School / Department: London School of Economics, European Studies
Institution and Duty: State Planning Organization, Directorate General for EU Affairs, Expert
Could you tell us a little about yourself? How has your career been shaped so far?
After working for about 25 years in various institutions of the public sector responsible for relations with the European Union (EU) (the State Planning Organisation, Ministries, Prime Minister’s Office, Secretariat General for EU Affairs) and teaching EU and Türkiye-EU relations courses at various universities (Middle East Technical University, Bilkent University, Başkent University, TOBB-ETÜ and Bahçeşehir University), I retired in 2009 when I was the Head of the National Programme Department of the Secretariat General for EU Affairs and continued to work as the Director of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Türkiye (TEPAV) for EU Studies Center. I have written various publications on the EU and Türkiye-EU relations.
Could you give information about the university you studied at with the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme and the subject you pursued your study on?
The London School of Economics is one of the best schools in the United Kingdom and Europe. While I was doing my master’s degree, the United Kingdom was a member of the EU; but there were also people with a critical point of view. Thus, I was both informed about and also had the opportunity to look critically at the EU. I just didn’t take advantage of the courses. My discussions with classmates from various countries of the world and the conferences I attended as a listener also contributed a lot personally. To put it briefly, my horizon has expanded in every aspect. My professors were the best academicians in their fields. I used what I learned from them both in the lectures I gave at various universities as well as in the tasks I undertook in the public sector.
What are the effects of the education you completed through the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme on your view of the European Union?
First of all, I learned about the EU, its institutions, policies and decision-making mechanism very well. I have internalised the EU norms, which I characterise as universal values – although sometimes the EU does not comply with them. Thus, my idea that the EU is the most relatively useful supranational institution ever formed has become firm. When Türkiye really takes serious steps to comply with the EU membership requirements, I think this will make significant contributions to the country and its citizens.
What advice would you like to give to the Jean Monnet scholarship candidates?
They should determine well in which area of the EU they will work. Then they should learn about the EU and Türkiye-EU relations and follow the current developments. When they win the scholarship, they should think about how their work will contribute to them personally and to Türkiye. When they win the scholarship and leave, they should approach the subjects without prejudice, try to expand their knowledge and also expand their horizons. In addition, they should be aware that not only the education they receive, but also the relationships they establish with their friends from different countries and what they learn from them will contribute to their development.