Özge Genç

Visiting Fellow


Özge Genç is a visiting fellow at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs.

Previously, she was the research director at the Center for Public Policy and Democracy Studies (PODEM) in Istanbul, Türkiye. Prior to that position, she was the director of the democratization program at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV). She also served as a senior expert on democratic governance at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and as a senior specialist at the Education Above All Foundation (EAA) in Qatar.

Genç’s research areas include political and institutional reform and peace and conflict resolution. Additionally, her work focuses on democratic governance, elections, religion-state-society relations, and justice and security reform, among other topics.

Genç has contributed to the establishment of several think tanks and social initiatives in Türkiye. She has also consulted for many institutions from various sectors, including private sector organizations, political parties, municipalities, and non-governmental organizations.

Research Areas

  • Political and institutional reform
  • Peace and conflict resolution
  • Democratic governance
  • Turkish politics

Countries of Focus

  • Türkiye
  • United States/Europe
  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states

Other Areas of Interest

  • Religion, state, and society relations
  • Gender equality and inclusivity strategies
  • Political communication


  • M.S., International Politics, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, 2014
  • B.S., International Relations, Middle East Technical University (METU), 2003


Middle East Council experts analyze the implications of the exchange of strikes between Iran and Israel for the ongoing war on Gaza.
Galip Dalay, Omar H. Rahman, Ranj Alaaldin, Özge Genç, Adel Abdel Ghafar, Shahram Akbarzadeh, Hamidreza Azizi
In this interview with Afkār, Özge Genç, an expert on elections and democratic governance, analyzes the results of Türkiye’s pivotal local elections held on March 31, 2024.
Özge Genç
Can Turkish foreign policy find an effective balance between meeting the demands of the public and not alienating its overseas partnerships?
Özge Genç
Türkiye is rapidly approaching its most hotly contested and consequential election in two decades. What has made it so, and what are the implications for the Middle East if President Erdogan, a leader who has loomed large over regional politics, suddenly departs the scene.
Özge Genç
For years, anti-refugee xenophobia has been on the rise in Türkiye, which hosts the largest contingent of Syrian refugees in the world. After catastrophe struck both countries in February, matters only got worse. What will happen to this vulnerable population as Türkiye heads to elections in May?
Özge Genç