Muhammet Koçak joined the PhD Program at FIU’s International Relations Department in Fall 2016. Prior to joining FIU, he completed his BA and MA in Bilkent University International Relations Department (Ankara, Turkey). In his Master’s thesis, he analyzed the role of Russia’s state-sanctioned Muslim religious institutions on Russia’s domestic and foreign policy. While in Ankara, he wrote several op-ed pieces, policy briefs and contributed to academic projects on Turkish-Russian relations and political developments in post-Soviet space. He also had a chance to visit various parts of Russia and Ukraine multiple times to observe elections and to recruit students for Turkish universities. His main research interests are Turkish Foreign Policy, Russian History, Turkic-Muslim Minorities in Russia, and Strategic Studies. Koçak is able read and speak in Russian and learning Spanish. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.