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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Cagri Ozdemir

Cagri Ozdemir
Cagri Ozdemir
Istanbul, Turkey
Doing Now
Editor Al Jazeera News Website

My name is Cagri Ozdemir. I am from Istanbul, Turkey. I completed my secondary education in a French language highschool and my undergraduate studies in an English-language university in Istanbul. I finished my undergraduate studies with a double major degree in International Relations and Management of Performing Arts. Afterwards, I worked in the music business for a couple of years, then returned to academia in order to continue my postgraduate studies.

I started my masters degree in Istanbul, but while I was on the dissertation phase, I was awarded with the Jean Monnet Scholarship, funded by the European Union. I decided to withdraw my studies in my current university and apply for the IEP programme at the University of Edinburgh that I wanted to study for a long time.

Why did you decide to do the IEP degree?

As Turkey is a negotiating country in the accession process to the European Union since 2005, and as the relations between Turkey and the then European Communities date back to early 1960s, having a broad knowledge of the functioning and the institutions of the EU is crucial for any international relations student working on Turkish foreign policy. It is not just because Turkey has deep-rooted relations with the Union, but also the fact that the relations cannot be understood without taking into consideration the centuries long history and interaction of both sides. In addition to this, living in Scotland at a certain stage in my life was one of my lifetime goals and I am so glad that it was Edinburgh, a magical and fascinating city, even for someone coming from Istanbul.

What were your best memories?

Every single day that I spent in Edinburgh was a part of the best moment in my life. It is not just because Edinburgh is a special place when it comes to the architecture, landscape and the nature, but also the other students, the local people and the intimate relationships that I developed composed an overall satisfaction in the year that I spent there. In addition, my fond interest in whisky, the Highlands hiking and most importantly the cycling trip that I undertook from Edinburgh to London were amongst the best moments that I had in Edinburgh.

What is it that you do now and did the degree help in your career path?

My IEP studies and my dissertation project had a significant impact on my success in applying to work with Al Jazeera's new Turkish language service. I am in charge of setting the agenda for the in-depth analyses and opinion articles on Al Jazeera's webpages. Although the channel and the web site will be in Turkish, I will be choosing articles from other languages as well (in order to build a global perspective in Turkish).

How did you like Edinburgh as a city?

If Istanbul is one of the best cities to see as a tourist, Edinburgh is one of the best cities in which to live!