Selçuk Esenbel & Altay Atlı

Dr. Selçuk Esenbel is Professor of History at Boğaziçi University, and the Director of the Asian Studies Center at the same institution. After studying at International Christian University Tokyo and George Washington University, she obtained her Ph.D. in Japanese history from the Columbia University. Since 1982, she has been teaching Japanese and Asian history at Boğaziçi University, where she is also in charge of the Asian Studies Center, Asian studies graduate program and Asian language courses. Esenbel has published many articles in various professional journals as well as a number of books on history of Asia with particular focus on Japanese history. Her research interests cover Japan and the world of Islam, Japanese pan-Asianism, modernization in Japan and Ottoman Turkey, peasant uprisings in Meiji Japan, and Japanese-Ottoman/Turkish relations. Esenbel is the recipient of various awards, like the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan Foundation Special Prize for Japanese Studies, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs special award for the promotion of Japanese-Turkish academic relations, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation George Forster research award.

Altay Atlı is a lecturer at the Asian studies graduate program of Boğaziçi Istanbul in Istanbul, Turkey, and the coordinator of the Asian Studies Center at the same institution. He is also a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Political Science and International Relations of Boğaziçi University. After graduating from the German High School of Istanbul, he received a B.A. degree in economics from Boğaziçi University, and a M.A. degree in international business from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Atlı is a research associate at the Center for Research on Globalization and Democratic Governance (GLODEM) of Koç University in Istanbul, and a “Global Emerging Voices Fellow” for the year 2012 (organized by Torino World Affairs Institute in partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Australian National University, and Stiftung Mercator). His previous work experience includes positions at the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, as well as at the Australian Trade Commission and Bahçeşehir University’s Asia-Pacific Research Center. Research interests of Altay Atlı cover the political economy of Turkish foreign policy, international political economy with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region, and Turkey’s relations with Asian countries. Atlı regularly contributes essays and op-eds on international politics and economist to various media organizations, and appears on Turkish radio and television programs commenting on global developments. Atlı authors a blog on Asian current affairs, in Turkish, available at



This individual is a guest contributor for, and is not affiliated with The Middle East Institute.