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.
After President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's meeting with key leaders in the Libyan crisis, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Turkey has come to the fore once again as a game changer in Middle Eastern politics. Turkey's diplomatic efforts produced a cease-fire at a time when Tripoli was about to fall into the hands of Gen. Khalifa Haftar. Turkey has mobilized many regional and global actors such as Algeria, Tunisia, Italy and Germany to take more initiative in the Libyan crisis.
The title of my last Daily Sabah column from last year was: “Turkey in 2019: From an Emerging Economy to an Emerging Power.” The article showed how, over the course of just one year, Turkey proved that its economy was robust enough to resist the sustained economic and political attacks inflicted upon it over the last several years and that its military is strong enough to influence global multilateral platforms and sit at the negotiation table as an equal partner with some of the most influential global powers, including the United States and Russia.
Arabs have been demanding economic, political and cultural freedom since the outbreak of uprisings at the end of 2010. The Arab Spring, which continued for 2.5 years, from December 2010 to July 2013, brought about a complete breach from the old regional system. The Arab Spring sowed seeds of change in the Arab world, and the region was never the same as before.