Sakip Sabanci International Research Award Winners Announced

The Brookings Institution and Sabancı University are delighted to announce the winners of the Sakip Sabancı International Research Award. This annual award is named in honor of the late Mr. Sakıp Sabancı, a prominent Turkish philanthropist and business leader. It is designed to promote fresh thinking, new ideas, and original research relevant to Turkish studies conducted in any field of the humanities and social sciences.

This year's winner is Lerna K. Yanik for "Beyond 'Bridges,' 'Crossroads' and 'Buffer Zones': Defining a New International Role for Turkey." Dr. Yanik teaches at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey.

"Choosing the prize winners was no easy task for the jury. We received nearly 100 essays from all over the world and many of them were truly outstanding," said Philip Gordon, director of the Brookings Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE), which houses the Brookings Institution's program on Turkey. "I learned a lot from reading them all and warmly congratulate the winners and all those who participated."

To establish a prominent forum for exploring Turkey's increasingly important role in the world, CUSE and Sabanc? University launched a lecture series last year in honor of Sakıp Sabancı. Mr. Sabancı was one of the foremost Turkish business leaders of his generation, a visionary supporter of Turkey's democratic and economic reforms, and a strong advocate of Turkey's efforts to join the European Union.

"Turkey is located in a geo-strategically very difficult region. The essays for the Sabancı award successfully reflected the challenges and opportunities facing the rapidly changing country," said Omer Taspinar, director of the Brookings Institution program on Turkey.

Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank, delivered the second annual Sakıp Sabancı Lecture "Turkey: Embracing East and West." Before assuming leadership of the world's largest source of aid to developing nations, Mr. Wolfowitz spent more than three decades as an ambassador, educator, and senior government official under several U.S. presidents.

The award winners include:

1st Place:
"Beyond 'Bridges,' 'Crossroads' and 'Buffer Zones': Defining a New International Role for Turkey"
Lerna K. Yanik, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

2nd Place:
"Turkey and the United States: From Geopolitics to Concentrated Strategy"
Ian O. Lesser, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC

3rd Place (Tie):
"The Anatomy of Turkish-Russian Relations"
Suat Kiniklioglu, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Ankara, Turkey

"The Impact of the European Union on Democracy in Turkey and its Implications for the Region"
Demet Yalcin, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey