Department History

The Department of Political Science and Public Administration was established soon after the establishment of Bilkent University, with Professor Metin Heper as its founding chair. In its first year the department began with two faculty members. It has grown steadily and now has a faculty of more than 20 full-time professors and instructors, Turkish and international, whose interests range from Turkish politics and modern Turkish history to comparative politics, history of political thought, cultural studies, urban politics, sociology, philosophy and European and Middle Eastern studies and public administration. The faculty has a strong publications and research record. Many graduating students have gone on to complete Ph.D.s at American, European and Canadian universities and now fill teaching positions at these or Turkey’s universities. Others have moved into leading companies in the private sector or on to public service positions in Turkey.

The POLS Department seeks to expand its national and international reputation by maintaining and strengthening its primary focus on Turkey’s Politics in comparative perspective combined with cutting-edge research in comparative politics, policy studies and social-cultural studies. Our goal is to establish our department as a top program in Turkey’s politics, but with continued emphasis on interdisciplinary perspectives that combine Turkey’s politics with other subfields of social sciences so as to make landmark contributions┬áto international academic literature in these subfields. Our program is designed to provide pioneering┬áresearch-based education in four subfields (Turkish Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, Public Policy and Social-Cultural Studies) at the undergraduate levels.

After founding the Department, Professor Metin Heper served as Department Chair until becoming the University Provost during 2010-14. The Chair’s position has been ┬áfilled first by Professor Elisabeth ├ľzdalga (2011-13), then by Professor Alev ├ç─▒nar. Currently, Professor H. P─▒nar Bilgin is serving as ┬áthe department chair.