People at the BIAA


Academic & Research Staff

Lutgarde Vandeput

Lutgarde Vandeput

BIAA Director

Lutgarde Vandeput is a classical archaeologist, educated at the University of Leuven in Belgium. She has done fieldwork in Turkey since she was a student. She participated in the excavations at Sagalassos and also in the Pisidia Survey Project, which she then directed between 1998 and 2012. She was involved in the Aspendos Archaeological Project until 2016. Lutgarde specialises in the study of monumental architecture and urban development, as well as in survey archaeology. She has been on the faculty of the Universities of Leuven (Belgium)  and Cologne (Germany), and has been the Director of the BIAA since 2006.

Fields of Expertise: Classical Archaeology; Ancient Roads and Routes; Cultural Heritage Management


Further information
Peter Cherry - portrait 12 Sept 2023

Peter Cherry

Assistant Director for Ottoman and Contemporary Türkiye

Peter Cherry received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Edinburgh in 2017. He joined the BIAA in 2017-18 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. He was Assistant Professor of Comparative and World Literature at Bilkent University from 2018-2021, Visiting Lecturer at the University of West London from 2021-22, and worked as Communications and External Relations Officer for an NGO in Moldova from 2022-2023 before taking up the post of Assistant Director. His first book, Muslim Masculinities in Literature and Film: Transcultural Identity and Migration in Britain, was published by IB Tauris in 2021. He has also published on Turkish literature and cinema.

Fields of Expertise: Turkish Literature; Comparative Literature; Gender Studies


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Işılay Gürsu

Işılay Gürsu

Assistant Director for Cultural Heritage Management

Işılay Gürsu received her PhD in Cultural Heritage Management (CHM) from IMT Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy in 2013. Prior to her PhD, she worked at the Istanbul Archaeological Museums Development Project for a year. She joined the BIAA in 2013 as the CHM Postdoctoral Researcher. She has worked on improving the presentation and interpretation of the ancient site of Aspendos and the ancient region of Pisidia, culminating in the Pisidia Heritage Trail, a 350km long trekking route connecting archaeological sites in the region.

Fields of Expertise: Cultural Heritage Management, Public Archaeology, Tourism Studies


Further information

Research Fellows & Scholars


Özlem Sarıtaş

Postdoctoral Fellow 2022-23

Özlem Sarıtaş is a zooarchaeologist working mainly in Neolithic Anatolia and Jordan, including sites Boncuklu Höyük, Pinarbasi and Wisad Pools. She recently completed her D.Phil. at the University of Liverpool in 2022, where she researched on the zooarchaeological evidences for human and animal interactions at the Neolithic Boncuklu Höyük, Central Anatolia. Özlem is currently working on the Development of Hunting and Early Caprine and Cattle Herding Strategies in Neolithic Central Anatolia: a case study of 8th Millennium cal BC site Canhasan III. She employs zooarchaeological analysis methods to establish the origin of the earliest morphologically domesticated caprines, and possibly cattle, in central Anatolia.

Fields of Expertise: Domestication, Management, Human-Animal Relationship, Neolithic, Anatolia, Southwest Asia.


Hakan Tarhan

Cultural Heritage Postdoctoral Fellow 2023

Hakan Tarhan received his PhD in Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage (AMCH) from IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca in 2022. In his PhD research he investigated the relationships between official heritage discourses and people’s perceptions of heritage by focusing on the Ottoman Heritage in Greece and the Byzantine Heritage in Turkey. He previously took part in the BIAA’s Aspendos Cultural Heritage Management Project (2014 and 2016), and since 2020 he has been working as a heritage researcher in the Konya Regional Archaeological Survey (KRASP) project. As a postdoc fellow, he will continue his research on public perceptions of heritage and archaeology through implementing digital research methodologies and social media analysis.

Fields of Expertise: Cultural Heritage Management; Public Archaeology; Cultural Tourism


Burcu Akşahin

Research Scholar 2021-23

Burcu Akşahin graduated from Durham University with a B.A. in Ancient History and Archaeology in 2019 and an M.A. in Classical Archaeology in 2020. She joined the BIAA as Research Scholar in October 2021. Her primary academic interests include Hellenistic South-Western Anatolia, particularly the history and chronology of urban development in Hellenistic Lycia as perceived via material and visual culture. As part of her pre-doctoral research, she is working on compiling an overview of Hellenistic Lycian pottery. Her true passion lies in fieldwork, however, which has taken her on wild adventures around remote villages of Romania, Italy, and Turkey since 2016.


Özlem Başdoğan

Cultural Heritage Specialist

Özlem Başdoğan graduated from Ankara University Classical Archeology Department in 1998. During her university years, she participated in the Magnesia Ad Meandrum excavations in Aydın’s Söke district. In 2004, she attended Koç University, which was newly established at that time, undertaking the Anatolian Civilizations and Cultural Heritage Management programme. Başdoğan has been working as a project coordinator since 2014. Therefore, she is responsible for the coordination and execution of projects at all levels, including content production, budget, reporting and communication. In addition to working with professionals, she has also gained experience in collaborating with volunteers, especially since 2014.

Fields of Expertise: Anatolian Civilizations, Cultural Heritage Management


Akgün İlhan

‘Water in Istanbul: rising to the Challenge?’ Project Postdoctoral Fellow

Akgün İlhan is an environmental social scientist that specialises in water management; with a particular focus on its relationship to climate change. Akgün holds a PhD in environmental sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She is currently working with various stakeholders of urban water management to derive lessons from the historical water supply systems of old Istanbul to develop solutions to the current water crisis in the city, within the BIAA projectWater in Istanbul: Rising to the Challenge?”

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Honorary Research Fellows


Stuart Blaylock

Stuart Blaylock holds a BA in Ancient History and Archaeology from the University of Birmingham (1978) and a PhD in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Swansea (2005). He came to Turkey in 1980 to work on excavations at Tille Höyük, which he directed from 1984–1990. He subsequently conducted post-excavation and museum projects and published the final report on Tille’s Iron Age levels. More recently he has co-directed rescue excavations at Gre Amer with Gül Pulhan (2009–2019) and was appointed as a BIAA Honorary Research Fellow in 2020. Stuart has also pursued a career as a consultant archaeologist and architectural historian, publishing widely in both fields.

Fields of Expertise:  Near Eastern Archaeology, Pottery and Artefact Studies, Architectural History and Buildings Archaeology.


Michele Massa

Michele Massa, who received his PhD degree from University College London in 2016, is currently an Honorary Research Fellow of the BIAA. He has previously held an assistant professorship at Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University in Turkey from 2016-2018. He has been co-director of the Konya Regional Archaeological Survey Project since 2016. He is also director of the From Mines to Graves: metallurgy and metal exchange in north-western Anatolia between the Late Chalcolithic and the Late Bronze Age project in Kütahya. His primary area of interest is the prehistoric and early historic Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Anatolia.

Fields of Expertise: Archaeology, Study of Interaction, Landscape Archaeology, Process of Urbanization and State Formation, including warfare, long distance exchange networks, administration and elite behaviors.

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John McManus

John McManus

John McManus is a social anthropologist whose research looks at sport, migration, multiculturalism and popular culture in the Middle East, in particular Turkey and Qatar. He is the author of Inside Qatar: stories from one of the richest nations on earth (Icon Books, 2022) and Welcome to Hell? In Search of the Real Turkish Football (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2018), awarded runner-up in the 2019 British-Kuwaiti Friendship Society book prize. John holds a PhD from the University of Oxford and is a former BIAA Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-18). His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Washington Post, Financial Times and the BBC, as well as academic journals.

Fields of Expertise:  Popular Culture, Contemporary Turkey, Anthropology of Sport, Diaspora Studies.

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Benjamin Irvine

Benjamin Irvine, who received his PhD degree from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2017, is currently an Honorary Research Fellow of the BIAA. He was previously the 2018-20 BIAA Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Benjamin is a bioarchaeologist who specialises in utilising osteological and stable isotope analyses to examine the dietary habits, subsistence practices, and mobility patterns of populations in the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age periods of prehistoric Anatolia. His current research is focused on analysing human-environment interactions in prehistoric Anatolia and adjacent regions, particularly examining diachronic and regional patterns in dietary habits, subsistence practices, and agricultural strategies.

Fields of Expertise:  Bioarchaeology, Physical Anthropology, Archaeology, Stable Isotope Analysis

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Ender Peker

Ender Peker specialises in climate responsive urbanism; particularly the ways in which the built environment is co-produced by technical rules, regulations and actors. Ender holds a PhD from the University of Reading. His PhD research developed an urban design approach that integrates technical knowledge regarding climate sensitivity with social knowledge generated within and by local communities. He is currently working with water management stakeholders to better understand contemporary needs in İstanbul and explore how archaeological findings from the Water in Istanbul: Rising to the Challenge? project can inform solutions to current water-related challenges in the city.

Fields of Expertise: Climate Responsive Design, Urban Design, Socio-Technical Research


Gizem Tongo

Gizem Tongo is art and cultural historian specialising in the history of the late Ottoman Empire. She holds a doctorate in Oriental Studies from University of Oxford, St John’s College, where she was a Lord Dulverton Scholar. Upon graduation, she held two postdoctoral positions, first at the University of Oxford (between 2017 and 2018), and later at the British Institute at Ankara (between 2018 and 2020). In addition to her academic research, she has also been involved in curating and writing material for exhibitions. Currently she is working as a lecturer at the Architectural History program in Middle East Technical University.

Fields of Expertise: Late Ottoman and early Republic cultural history; Ottoman art and architecture; cultural history and memory of the First World War; gender and culture.

Photo_L_K 2023

Leonidas Karakatsanis

Leonidas Karakatsanis is Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics at the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki Greece and an Honorary Fellow of the BIAA. He holds a PhD in Ideology and Discourse Analysis from the University of Essex. He worked at the BIAA for seven years starting in 2012, initially as a postdoc / research fellow, before undertaking the post of the Assistant Director of the Institute between 2015-2019. He has taught at Universities in the UK, Greece, and Turkey. He has researched and published in the following fields of expertise.

Fields of Expertise: The politics of identity and reconciliation, peace and conflict transformation, nationalism, minority rights, immigration, civil society and the politics of resistance

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Administrative Staff

Gülgün Gırdivan

Gülgün Girdivan

Ankara Manager

Gülgün Girdivan graduated from Middle East Technical University Department of Economics in 1981. She worked as an administrative manager for an international trade company, before joining the BIAA in March 1984. She has served under four Institute directors so far. She manages the day to day running of the Institute, including accommodation, member registration, residence permit applications, accounting and other office administration duties. She also assists with the Institute’s relations with local government ministries.

laura bio pic

Laura Paterson

London Manager

Laura Paterson graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) with a degree in Turkish Studies, during which she spent a year as a visiting student at Boğaziçi University. After graduating she completed a course in business administration, and worked in several administrative roles in the London offices of Turkish companies and UK companies with dealings in Turkey. She took up the role of the BIAA’s London Manager in October 2019.

Burçak Delikan

Burçak Delikan

Ankara Resource Manager / Librarian

Burçak Delikan commenced her role as the Institute’s Senior Librarian in September 2009. She is currently working as Resource Manager, responsible for the library archives and other collections. She received her BA and MA from the Classical Archaeology Department at Ankara University, and is currently a PhD student in the same department, working on numismatics. During her studies, she worked on the Metropolis and Limantepe excavations as well as the Ulus rescue excavations. She is currently involved in the Metropolis (Ionia), and Nicaea (İznik) Roman Theatre excavations. She is also interested in numismatics and ancient gems.


Nurdan Atalan Çayırezmez

Digital Repository Manager

Nurdan Atalan Çayırezmez is a Near Eastern Archaeologist who holds a PhD in Information and Records Management from Ankara University. Her Master’s degree was in Settlement Archaeology from the Middle East Technical University. She has worked on different archaeological sites in Turkey, and her skills include using remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She applied these GIS skills to landscape archaeology whilst working as an archaeologist and Project Assistant at the Kerkenes Project in Yozgat and Ankara between 2000 and 2004

Gonca Özger

Digital Repository Assistant

Gonca Özger is an archaeologist with interests in zooarchaeology and human-animal interactions in prehistoric Anatolia. Her research interests also include digitalisation of culture heritage collections and data management in archaeology. Her current research combines traditional zooarchaeological analysis with geometric morphometric methods and focuses on animal mobility and breeding practices in the Late Bronze Age period of Anatolia. She attended Bilkent University Department of Archaeology for her BA and received her MSc from the Department of Settlement Archaeology at METU in 2021. She has worked on the Çadır Höyük Archaeological Project since 2015 and has been the Digital Repository Assistant at the BIAA since 2020.


Nihal Uzun

Assistant Librarian

Nihal Uzun began working as a part-time assistant librarian at the BIAA in September 2015. She finished her BA in Archaeology at Hacettepe University in 2011, and she studied at preparatory school at Bilkent University in 2013-2014. She received her MA in Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology Department at Adnan Menderes University, Aydın in 2019. At present, she is also studying in the Department of Cultural Heritage and Tourism at Anadolu University for a second BA. She is attending online courses and certificate programmes on Cultural Heritage. Nihal is also interested in archaeological theory and methods and has been joining archaeological excavations in Anatolia since 2008.


Martyn Weeds

Senior Development Manager

Martyn graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2004 with a BA in Ancient History and Archaeology, and was awarded an MA in Contemporary History and Politics by Birkbeck College, University of London, in 2011. He has held senior roles in several not-for-profit organisations, and before joining the BIAA in 2017 was Head of Supporter Engagement for a national charity in New Zealand. In addition to his work for the BIAA, Martyn is Executive Director of the UK-St Helena Heritage Trust, a martial arts instructor, a consultant, and Secretary of the British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology (BANEA).


Nora Straw

Development and Communications Assistant

Nora Straw studied BA Archaeology and Ancient Civilisations shortly followed by an MA in Archaeology from UCL with both her dissertations focusing on Middle Kingdom Hieroglyphs. Her main duties include running social media platforms, creating news articles and other content for the BIAA website, and assisting with the organisation and promotion of London-based BIAA events. She also currently works as a Visitor Experience Officer at 575 Wandsworth Road, a National Trust property in South London.

Başak Bodur

Başak Bodur

Ankara Office Administrative Assistant

Başak Bodur joined the BIAA at the beginning of April 2018 as a part-time administrative assistant. Her responsibilities include managing bookings for the BIAA’s guesthouse, accommodation, membership, event planning and related duties, such as travel arrangements for visiting scholars and students. She holds a BSc from the Department of Geological Engineering at Middle East Technical University and an MBA from Atılım University. She is also a part-time lecturer in the Department of Child Development at Hacettepe University, and works as a free-lance yoga instructor.


Katherine Hughes

London Office Administrator

Katherine Hughes studied BA in Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, followed by an MA in Museum Studies, where her dissertation discussed the looting of the Iraq Museum during the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the West. Her doctoral research (SOAS 2014), focused on the feedback loop between early Islamic Samanid material culture in Central Asia and how the Samanids are visually referenced by Tajikistan’s identity programme today. She is continuing her research on the new materialism of early Islamic art, ontology of objects, critical heritage of museums and how monuments shape space around them.


Mustafa Balcı

Ankara Office Caretaker

Mustafa Balcı has been working as a caretaker at the BIAA since March 2007. He graduated from the metalworks department of the Industrial Vocational High School at İskitler. Until his retirement in 2007, he worked in the Directorate of Construction and Technical Works at Middle East Technical University. His responsibilities involve maintaining the office and guesthouse’s fittings, including electrical & plumbing works, repairs, painting and providing support for the daily running of the office. He is also a talented barbeque chef as has been evident at many BIAA garden parties.

Keziban Çoşgun

Keziban Çoşgun

Ankara Office Caretaker

Keziban Çoşgun has been working as a domestic staff member since June 2009. She is responsible for the cleaning of the office, library and guesthouse. It is thanks to her that the Institute and the guesthouse are always clean. She is also highly valued and respected for the delicious cakes that she makes for special occasions at the Institute. Over the last few years, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that Keziban’s role in keeping the office and guesthouse clean and sanitary has been more important than ever, and all staff are incredibly grateful to her for helping to provide a safe working environment.

Council of Management


Jim Crow


Jim Crow teaches Roman and Byzantine archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. He first travelled to Turkey when he was a student at Birmingham, continuing his research at Newcastle and Sofia Universities. In the late 1970s he was based in Ankara, with a Leverhulme Studentship followed by BIAA Research Fellowship where he travelled with David French along the Euphrates and was part of the first season at Tille. He lectured at Warwick and Newcastle Universities before his current post at Edinburgh. In Turkey he has directed survey projects on the Black Sea and from 1994 in the west hinterland of Istanbul, surveying and documenting the Anastasian Wall and the Water Supply of Byzantine Constantinople.

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Aylin Orbaşlı

Aylin Orbaşlı

Deputy Chair

Aylin Orbaşlı trained as an architect at the Middle East Technical University, before specialising in building conservation and heritage management. She is a Reader in the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University and also works as a consultant advising on the conservation and management of historic sites and settlements. She works extensively in the Balkans and the Middle East, and has undertaken assignments at a number of World Heritage Sites in the region, including Petra in Jordan. In Turkey she coordinated the management plans that supported the successful World Heritage Site nominations for Çatalhöyük and Ani, and is regularly engaged in delivering training programmes on heritage management.

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Warren Eastwood

Honorary Secretary

Warren Eastwood is a biogeographer and palaeoecologist who researches past environmental change for the last 25,000 years or so in the eastern Mediterranean region where he has worked for the past 30 years. His main specialism is elucidating natural versus human-induced vegetation change using pollen analysis (palynology) and works closely with archaeologists and historians. His research interests also include climate change and the impact of major volcanic eruptions and tephrochronology of volcanic ash layers preserved in lake and peat sediment archives. Warren is a familiar colleague to the BIAA, both as a scholar working in Turkey and serving on the BIAA Council of Management.

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Kamran Hashemi

Honorary Treasurer

Kamran Hashemi has worked in investment banking in London for over 30 years. He has been a long-standing supporter of educational and charitable organisations serving the community at large. Kamran is a member of the Board of Arseh Sevom, an NGO promoting civil society and human rights in Iran and a Trustee and Treasurer of Persia Education Foundation, an NGO and UK registered charity, which provides educational support to Iranians worldwide. He was previously founding member and member of the Board of Iranian Community Centre established in 1983 to offer legal advisory services to asylum seekers in London.

Honorary Posts


Sir Dominick Chilcott, KCMG


Sir Dominick Chilcott is a retired diplomat who joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1982. He has served as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives, 2006 to 2007; Deputy Ambassador to the United States, 2008 to 2011; Ambassador to Iran (for six weeks only in late 2011 – the posting was ended by the attack on the embassy); Ambassador to Ireland, 2012 to 2016; and Ambassador to the Republic of Türkiye, 2018 to 2022. In addition to those postings, Sir Dominick has served in Ankara (1985 to 1988), Lisbon (1993 to 1995) and at the UK’s mission to the European Union in Brussels (1998 to 2002). Between overseas assignments, Sir Dominick has worked in the FCDO in London on European, African and Middle Eastern affairs. He has been a private secretary to two Foreign Secretaries, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and the late Mr Robin Cook. He was director of the Iraq Policy Unit in 2003 and director for bilateral relations with European countries from 2003 to 2006. He studied philosophy and theology at the University of Oxford. Sir Dominick’s hobbies include walking, sport of all kinds, reading, history, music and the theatre.

David Logan

Sir David Logan


Sir David Logan is a retired senior diplomat who was a Turkish specialist in the Diplomatic Service, serving in the political section of the British Embassy in Ankara from 1966-1970 and as Ambassador to Turkey from 1997-2001. He was later Director of the Centre for Studies in Security and Diplomacy at Birmingham University, and an Honorary Professor there, and has subsequent experience in business and other fields as a non-executive Director and consultant to a range of British, Russian and Turkish companies. He served as the Chairperson of the BIAA for 11 years between 2006-2017.

Council Members

Jim Crow
Aylin Orbasli
Warren Eastwood
Kamran Hashemi
Natalie Martin
Ziya Meral
Scott Redford
Mina Toksoz
John McManus
Anna Collar
Catherine Draycott
Mark Jackson
Sophie Moore

BIAA Committees

Research Committee

Scott Redford (Chair)
Lutgarde Vandeput
Işılay Gürsu
Aylin Orbaslı
Warren Eastwood
Natalie Martin
Catherine Draycott
Christopher Markiewicz

Finance and Personnel Committee

Kamran Hashemi (Chair)
Lutgarde Vandeput
Nicholas Milner
Simon Corcoran
Warren Eastwood
Anthony Sheppard

Development Committee

Jim Crow (Chair)
David Logan
Lutgarde Vandeput
Scott Redford
Warren Eastwood
Stephen Mitchell

Publications Committee

Catherine Draycott (Chair)
Lutgarde Vandeput
Naoise MacSweeney
Chris Markiewicz
Ceren Lord
Peter Cherry
Warren Eastwood
Abby Robinson

See past academic and staff appointments