Pinar Tank

Senior Researcher

Pinar Tank
Work phone: +47 22 54 77 00
Twitter: @PinarTank1

Research Interests

My current research focuses broadly on Turkey's domestic and foreign policies with a particular emphasis on the Middle East. In the realm of foreign policy, this includes Turkey's regional role, its geopolitical shifts as well as its international humanitarian outreach. In the domestic arena, my research has been related to the issues of democratisation, Kurdish-Turkish relations, gender, and political Islam. In addtion, I maintain my interest in civil-military relations in transitional democracies.

A related secondary theme using Turkey as a case is the role of rising powers in peacebuilding and humanitarianism.


​​​​​​Languages spoken

English, Norwegian, Turkish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Spanish

Working experience

1998–Present: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Sept 2018 - present: Senior Researcher, PRIO

Aug 2013 - Sept 2018: Senior Researcher, based in Brazil

2011–Aug 2013: Research Director, Dimensions of Security

2010–2011: Programme Leader, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building

2009–2010: Senior Researcher

1998–2009: Research, Security Programme

1995–1997: Reseacher, Center for European and Asian Studies, Norwegian School of Management, BI.

1993–1995: Various positions including Teaching, translation and personal assistance.

Academic visitorships

2003 - Fulbright research scholarship, Georgetown University, Washington.

2001 (October) - Visiting Research fellow at Centre for Eurasian Strategic Studies (ASAM) in Ankara, Turkey. 


2009 - Dr. Philos. in Political Science, Uniaversity of Oslo/PRIO.

Dissertation title: Turkey's military élite at a crossroad: Paths to desecuritisation?"

1993 - Master of Philosophy in International Relations - Security Studies, University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

M.Phil thesis: “Ecofeminism: Critique or critical theory?”

1990 - Bachelor of Arts Honours in French and Politics (including one year spent at Literature Faculty of Université de Nantes, France as part of French language degree). University of Keele, England.

Research Groups

Full member:
Associated member:

PRIO Departments


PRIO Projects



PRIO started tracking events online in 2007. This listing is not complete. Past events may be mentioned in our news archive.

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Tank, Pinar (2017) Kurdish Women in Rojava: From Resistance to Reconstruction, Die Welt des Islams 57(3): 404–428.
Tank, Pinar (2012) Tilbake til pragmatismen: Tyrkias Syria-politikk, Internasjonal Politikk(4).
Tank, Pinar (2010) Tyrkias militære og "den dype staten" [Turkey's Military and "The Deep State"], Babylon: Nordisk tidsskrift for Midtøstenstudier 8(1): 70–80.
Tank, Pinar (2006) Dressing for the Occassion: Reconstructing Turkey's Identity, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 6(4): 463–478.
Tank, Pinar (2005) The Effects of the Iraq War on the Kurdish Issue in Turkey, Journal of Conflict, Security and Development 5(1): 69–86.
Tank, Pinar (2005) Political Islam in Turkey: A State of Controlled Secularity, Turkish Studies 6(1): 3–19.
Tank, Pinar (2002) 'Re-solving' the Cyprus problem: Changing perceptions of state and societal security, European Security 11(3): 146–164.
Tank, Pinar (2001) Turkey as a 'Special Case' for the EU: Will the Generals Retreat from Politics?, Security Dialogue 32(2): 217–231.

PhD Thesis

Tank, Pinar (2003) Turkey's military elite at a crossroad: Paths to desecuritisation?. PhD thesis, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Oslo.

Book Chapter

Tank, Pinar (2019) Turkey: New Humanitarianism and Geostrategic Ambitions, in Agnieszka Paczyńska, ed., The New Politics of Aid: Emerging Donors and Conflict Affected States. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers (121–140).
Tank, Pinar (1998) Security Issues Emanating from the Mediterrananean Basin, in Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union. London: SAGE (161–184).
Tank, Pinar (1998) The CFSP and the Nation State, in Kjell A. Eliassen, ed., Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union. London: SAGE (9–22).

Non-refereed Journal Article

Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen; Kristian Hoelscher; Benjamin de Carvalho & Pinar Tank (2014) Brazil: An Aspiring Global Power, Government Gazette: 80–82.
Tank, Pinar (2005) Cyprus: A Note on Security Guarantees and Threat Perceptions, The Turkish Yearbook of International Relations 35169–176.

Popular Article

Tank, Pinar; Pavel K. Baev; Jørgen Jensehaugen; Kristian Berg Harpviken; Alaa Tartir; Mathias Hatleskog Tjønn & Zenonas Tziarras (2020) What a Biden Presidency Could Mean for the Middle East, PRIO Blog, 12 November.
Tank, Pinar (2014) The Soma mining disaster: A tragedy foretold, The New Middle East blog, 22 May.
Lende, Gina & Pinar Tank (2008) Siste forsøk på gjenforening [Last attempt at reunification], Stavanger Aftenblad, 13 November.
Lende, Gina & Pinar Tank (2005) Ny giv i Kypros-konflikten? [New Initiatives in Cyprus?], Morgenbladet, 14 January.
Lende, Gina & Pinar Tank (2004) Historisk sjanse for Kypros [Historical Opportunity for Cyprus], Dagsavisen, 22 April.

Conference Paper

Tank, Pinar (2005) Turkey’s Ambiguous Identity: The Symbolic Significance of EU Membership, presented at Turkey and Europe – are we Captives of History?, Blindern, Oslo, 11 April.

PRIO Policy Brief

Tank, Pinar (2020) Turkey and COVID-19: Balancing Health and Economic Priorities, MidEast Policy Brief, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Jensehaugen, Jørgen & Pinar Tank (2019) Kurdish and Palestinian Quests for Self-Determination, MidEast Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - Other

Tank, Pinar (2012) Turkey as an International Mediator: Opportunities and Pitfalls, Report for Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF). .
Tank, Pinar (2012) The Concept of "Rising Powers" , Policy Brief for Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF) , .

Report - External Series

Tank, Pinar (2018) Turkey's Risky Adventure in Afrin, Sada e-zine. Carnegie Endowment for Peace.
Tank, Pinar (2017) Turkey's Turn Towards Russia, Sada e-zine. Carnegie Endowment for Peace.
Tank, Pinar (2016) Kurdish Female Combatants and the Role of Gender Ideology, NewMe 2015-2016, Policy brief 9 September. University of Oslo.
Tank, Pinar (2016) Lessons from the Turkish Coup Attempt, Sada e-zine. Carnegie Endowment for Peace.
Tank, Pinar (2016) Kurdish Women: Liberation Through the Barrel of a Gun, NewMe 2015-2016, Policy brief 9 June. University of Oslo.
Tank, Pinar (2015) The Growing Sunni-Alevi Divide in Turkey, Policy Report 2014. University of Oslo, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS).
Tank, Pinar (2015) The Domestic Repercussions of Turkey´s Syria Policy, Policy Brief 2014. University of Oslo, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS).
Tank, Pinar (2012) The Syria crisis: Challenges to Turkey’s role in the new Middle East, NA. IKOS, New Middle East Project - University of Oslo.
Tank, Pinar (2012) The AKP’s foreign policy challenges after the Arab Spring, IKOS, 3. University of Oslo: Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS).
Tank, Pinar (1999) Understanding Turkey's Kurdish Dilemma, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 7. Oslo.

Blog Posts

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Arab Street and Erdoğan

Posted by Pinar Tank on Friday, 21 May 2021

In a series of brief blog posts, researchers of the PRIO Middle East Centre offer their reflections on the unfolding Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The conflict in Gaza has once again highlighted the tense relationship between Turkey and the United States with President Erdoğan using incendiary language in his criticism of Israel ... Read more »

What a Biden Presidency Could Mean for the Middle East

Posted by Pinar Tank, Pavel Baev, Jørgen Jensehaugen, Kristian Berg Harpviken, Alaa Tartir, Mathias Hatleskog Tjønn & Zenonas Tziarras on Thursday, 12 November 2020

With a winner finally announced in the US election, researchers at the PRIO Middle East Centre present a few thoughts on what a Biden presidency could mean for the Middle East. What are likely to be the guiding foreign policy principles of a Biden administration and how will regional and ... Read more »

Gender and Preventing Violent Extremism

Posted by Pinar Tank & Inger Skjelsbæk on Thursday, 12 March 2020

“We cannot allow the invisibility of women in the area of peace and security to continue,” stated Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide in her opening of the session on “Gender and Preventing Violent Extremism” in Amman, Jordan. Women are often “invisible” in analyses of violent extremism, whether ... Read more »

The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal Cost Refugees the Most

Posted by Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert & Pinar Tank on Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Note: On 18 March 2016, the EU and Turkey agreed on a deal to stop refugees from crossing the Mediterranean. At that time, Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert and Pinar Tank warned that the agreement was advantageous for Europe and Turkey but not for the refugees whose rights to protection were severely ... Read more »

Turkey’s Risky Adventure in Afrin

Posted by Pinar Tank on Friday, 23 February 2018

Turkey’s military incursion into Kurdish-controlled northern Syria risks straining diplomatic ties and exposing Turkey to increased terror threats. The Turkish offensive on Afrin that began on January 20 had long been anticipated. But while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) may hope this campaign can drum up anti-Kurdish nationalism ... Read more »

Turkey’s Turn Toward Russia

Posted by Pinar Tank on Monday, 29 May 2017

Despite tensions over Syria, Turkey is increasingly turning to Russia to secure its foreign and domestic policy needs. Though anticipated, the May 9 announcement by the Donald Trump administration that the United States would arm fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in preparation for an advance on the ... Read more »

The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal is Costly – Especially for the Refugees

Posted by Pinar Tank & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert on Thursday, 7 April 2016

The agreement reflects the EU’s self-interest just as much as Turkey’s, but takes little account of the interests and rights of the refugees. On Friday 18 March, Turkey and the EU concluded a deal designed to put an end to refugees’ use of the sea route to travel from Turkey ... Read more »

The “Sunnification” of Turkey´s Foreign Policy

Posted by Pinar Tank on Monday, 17 August 2015

Two months is a long time in politics – even more so in Turkish politics. At the beginning of June, the Turkish election brought a wave of hope across the country with results that broke the majoritarian (and authoritarian) rule of the reigning Justice and Development Party (AKP). The pro-Kurdish ... Read more »

Turkey's Critical Election

Posted by Pinar Tank on Friday, 5 June 2015

With only days to go before legislative elections in Turkey on Sunday, 7 June, the political uncertainty of its possible outcomes are filling newspaper columns. This is a change from the past two elections where a victory for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was almost a foregone conclusion. ... Read more »

Basta! Brazilians Move from Apathy to Action

Posted by Pinar Tank on Friday, 20 March 2015

In Rio de Janeiro, when the going gets tough, the tough… often go to the beach. The expanse of blue shoreline lined with small botecos (bars) is a sanctuary from the troubles of everyday life and according to some Cariocas – natives of Rio – the explanation for their relaxed ... Read more »

Turkey’s Ambitions in Africa

Posted by Pinar Tank on Thursday, 5 June 2014

In August 2011 Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan took his family, his foreign minister, and an entourage of cabinet members to visit Somalia as part of a humanitarian mission to highlight the plight of 12 million Somali victims of drought. The visit was symbolically important, as Erdoğan travelled to Mogadishu, the ... Read more »

The Soma Mining Disaster: A Tragedy Foretold

Posted by Pinar Tank on Friday, 23 May 2014

As the rescue operation into Turkey´s worst industrial accident came to end on Saturday, 17 May, the number of dead was confirmed at 301 (of 787) with scores still unaccounted for. PRIO researcher Pinar Tank has published a post the New Middle East Blog 23 May 2014. Read more »

The True Cost of Turkey´s Crisis

Posted by Pinar Tank on Friday, 7 March 2014

One of the foundational concepts of good democratic governance is that of a separation of powers. French Enlightenment philosopher Baron de Montesquieu´s argument for the separation of political power between the three branches – executive, legislative and judiciary – hinges on the notion that power should not be centralized in ... Read more »

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