Center for Civil Society Studies has been working with civil society stakeholders since 2003 under Istanbul Bilgi University. Its focus has been on right based issues and grass roots NGOs. Its expertise lies in capacity building and networking.

For a brief summary of what we have been doing, please see our detailed activity report that covers 2003 – 2016 (in English) from here.

Currently the Center has 4 Units and an MA program under it, namely;

The full time staff of the Center are both lecturers in the University’s General Education Department on issues related to civil society, NGOs, social projects, children/women/youth as well as in its MA Program. The staff also actively take part in the projects that the Units have been running with outside university civic partners. In general, the thematic projects are hosted accordingly by the Units and focus on networking and capacity building of grassroots and right based NGOs/citizen initiatives that are strictly non-profit in their nature.


  • NGO Research and Training Unit is running the coordination of the Platform of Monitoring the Public Expenditures; a platform that is being run by a platform of NGOs that organizes a Summer Academy every year to produce and disseminate reports on the expenditures of the central government on children, youth, security, social protection and justice.
  • Youth Studies Unit (Gençlik Çalışmaları Birimi) is co-running the Youth Research Fund with the Commmunity Volunteers Foundation (TOG) to support youth research projects as well as an international research project POWER2YOUTH on young people’s social exclusion in the MENA region.
  • Child Studies Unit (Çocuk Çalışmaları Birimi) is running a research and model developing project about child labor prevention with Istanbul Bilgi University’s Migration Research Center and continuing to disseminate its educational games about gender equality and children rights.
  • Bilgi Social Incubation Center (Bilgi Sosyal Kuluçka Merkezi) is running the co-working space located in the Santral Campus to support grass roots civic initiatives by providing mentorship, office space, training and networking opportunities. Additionally it is co-implementing a European program that provides mobility opportunities for CSOs; Civil Society Exchange Program.
  • MA Program on NGO Management and Social Projects (Sosyal Projeler ve STK Yönetimi Yüksek Lisans Programı) is home to 65 students.

Board of Directors

Yrd. Doç. Dr. Alper Akyüz
Prof. Dr. Lale Duruiz
Prof. Dr. Murat Belge
Prof. Dr. Nurhan Yentürk
Yörük Kurtaran


Alper Akyüz (MA Program on NGO Management and Social Projects)
Burcu Oy (Youth Studies Unit)
Esra Berberoğlu (Social Incubation Center)
Gözde Durmuş (Child Studies Unit)
Halil Öz (Social Incubation Center)
Laden Yurttagüler (NGO Research and Training Unit)
Merve Seda Çevik (Center for Civil Society Studies)
Nurhan Yentürk (NGO Research and Training Unit)
Pınar Gümüş (Youth Studies Unit)
Yörük Kurtaran (Youth Studies Unit and Social Incubation Center)