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Dr. Ozum Yesiltas

Ozum Yesiltas received her Ph.D. in International Relations from Florida International University in 2014. She also holds a B.A. in Sociology, and a M.S. in International Relations from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.  Her dissertation titled “Rethinking the National Question: Anti-Statist Discourses within the Kurdish National Movement” is a comparative study of the impact of the Kurdish movement on the internal policy debates on human rights and democratization in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. 

Dr. Yesiltas joined the faculty at Texas A&M University Commerce in 2017 where she teaches International Relations and Comparative Politics courses with a regional focus on the Middle East. Her teaching interests broadly include International Relations Theory, American Foreign Policy, International Human Rights, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Gender and Identity Politics in the Middle East. She also currently serves as the Faculty Advisor of the Political Science Department’s Model Arab League Program. 

Dr. Yesiltas’ research interests involve ethnic conflict and democratization in the Middle East with a particular focus on the Kurdish Question. She has done extensive field research in Turkey, Iraq and Syria since 2011 and published her work in academic journals including Studies of Transition States and Societies and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism. Her recent work focuses on the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Feminist Revolution in Syrian Kurdistan. She is currently working on a project that investigates the U.S. Foreign Policy towards the Kurds in post-ISIS Iraq and Syria which is funded by the American Political Science Association.