Project Team

Işık Kuşçu Bonnenfant (Principal Investigator)


Isik Kuscu Bonnenfant is an Associate Professor of International Relations at Middle East Technical University. She received her PhD in December 2008 from the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University. She was a visiting scholar at the Davis Center, Harvard University for the 2016-2017 Academic Year. Her research interests cover the former Soviet region (FSU), migration, diaspora politics, ethnic migration, and state and nation building in the FSU. She has published in journals such as International Migration, Central Asian Survey, and Nationalities Papers. She has received the Newton Advanced Fellowship of the British Academy.


Neophythos Loizides (Co-Investigator)


Professor Neophytos Loizides is the author of The Politics of Majority Nationalism: Framing Peace, Stalemates, and Crises published by Stanford University Press (2015) and Designing Peace: Cyprus and Institutional Innovations in Divided Societies published by the University of Pennsylvania Press (2016). He is also the co-editor (with Oded Haklai) of Settlers in Contested Lands: Territorial Disputes and Ethnic Conflicts and has authored more than thirty academic articles and book chapters in the areas of nationalism, forced displacement and conflict regulation in deeply divided societies including most recently work published in the European Journal of Political Research, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, and Political Psychology. Professor Loizides has also served as a consultant to various governments and international organisations including the Council of Europe and regularly contributes commentaries to international media such as the Guardian, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.


Hayriye Kahveci Özgür

Hayriye Kahveci, has a Ph.D. degree from the Department of International Relations, Middle East Technical University. Her dissertation was on Political Economy of Oil in Kazakhstan.  She has worked as a researcher at the METU Centre for Black Sea and Central Asia (KORA) focusing mainly on Caspian region energy politics. She was a post-doctoral researcher at Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research, University of Sessex in 2014. Since 2009 she teaches at Middle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus Campus in Political Science and International Relations Programme as well as Petroleum Engineering Programme.  Her research focus is on the post-soviet state building, political economy of international oil and Cyprus. She published on energy politics in the Caspian region as well as Cyprus.

Charis Psaltis

Charis Psaltis holds a PhD in Social and Developmental Psychology from the University of Cambridge. He is currently an Associate Professor of Social and Developmental Psychology at the University of Cyprus. His research interests fall in the areas of Social interaction, learning and cognitive development, co-operative learning, Genetic social psychology, social representations of gender, intergroup contact and intergroup relations in Cyprus, intercultural education and integrated schools, development of national identities and history teaching and collective memory. He is the Associate Editor of the European Journal of Psychology of Education.


Ayşe Bıyıkoğlu

Ayşe Bıyıkoğlu is a PhD candidate in Psychology and is currently a research assistant under the Genetic Social Psychology Lab at the University of Cyprus. She previously graduated from the University of Essex, United Kingdom, where she was awarded an MSc Research Methods in Psychology diploma. As research, she is attentive to explore how intergroup contact in the context of Cyprus works as to eliminate psychological dimensions such as prejudice, intergroup anxiety, and perceived threat. Her future goal is to strengthen intergroup relations in conflicting societies by implementing interactive technological devices (e.g virtual reality/augmented reality) to intervene and reduce negative attitudes between intergroup members.

Rüya Özkaya

Rüya Özkaya is a Masters student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manchester in the UK. She completed her Bachelors degree at the University of Kent (UK) in Politics and International Relations with a Year Abroad in North America, in which she also spent a year at the University of Maryland in the United States studying Government and Politics. Her research interest concentrates on the dynamics of peace movements and activism at the grassroots level in conflict-affected societies; regarding the root causes of mobilization and the possible effects of these movements within the process of resolution of the conflict. Her future goals include advancing her knowledge and expertise further in research through a PhD study in the respective field.

Tekin Baykız

Tekin Baykız is a research assistant in the Department of International Relations at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in the same department. He holds B.A. degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Teaching from Ankara University and Gazi University respectively. Baykız also received a M.S. degree from Information Systems Program at METU. He worked as a researcher in the project titled “EU-GLOBAL: Transatlantic Perspectives in a Changing Global Context: Multilateralism through Regionalism”, which was financed under the European Union Seventh Framework Program. His research interests include Islamic Groups and Foreign Policy, Westernism and anti-Americanism in Turkish political thought.