Göktuğ Sönmez


Göktuğ Sönmez got his bachelor’s degree in International from Bilkent University, his master’s degree in International Relations from London School of Economic (LSE), and his PhD in Politics and International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. His research areas are International Relations Theory, Turkish Foreign Policy, Energy Politics, Politics of the KRG, and Radicalization and Violent Extremism. He conducted research on these areas at several institutions and think-tanks including the Center for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, BOTAŞ, and the Global Strategy Institute.


National and International Events

  • “The Tripartite Energy Game and Turkey’s Potential as a Eurasian Energy Hub”, paper presented at the International Conference on Eurasian Politics and Society, organized by the Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (UK), 22-23 May 2015, Konya, Turkey.
  • “New Turkey’s Grand Strategy: An Ambitious Pursuit of Power-Maximization or a Value-Driven Policy Shift?”, paper presented at the International Congress on Turkey and the Balkans, co-organized by the Centre for Balkan and Black Sea Studies at Yıldız Technical University and the Balkan Studies Centre at the International University of Sarajevo,15-17 May 2015, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • CVE Research Conference, organized by Hedayah Research Center, 6-8 December 2015, Abu Dhabi.
  • “Radicalization, Violent Extremism and Turkey”, paper presented at the 2nd International Middle East Symposium, 4-7 May, 2016, Kırıkkale.
  • OSCE Counter Terrorism Conference 31 May- 1 June, 2016, organized by OSCE, Berlin.
  • CVE & PVE Expert Group Meeting, 2 March 2016, organized by SESRIC, SETA and ORSAM, Ankara.
  • Southeast Europe Regional Expert Workshop on “Factors and Drivers Underlying Radicalization and Violent Extremism Leading to Terrorism”, organized by RCC, 7 June 2016, Sarajevo.
  • “Violent Extremism and Turkey’s Efforts”, International Security Conference, organized by TASAM, 2-4 November 2016, İstanbul.
  • 2nd UfM Regional Forum: Mediterranean in Action: Youth for Stability and Development, organized by Union for Mediterranean, 23-24 January 2017, Barcelona.
  • Youth and the Prevention of Violent Extremism: Perspectives from the Black Sea Region, organized by OSCE, 1-3 February 2017, Chisinau.
  • “Drivers and Manifestations of Radicalization and Violent Extremism in the Black Sea Region”, Vienna OSCE Counter-Terrorism Conference, 22-24 May 2017, Viyana.
  • Speaker at the Wilton Park: Empowering the Future-Youth as Peacemakers dialogue, 16-18 October 2017, Amman.

Field Researches

  • December, 2015- Erbil, Kirkuk
  • March, 2016- Erbil, Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah


  • "Violent Extremism among Central Asians: The Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, and New York City Attacks", CTC Sentinel vol. 10, issue. 11 (December 2017), p. 14-18.
  •  "Kouachi Kardeşler, Amedy Coulibaly ve Radikalleşmenin Tetikleyicileri", Ortadoğu Analiz 9:83, Kasım-Aralık 2017.
  • "Failed Nabucco Project and Its Implications", Avrasya Dünyası, 1:1, October 2017.
  • "Azzam ve Bin Ladin İlişkisi Bağlamında Şiddetin Yöntem ve Kapsamının Şekillenmesi", Ortadoğu Analiz 9:82, Eylül-Ekim 2017
  • "Kadınlar Radikalleşme ve Şiddete Varan Aşırıcılığın Neresinde?", Ortadoğu Analiz, 9:80, Mayıs-Haziran 2017.
  • Radicalisation, Violent Extremism, and Turkey's Fight, ORSAM Report No: 209, May 2017.
  • IKBY’nin Genişleme Stratejisi ve Kerkük’teki Bayrak Krizi, ORSAM Bölgesel Gelişmeler Değerlendirmesi No: 63 (Haziran 2017).
  • The Expansionist Strategy of IKRG and The Flag Crisis in Kirkuk, ORSAM Review of Regional Affairs No: 63 (Haziran 2017)
  •  “Çoklu Radikalleşmenin Odağında Türkiye ve Mücadelesi”, Turkish Journal of Security Studies 19(1) (2017), sf. 1-18.
  • Bilgay Duman&Göktuğ Sönmez, “An Influential Non-State Armed Actor in the Iraqi Context: Al-Hashd al-Shaaabi and the Implications of Its Rising Influence” in Murat Yeşiltaş and Tuncay Kardaş eds. Non-state Armed Actors in the Middle East: Geopolitics, Ideology and Strategy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
  • “Rising Terror Threat in the Cyber Space and Cyber Security”, ORSAM Foreign Policy Analysis, 10/3/2017.
  • “Vying for Power in the PKK: A Profile of Senior Commander Dr. Bahoz Erdal”, Militant Leadership Monitor vol.8 issue:2 (February, 2017)
  • “Turkey's Euphrates Shield Operation: al-Bab and Beyond”, Terrorism Monitor, vol.15 no.4 (February, 2017).
  • “Siber Alanda Yükselen Terör Tehdidi ve Siber Güvenlik”, Ortadoğu Analiz 78:9 (Ocak-Şubat 2017).
  • Reina Attack, Masharipov, and Radicalization in Central Asia, ORSAM Review of Regional Affairs no. 56, January 2017.
  • Reina Saldırısı, Maşaripov ve Orta Asya’da Radikalleşme, ORSAM Bölgesel Gelişmeler Değerlendirmesi, no. 56, Ocak 2017.
  •  “The Arab Spring, Dominoes, and Turkey”, Bilgi, vol. 33 (2016, Kış/Winter), p. 65-80.
  • "Şiddete Varan Aşırıcılık ve Türkiye'nin Yeni Güvenlik Konsepti", Ortadoğu Analiz 8:77, Kasım-Aralık 2016.
  •  “Do Turkey’s Counter-Extremism Efforts Offer Lessons for the West?", Terrorism Monitor vol.14 no.21 (October, 2016).
  • “Political Turmoil in KRG Risks Hindering Kurdish Efforts against Islamic State”, Terrorism Monitor, vol.17 no.14 (August, 2016).
  • Coup Attempt of July, 15: Turkey’s Fight for Democracy and To Re-Configure Civil-Military Relationship, ORSAM Policy Brief no.46, 4/8/2016. 
  • “Abyei Region: A Thought-provoking Case Study for the Future of Kirkuk”, ORSAM Policy Brief No: 43, 1/7/2016.
  • Bölgede Yeni Dönemin Habercisi: Türkiye-İsrail İlişkilerinde Uzlaşma, ORSAM Policy Brief No. 44 (Temmuz, 2016), Ortadoğu Stratejik Araştırmalar Merkezi
  • Signaling A New Era in the Region: Turkish-Israeli Reconciliation, ORSAM Policy Brief no. 44 (July, 2016), Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies
  • “That Night and Beyond: Shame, Mourning, Pride, and Victory”, 26/7/2016, Daily Sabah
  • “Radikalleşme, Şiddete Varan Aşırıcılık ve Yabancı Terörist Savaşçılar: Nedenler, Çözüm Önerileri ve Türkiye Özelinde Değerlendirme”, YTSAM 87 Ortadoğu Özel Ocak-Haziran 2016 sf. 476-481.
  • “Failed State Structure in Syria Poses Threats at Regional and Global Levels”, 31/5/2016, Daily Sabah, with Sertaç Canalp Korkmaz.
  • “İsrail-Türkiye İlişkilerinde Dairesel Döngü: Yeniden Yakınlaşma Zamanı Mı?”, Ortadoğu Analiz 73:8 (2016).
  • “İran’ın Bölgesel Ayrıştırma Stratejisi”, Yeni Şafak, 24/2/2016,
  • “Türkiye-Rusya Uçak Krizi Bağlamında Enerji Bağımlılığı ve Yol Haritası”, ORSAM Bölgesel Gelişmeler Değerlendirmesi, No. 36 (Aralık 2015).
  • “Energy Dependency and a Route Map Within the Context of the Recent Turkey-Russia Crisis”, ORSAM Review of Regional Affairs No. 36 (Dec, 2015).
  • “Arap Baharı ve Sonrası Dönemde Türkiye'nn 'Fırsat Pencerelerini' Yeniden Düşünmek”, ORSAM Ortadoğu Analiz 7:70 (Eylül-Ekim 2015), sf. 62-63.
  • “Nuclear Deal: Historical Background, Implications for the Region and Turkish-Iranian Relations”, ORSAM Review of Regional Affairs No. 29 (July 2015),.
  • “Nükleer Anlaşma: Tarihi Arkaplan, Bölge ve Türkiye-İran İlişkileri”, ORSAM Bölgesel Gelişmeler Değerlendirmesi No. 29 (Temmuz 2015).
  •  “Trans Anadolu Doğalgaz Boru Hattı (TANAP) ve Türkiye'nin Enerji Vizyonu”, Ortadoğu Analiz 7:66 (Ocak-Şubat 2015)


English (Fluent)
Russian (Elementary)
Ottoman Turkish (Elementary)

“Detecting and Interdicting Terrorist Travel”, Global Efforts and Turkey

After ISIS lost Mosul and Raqqa, debates on the decline of the organization in terms of logistical, economic and military power have proliferated,...

Haqqani Network and Possible Reflections of the Death of Jalaluddin Haqqani

The Afghanistan intervention, which is called "the Soviet Union’s Vietnam" and resulted in the withdrawal of the USSR following the...

Violent Extremism Among Central Asians: The Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, and New York City Attacks

Abstract: Ethnic Uzbeks carried out terrorist attacks in Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, and New York City in 2017, making it clear...

An Evaluation of the OSCE Report on Violent Extremism and Radicalisation that Lead to Terrorism

Peter R. Neumann, the OSCE Chairperson in Office’s Special Representative on Countering Radicalisation and Violent Extremism since January 2017...

Rising Terror Threat in the Cyber Space and Cyber Security

Advancements in technology and especially in the online world, on the one hand, make everyday life easier and provide new socialization channels, on...

DAESH’s Surprise Attack on Kirkuk and Its Possible Expectations

DAESH started an attack on Kirkuk in the early morning of October 21, 2016 amidst all the controversy about the Mosul operation. While the forces in...

Political Turmoil in KRG Risks Hindering Kurdish Efforts Against Islamic State

Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq have been some of the most effective in tackling Islamic State (IS) on the ground, but the Kurdistan Regional...

That Night and Beyond: Shame, Mourning, Pride, and Victory

Following the successfully thwarted heinous coup attempt, several points needs a closer look; how it started, and how Turkey as a country vocally...

Failed State Structure in Syria Poses Threats at Regional and Global Levels

Following the Arab Spring, which had significant impacts over a wide geographical area in North Africa and the Middle East, many states were...

Observations from the Field Research in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah

As ORSAM team, we recently paid a visit to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in order to conduct a field research. As it is already known,...