Happening Now

Middle East Studies

"...my experience at Brown and in the department, reinforced the importance of values such as freedom of thought and expression. Navigating a political environment where those values are constantly under siege has helped me appreciate my educational experience all the much more."

Sureya Koprulu '13

Sureya Koprulu '13 serves as Editor-in-Chief of Turkish foreign policy magazine

A few years after graduation, where in the world are you - and what are you working on?

Six months after graduating from Brown [in 2013], I moved to Istanbul, Turkey, to take an internship position at Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ), an independent foreign policy journal that aims to foster analytical debate on Turkey and its neighborhood. After a year I was promoted to Associate Editor and in November 2015 I became Editor in Chief. In my new capacity, I am in charge of both the journal's editorial content, as well as its institutional development. That includes everything from soliciting articles, copyediting, corresponding with the media, engaging with civil society, to overseeing the printing process of the journal. Since the journal sustains itself through subscriptions, sponsorships, and in-kind support, I also do some fundraising.

How have you found that your education at Brown, and specifically your MES concentration, has informed your work and the way you approach it?

My decision to concentrate in MES had a lot to do with my family background and a love of the region, however that developed into an academic interest of my own during my time at Brown. One of the things that my MES education taught me is to think comparatively when it comes to history and politics. That has helped me understand and grasp the wide range of topics that we cover at TPQ. My MES education, as well as Brown on a whole, also taught me to think critically about every source that I am reading, which serves me well when it comes to understanding why a journal contributor has a certain perspective. On a whole, my experience at Brown and in the department, reinforced the importance of values such as freedom of thought and expression. Navigating a political environment where those values are constantly under siege has helped me appreciate my educational experience all the much more.

Now a graduate with experience in the "real world," what advice would you have for current students at Brown and specifically at Brown MES?

My advice to MES students would be not to shy away from zooming in on an issue or country that interests you, and to seek guidance from advisors/MES professors as much as possible. Speaking from my own experience, I can say that the area of study often overwhelmed me and while I feel I had a rich education, I wish I had honed my focus further.

What might be next for you?

I plan to stay in my position at TPQ until 2018, after which I am considering a number of options -- continuing my education in international relations, exploring alternative options outside the journal/policy world, among others!