Podcast with Dr. Volkan Topalli 

Dr. Volkan Topalli discusses the regional and geopolitical importance of Turkey, especially in relation to the Syrian refugee crisis, as well as the opportunities available for GSU students in cultivating partnerships with Turkish universities and liaisons.

Podcast with Bill Corcoran,


Eric Van Holm interviews ANERA President and CEO Bill Corcoran about ANERA's work with Syrian refugees, specifically in relation to the issues with delivering services to refugees, difficulties of the compounded crises in the Middle East and establishing relationships with other organizations on the ground in Lebanon. 

Podcast with Hon. Robert Ford,

Former Ambassador to Syria 

Ameer Muhammad and Sonia Kikeri interview composer Malek Jandali regarding the Syrian refugee crisis, specifically in relation to Syrian activists in diaspora, the lack of attention paid to the Syrian children displaced by the war, and the social and transcendent power of art and music.

Clare Van Holm interviews Dr. Yassar Kanawati, an Atlanta-based and Sorbonne trained psychiatrist who has been working with Syrian refugees since 2012. Dr. Kanawati discusses the mental health crisis of trauma survivors and refugees that have fled to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, specifically the experiences of women and children.

Podcast with Dr. Yassar Kanawati

Ameer Muhammad and Sonia Kikeri interview composer Malek Jandali regarding the Syrian refugee crisis, specifically in relation to Syrian activists in diaspora, the lack of attention paid to the Syrian children displaced by the war, and the social and transcendent power of art and music.

Podcast with Composer Malek Jandali 

Nusaiba Mubarak interviews Ghassan Hitto, the chief executive officer of the Syrian Forum and first interim prime minister of the Syrian opposition (today’s Syrian National Council).


Podcast with Ghassan Hitto of Syrian Forum

Sonia Kikeri interviews Dr. Recep Sentürk, the Director of the Alliance of Civilizations Institute hosted at Fatih Sultan Mehmet University in Istanbul, Turkey. His thesis on an open civilization society provokes questions and dialogue of how to address the management and promotion of diversity and coexistence in today's world.


Podcast with Dr. Recep Senturk on Open Civilization

Podcast with IHH's Huseyin Oruc

Podcast with Deniz Feneri 

Podcast with ORSAM's Nebahat Tanriverdi

John Barlow Interviews IHH deputy president Hüseyin Oruç regarding the organization's mission and vision. Listen to find out more about IHH (self-described as an NGO from the Islamic world) and their objectives to provide humanitarian aid to people in desperate need all over the world.

Deniz Feneri’s Director of Logistics discusses the impacts of his organization, his role in the organization during his 10 year tenure, the changes Deniz Feneri has gone through over the course of the Syrian conflict and the DF programs that have set a policy precedence either for the Turkish government's AFAD and within the NGO Syrian relief space.

Nebahat Tanriverdi, an ORSAM Research Assistant, discusses the evolution of Turkey’s geopolitical role in the region in response to the Arab Spring and the aftermath in countries such as Libya and Syria. By observing the changing regional environment and hegemonic powers within the Middle East, Turkey has responded as a leading regional actor to many complex and compounding policy and security issues.

Podcast with UTSAM

Podcast with Director of Moumayazoon School

Podcast with Yisser Bittar of Ihsan

The International Center for Terrorism and Transnational Crime (UTSAM) consists of a specialized team of researches producing policy research, evaluation, and suggestion in various fields of security, including Turkey’s foreign and domestic policy concerning the Syrian crisis. Alongside published research, the think tank organizes conferences directed to enhance both national coordination as well as international cooperation. It is hosted under the Department of Research Centers at the Police Academy in Ankara.

Eric Van Holm spoke with Yisser Bittar, the partnership coordinator for Ihsan. They discussed the threat of aid dependency within Syria and the popularity of agricultural projects that allow the internally displaced to produce their own food.

Al-Moumayazoon School teaches children in Gaziantep from kindergarten to secondary school. Their program integrates Syrians into Turkish society with lessons in three languages. It is a private school funded and sponsored by Syrians living in Gaziantep

Podcast with Mohammaed O. Rebei of

Islamic Relief

Podcast with Razan Shalab Al-Sham of

Syrian Emergency Task Force

Podcast with Bahjat Hajjar & Mazen Gharibah of Local Administration Councils Unit

Mohammed O. Rebei of Islamic Relief discusses the challenges and rewards of delivering aid in a chaotic environment. More information on the work IR is doing regarding the Syrian crisis can be found in their Syria Emergency Response report.

Razan Shalab Al-Sham is the field officer of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) and Nour is a field manager. Together, they discuss the importance of local councils and their work with young activists in leaders representing hundreds of local councils inside Syria. Their energy, spirit, and hope despite their losses as Syrians who fled their homes gives them a clearer vision for a future democratic, decentralized Syrian government. 

Bahjat Hajjar and Mazen Gharibah of the Local Administration Councils Unit discuss the challenges of building civil society in war-torn Syria.

Podcast with SETA's Dr Megmet Ugur Ekinci

Podcast with Ankara Strategy Institute

Aliya Naim interviewed  Dr. Mehmet Uğur Ekinci, a senior researcher at the Foundation for Political, Economic, and Social Research (SETA). He gives an overview of Turkey’s recent involvement in the Syrian crisis, and puts its recent refugee assistance efforts into a historical context. Dr. Mehmet highlights that integration of Syrians into the local population will require action on a number of fronts, including the provision of language classes, education for the youth, and legal integration into the workforce.

Dr. Mehmet Okur - a professor whose expertise at Ankara Strategy Institute focuses on Iran's Nuclear capabilities and Turkish policy - discusses the purpose of his organization and its greatest impact on its audience and the policy world, the biggest issue facing Turkish foreign policy today, the difficulties of Syria integration to Turkey, and the impact of NGOs and other think tanks on Turkish society.


This website is simply a classroom project that uses a conventional study abroad trip, student talent, and faculty expertise to fill an important information gap concerning Turkish politics and the Syrian crisis. Overseen by faculty mentors Dr. Abbas Barzegar and Dr. Rashid Naim of Georgia State University, advanced graduate students and undergraduates from various disciplines were placed in small working groups tasked with explore key subject areas. They did this by conducting research before their trip and interviewing experts. During their three-week trip they continued this process as they visited NGOs, think tanks, and cultural sites. Every day they documented their experiences through the content material that can be found on this site. See this brief article about the project for more information.





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