Muhittin Ataman

Director, Foreign Policy & Editor-in-chief, Insight Turkey
Prof. Ataman graduated from the Faculty of Political Science in the Department of International Relations at Ankara University. Ataman earned his MA at Central Oklahoma University, and PhD at University of Kentucky between 1996 and 1999. He worked as an RA and a faculty member afterwards in the Department of International Relations at Abant İzzet Baysal University from 1993 until 2014. Ataman is currently a faculty member at the Faculty of Political Science in the Department of International Relations at Social Sciences University of Ankara. Prof. Ataman worked at SETA for three years as a part-time researcher in Foreign Policy Research Department. Currently, he serves as SETA's Director of Foreign Policy Studies and conducts academic research on Turkish foreign policy, the Middle East politics and the Gulf politics. Ataman is also the Editor-in-Chief of Insight Turkey, a journal published by SETA Foundation.

Directors

  • With Turkey's support, forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) liberated al-Watiya air base from Khalifa Haftar's forces on May 18. The recapture of the air base, a key strategic site in the western part of the country, marked the start of a series of defeats for Haftar forces and their eventual retreat from western Libya.
  • After Libya's internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) – with Turkish military support – launched Operation Volcano of Rage against putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar and his militias, conditions on the ground changed dramatically.
  • Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's latest comments on the Libyan crisis have led to a discussion of the Egyptian state. Many observers began to rethink the perception and power of Egypt over the last seven decades. Most observers agree that el-Sissi has downgraded the position of Egypt. After the military coup in 2013 – which brought el-Sissi to power – Egypt transformed into a sub-contractor of two ambitious Gulf monarchies, namely the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
  • After a successful military operation by Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) against the pro-Haftar militias and mercenaries over the last several weeks, Haftar and the states who support him began to talk about a cease-fire. However, most observers do not trust the putschist Haftar and supporting states. They question the sustainability of the cease-fire because of Haftar force’s repeated violations of not only cease-fires but also basic human rights. Besides, Haftar forces have repeatedly committed war crimes. For instance, they attacked civilian targets on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and launched air attacks on hospitals and schools.
  • Turkey and the Government of National Accord (GNA), the only legitimate administration and the main representative of the Libyan people, signed two memoranda of understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions and security and defense cooperation on Nov. 27, 2019. After the approval of these memoranda, the Turkish Parliament authorized the deployment of Turkish soldiers in Libya on Jan. 2.