Sinan Ülgen

Visiting Scholar
Carnegie Europe
tel +32 2 735 5650
Ülgen is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focuses on Turkish foreign policy, nuclear policy, cyberpolicy, and transatlantic relations.


MA, College of Europe
BS, University of Virginia 


English; French; Turkish


Sinan Ülgen is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focuses on Turkish foreign policy, nuclear policy, cyberpolicy, and transatlantic relations.

He is a founding partner of Istanbul Economics, a Turkish consulting firm that specializes in public and regulatory affairs, and chairman of the Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, an independent think tank in Istanbul.

Ülgen has served in the Turkish Foreign Service in several capacities: in Ankara on the United Nations desk (1990–1992); in Brussels at the Turkish Permanent Delegation to the European Union (1992–1996); and at the Turkish embassy in Tripoli (1996).

He is a regular contributor to Turkish dailies, and his opinion pieces have been published in the International New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Le Figaro. He was a member of the international security experts group set up by former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen and tasked with preparing a report on the transatlantic relationship in advance of NATO’s September 2014 summit.

Ülgen is the author of Governing Cyberspace: A Road Map for Transatlantic Leadership (Carnegie Europe, 2016), Handbook of EU Negotiations (Bilgi University Press, 2005), and The European Transformation of Modern Turkey with Kemal Derviş (Centre for European Policy Studies, 2004).

  • Turkey
    Op-Ed Project Syndicate September 23, 2016
    Whither Turkey?

    The Turkish government’s crackdown on opponents since the July 15 coup attempt has probably buried the country’s EU accession framework for good.

  • Turkey; Erdogan
    Berlin Policy Journal September 1, 2016
    Turkey Is Much Bigger Than Erdoğan

    Turkey’s drift away from the West has not been one-sided; Europe and the United States share the blame.

  • Turkey
    Op-Ed Financial Times August 15, 2016
    Turkey Needs Reassurance of the West’s Friendship

    Washington and Brussels need to rebuild trust with Turkey. That is the only way to counter the country’s swelling anti-Americanism and alienation from the West.

  • Turkey; EU
    Op-Ed Anadolu Agency August 12, 2016
    Post-Coup Reshaping of Turkey’s EU Roadmap

    There is an acute need for a new European narrative for Turkey. Such a framework should create a new platform of cooperation and complement the country’s EU accession path.

  • Strategic Europe July 19, 2016
    The Anatomy of Turkey’s Botched Coup

    The failed coup in Turkey could lead either to a renewed push toward a presidential system or to a newfound momentum for democratic reforms.

  • Turkey; coup
    Op-Ed Project Syndicate July 18, 2016
    The Strategic Consequences of Turkey’s Failed Coup

    The attempted coup in Turkey will have far-ranging implications for the country’s international role. The Turkish-U.S. relationship in particular is headed for considerable turbulence.

  • Diplomat July 14, 2016
    Turkey’s Geostrategic Context and Calculus

    Situated at the nexus of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, Turkey is in a geostrategic context that is becoming increasingly volatile.

  • Op-Ed Project Syndicate July 6, 2016
    The Southern Strategy NATO Needs

    NATO’s ability to transform its strategic outlook and develop an effective southern strategy will depend on its leaders’ ability to reconcile the interests of its southern and eastern members.

  • Strategic Europe July 5, 2016
    Resilience as the Guiding Principle of EU External Action

    The introduction of resilience as a key tenet of EU foreign policy should help streamline the EU’s philosophy of engagement with its close neighborhood.

  • NATO
    Defence Matters June 30, 2016
    Is NATO Ready to Improve Its Naval Capabilities?

    What options do the most exposed NATO members in the Black Sea region have for countering Russia’s growing military presence?

  • March 24, 2015
    Turkey’s Nuclear Future

    Turkey is a rising economic and political force with the ability to affect dynamics in the greater Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. To meet its rising energy needs, the country—already an important actor in the international nuclear order—plans to establish nuclear power plants on its territory.

  • turkey
    Al Jazeera’s Inside Story June 27, 2016
    What’s Behind the New Turkey-Israel Deal?

    Following many months of negotiations, a deal has been struck to restore diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel.

  • Kurds; PKK
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation June 8, 2016
    Bomb Attacks Continue to Hit Turkey

    Terrorist attacks in Turkey continue to exacerbate the fracture between the Turkish government and the Kurds. As radicalization increases, is there hope for a political settlement?

  • Turkey Flag
    Al Jazeera’s Inside Story May 6, 2016
    What’s the Reason Behind Ahmet Davutoğlu’s Resignation?

    Ahmet Davutoglu will step down as Turkish prime minister later in May, but to what extent will this impact on the future of Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies?

  • Syria
    BBC World News February 8, 2016
    Turkey Wants the EU to Do More in the Refugee Crisis

    With thousands of Syrian refugees continuing to arrive at the Turkish border, Ankara expects the EU and the international community to help manage the crisis.

  • Turkey
    ABC November 2, 2015
    Is a Stronger AKP Good for Turkey?

    The AKP’s resounding victory in Turkey’s November 1 election gives the future Turkish government a strong mandate and enough room to start tackling the country’s key issues.

  • Istanbul
    BBC November 1, 2015
    Turkey Goes to Polls

    On November 1, Turkish citizens head to the polls to cast their votes to choose the members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly for the second time in just five months.

  • Erdogan
    Al Jazeera August 19, 2015
    Would New Elections in Turkey Serve AKP?

    With Turkey heading towards a new election, Erdogan is betting on a revived support to his AK Party. But isn’t that a gamble?

  • Turkey
    CNN July 27, 2015
    Turkey Makes Aggressive Push Against Islamic State

    If Turkey wants to maintain its regional influence, it has to play a more concrete part in the coalition against the self-styled Islamic State.

  • Turkey
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation July 25, 2015
    IS Threat More Tangible for Turkey

    After the July 20 attack on the Turkish cultural town of Suruç, there has been a fundamental shift in Turkey’s position regarding the Islamic State militants.

  • erdogan; turkey
    Bloomberg TV On the Move August 8, 2014
    Turkey Seen Rebuilding Ties with the EU and U.S. on Security

    The security risks in the Middle East will strengthen Turkey’s partnership with Western allies.

  • June 30, 2016 Carnegie Europe
    A New Strategy for NATO’s Southern Flank

    Amid conflicting threat perceptions and divisive questions across allies over budgets and burden sharing, how can NATO respond to this new configuration of challenges?

  • May 12, 2016 Stanford, California 中文
    Inaugural Forum on Technology, Innovation, and International Affairs

    A discussion of the global geopolitical landscape, and the dramatic impact of technology and innovation as in shaping our world today and into the future.

  • March 23, 2016 Beirut عربي
    Seasons of Migration From the South

    The various conflicts raging in the Middle East, and particularly in Syria, have created a refugee crisis of unprecedented scale.

  • March 23, 2015 Washington, DC
    Reassurance: What Do Allies Want?

    What kind of commitments do U.S. allies want? What practical steps do they believe would help to address perceived threats? And to what extent should these commitments and steps involve U.S. nuclear weapons as opposed to conventional or non-military capabilities? | VIDEO | TRANSCRIPT

  • Turkey
    January 27, 2015 Brussels
    Recharting EU-Turkey Relations

    Following recent EU leadership changes and the election of a new president and the creation of a new cabinet in Turkey, can the EU-Turkey relationship be revitalized?

  • October 7, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    TTIP and Third Countries: Multilateralization or Balkanization?

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership initiative is a grand plan for revitalizing economic growth and enhancing international competitiveness. While Brussels and Washington work to reach a deal, large numbers of interested third countries—even major EU and U.S. trade partners—are left out.

  • TTIP; Trade
    June 26, 2014 Brussels
    TTIP and Third Countries: Locked In or Left Out?

    Amid ongoing negotiations on a transatlantic trade and investment partnership, it is unclear how the deal could be opened up to third countries once talks are concluded.

  • January 24, 2014 Washington, DC
    Roundtable on Government Crisis in Turkey

    Upcoming elections will be a test of Prime Minister Erdoğan’s continued political strength, which has been shaken by a major corruption scandal, an increasingly vocal opposition, and mounting economic challenges.

  • Turkey; Gezi
    September 25, 2013 Brussels
    Beyond the Ballot Box: Advancing Democracy in Turkey

    The increasingly authoritarian practices and restrictions on individual freedoms in Turkey are at odds with the ruling Justice and Development Party’s stated objective of establishing an advanced democracy.

  • H.E. Ahmet Üzümcü;  Sinan Ülgen
    July 10, 2013 Brussels
    Chemical Weapons in Question

    Has it become morally acceptable to allow the use of chemical weapons? How effective and sincere is the international community’s implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention?

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