Bayram Balcı

Bayram Balci holds degrees in political science and in Arab and Islamic studies from the Political Studies Institute of Grenoble and Aix-en-Provence. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Turkish Islamic movements and their missionary activities in post-Soviet Central Asia. He was a Jean Monnet post-doctoral fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, where he worked on Central-Asian communities in Saudi Arabia and their contribution to the re- Islamization of the region. Further in his career, he was a scholar at the French Institute of Anatolian Studies in Istanbul and set up the French Institute of Caucasian Studies in Baku, while researching on relations between the Chia and the Sunni Muslims in Azerbaijan and in Iran. From 2006 to 2010, he was the director of the French Institute of Central-Asian Studies (IFEAC) in Tashkent. From 2012 to 2014, he was a visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. Bayram Balci’s current research focuses on Islam and politics in the former Soviet Union and on Turkey in its regional environment (Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East).

Kumru Arapgirlioğlu

Graduated from the Department of City and Regional Planning at Middle East Technical University in 1983 and completed her master’s degree at Florida State University in 1986. During that time, she worked as a management consultant at Florida Economic Development Center in 1985-86 in FSU-USA; and after coming back to Ankara, Turkey, initiated her office and worked as a planning consultant between 1986-1999. In 1999 she was invited to work full-time at Bilkent University and she received her Ph.D. from the Faculty of Public Relations and Political Sciences, Ankara University in 2004. She has several academic awards and grants, and she owns one of the 2017 the 2017 the 2017the 2017the 2017the 2017 Bilkent Distinguished Teaching Awards. She has served as an Acting Chair in the Academic year of 2017-2018. Her research interests include all range of environmental studies from theory to practice, human attitude, participation and decision making in relation to urban environments, conflicts and ethics. She served as a member of the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO, Committee of Bioethics in 2004-2014. She is one the founder members of Science and Scientific Philosophy Circle (BİLFEL), between the years 2000-2016. As a member of both, she actively took place in many scientific and organizational committees of international and national conferences, seminars and meetings with a wide range of topics; some of the topics include climate change and environmental ethics, social responsibility and health in cities, meetings on bioethics. Her specific research areas are: European Landscape Convention; European Urban Charter; local governments, environmental management, ethics and public lands. Recently, she works on sustainability issues as regards to social responsibility and public health; health and urban open spaces; landscape integrity and human well-being; food security, productivity, cities, and urban agriculture as a regenerative tool for transforming the cities.