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Simon Waldman
Simon Waldman
2017/18 Mercator-IPC Fellow

Simon A. Waldman is a visiting research fellow at King’s College London, where he was previously a lecturer in Middle Eastern studies. Simon’s research focuses on international diplomacy toward the Middle East, US and British foreign policy, state building in the Middle East, Turkish history and politics, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Waldman is the co-author (with Emre Caliskan) of the recently published book The New Turkey and Its Discontents (Hurst/Oxford University Press), described by reviewers as “probably the best volume in English out there” written with “an impressive array of empirical material.” Waldman’s previous book was Anglo-American Diplomacy and the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1948-1951 (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015), an analysis and explanation of how the great powers tried and failed to solve one of the world’s longest lasting refugee questions.

Waldman appears regularly on the international media discussing current affairs including networks such as CNN, Bloomberg, Monocle Radio, and the BBC. He writes regular opinion pieces and commentaries for Haaretz, the Globe and Mail, Middle East Eye, and Prospect Magazine. Simon read for a BSc (hon) in Politics and Sociology at Brunel University before obtaining his MA and PhD from the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, King’s College London.

Project: “Beyond the European Union? The Future of British-Turkish Relations”

The United Kingdom is entering an age of uncertainty while in it is the process of leaving the European Union. London is seeking to remedy this uncertainty by diversifying its portfolio of international relations. Turkey was one of the first countries London identified as holding an important place in Britain’s post-EU international orientation. Although for different reasons, Turkey, like Britain, is also frustrated with its relationship with Europe and is seeking to broaden its engagement with states and international bodies outside of the EU. Recently, both London and Ankara expressed the intention to not only increase trade, but to also forge a “strategic partnership.” But can London and Ankara really form such an alliance beyond the bounds of the EU?

This project will utilize primary data and consist of interviews with major British, Turkish, and European stakeholders and policy makers. The research will identify speedbumps in the road to greater British-Turkish cooperation in matters pertaining to trade, diplomacy, and strategic affairs. It will explain the EU factor in British-Turkish relations and assess the extent to which the EU, in one form or another, might still remain the tie that binds Britain and Turkey together for the foreseeable future.  

British-Turkish Relations after Brexit: Strategic Partners?

The Initiative and St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford organized the panel “British-Turkish Relations after Brexit: Strategic Partners?” on November 28, 2018 at the European Studies Centre, Oxford University. The panel brought together prominent scholars to focus on the challenges, opportunities, and pitfalls on the road ahead in British-Turkish relations.

Strategic Partners or Drifting Apart? British-Turkish Relations and Brexit

The Initiative and the Foreign Policy Centre organized the panel “Strategic Partners or Drifting Apart? British-Turkish Relations and Brexit” on November 27, 2018 at the British Parliament, London. The panel brought together prominent scholars and policymakers to focus on the challenges, opportunities, and pitfalls on the road ahead in British-Turkish relations.

Mercator-IPC Alumni Retreat 2018

The third Mercator-IPC Alumni Retreat took place on May 18-20, 2018 at Village Park Polonezköy. The event started with a Welcoming Speech by Fuat Keyman, followed by an Inspiring Speech by Dilek Ertükel from the Checks and Balances Network. The retreat included a “Critical Thinking” workshop by Leilani van Rheenen, a “Theatre in Social Research” workshop by Pieter Verstraete, a “Non-Violent Communication” workshop by Burak Ülman, and a coffee talk by Tonguç Çoban on the “Turkey Barometer.”

Welcoming of the 2017/18 Mercator-IPC Fellows

The Welcoming of the 2017/18 Mercator-IPC Fellows was held on October 16.  The event marked the 6th cycle of the Mercator-IPC Fellowship Program, which is coordinated by the Istanbul Policy Center, Sabancı University and Stiftung Mercator Initiative.

The event began with welcoming remarks by IPC Director Fuat Keyman, followed by remarks from the Chairman of the Advisory Board at Stiftung Mercator, Rüdiger Frohn. The welcoming remarks were followed by a movie screening  which introduced the 2017/18 Mercator-IPC Fellows Gabriele Cloeters, Souad Osseiran, Simon Waldman, Banu Karaca, Pınar Ertör Akyazı and Barış Karapınar.