Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey) 


Özgehan Şenyuva
Assistant Professor
Department of International Relations


Dr Özgehan Şenyuva teaches in METU’s depart-ment of International Relations. He holds a PhD in political science from the Centre for the Study of Political Change (Circap) at the Università Degli Studi di Siena, where he also obtained a Master Scientifico Culturale in ‘Politica Comparata de Europea.’ His PhD thesis focused on Turkish public opinion and the European Union, and he has developed his research interests further in the field of EU enlargement and Turkish membership prospects. Özgehan is a member of the ‘Elite working group’ of the IntUne research project (‘Integrated and United? A Quest for Citizenship in an Ever Closer Europe’), an integrated project on the theme of citizenship funded by the 6th European Framework Programme for Research.

Özgehan has a keen interest in, and extensive knowledge of, quantitative research methodologies and measurement and, within the FREE resarch project, he leads and coordinates the collection and processing of quantitative, comparative cross-national data on public opinion about European football and the construction of intercultural atti-tudes through football. In addition, Özgehan will contribute to other research strands on the question of a European public space in accordance with his field of scholarly expertise.

« I am interested in football and related research because during all my travels around the world, I have never met anyone with whom I could not speak about football. It is the magical ice-breaker; even people who do not like football would spare time to explain to me why they dislike it. I met people who did not know any Turkish author, politician, musician or historical figure, but would comment on the legendary matches of the Turkish national team at Euro 2008. I love the game, I love playing it, watching it and talking about it. I also would like to research it, as it is touching so many people all around the world. How can I ignore such a reality as a social scientist? It is not just a game; it is one of the most influential, wide-spread, shared and currently expanding social construct that deserves respect and attention. »




Başak Alpan
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science and Public Administration


Başak Alpan is assistant professor in European politics and political sociology at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and at the Centre for European Studies, Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey. She holds a PhD degree in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Birmingham, UK. During her PhD, she was particularly interested in discourse theory, political frontiers and discourses on ‘Europe’ in Turkish politics. Already during her MSc degree at the Centre for European Studies at METU, Başak had the opportunity to contribute to European projects: she worked as a project assistant for various Jean Monnet projects such as ‘Europe as an Item on the Identity Card: Conceptualization of European Identity by the European Academy and Public’, and ‘Researching Europe: European Integration by the view of Young Researchers’. Today she teaches modules on European politics, political sociology and European identity at METU.


« It always strikes me how the public sphere emerges as a terrain where the energies of the subjectivities are exhausted and communicated. In this picture, it is interesting to see the cultural, political and perhaps emancipatory role football plays beyond solely being a trench war where big corporations and clubs compete for financial benefits. I am extremely excited to work in this project and to verify how these academic premises work in practice in the cases of Europe and, in particular, Turkey where all ‘roads’ lead to football. »




Middle East Technical University
Ankara, Turkey

The Middle East Technical University (METU) was founded in 1956 to contribute to the development of Turkey and Middle East countries and especially to train people in order to create a skilled workforce in the fields of natural and social sciences. Since its creation METU, whose language of instruction is English, has been a driver of innovation to Turkish higher education. Today the University employs about 750 faculty (professors, associates professors etc.), 400 academic instructors and 1 400 research assistants for a total of 23 000 students. METU runs a total of 40 under-graduate programmes in five faculties as well as 154 graduate programmes in the Graduate Schools of Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Informatics, Applied Mathematics and Marine Sciences. The University is also host to a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, the Centre for European Studies (CES-METU). Owing both to the quality academic education that emphasises merit and excellence in scientific, cultural and intellectual studies and to the reputation of its graduates, the University has become one of the most distinguished and respectable institutions of Turkey.