible if this problem was not resolved. But [the fact] that it is resolved does not mean it hasn’t left a bitter aftertaste.
As elsewhere in the world, all politics is local. Turkish foreign policy has been excessively driven by domestic political considerations and this case is no different.
Turkey is already in a tense relationship with Russia over Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province and would not like to add a new layer to these tensions. At a time when Turkey is trying to improve relations with U.S., it would not like to introduce a new headache.
The Grey Wolves is an organization that is directly affiliated with the Nationalist Movement Party, which is President Erdogan’s alliance partner. Therefore, the Turkish government cannot turn a blind eye to this development.
At the individual level of analysis, President Erdogan perceives a threat from the US thinking that it is intentionally undermining him with the ultimate goal of removing him from power. This frustration and threat perception leads President Erdogan to seek a counterbalancing alliance with Russia against the U.S.
Ankara sees [Afghanistan] as a topic that proves that the West still needs Turkey, or the West still benefits from cooperation with Turkey.”
In a democracy, it’s inevitable that governments will be concerned about perception management as well as crisis management but priority should always be given to crisis management.