Koc EMBA GNW June 2016




Koç University
Graduate School of Business

June 2016

Steering your Company in Turbulent Seas: Politics in EMEA and its implications on Business



Welcome to the world’s most turbulent and hectic region, where all main players are pursuing their own agenda against ever-changing political scenery. In Syria, Shiites supported by Russia, Iran and China are fighting against Sunnites backed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Not to mention the chaos in Iraq, which paved the way for an independent Kurdish state or the Arab Spring that created a vacuum to fuel further the instability in North Africa.

In short, the aim of this course is to examine the major contours, concepts, and issues of politics and foreign policy with a particular focus on the EMEA Region and Turkish Foreign Policy in the post-Cold War era. In the second half, the focus will be shifted from politics to economics to discuss how companies can survive and flourish in this uncertain environment surrounded by all the risks you can name of. As a corporate executive, “if you can make it there, you can make everywhere”.


Module I: Politics in the Europe-Middle East-Africa Region and Turkish Foreign Policy

  • Introduction: Understanding Foreign Policy
  • Arab Spring, Democratization and Political Economy in EMEA
  • Challenges of Security in a Turbulent Region: The Case of Syria
  • A Brief Historical Overview of General Trends in Turkish Foreign Policy
  • Turkey and the European Union
  • Turkey and the Middle East and Africa
  • Geopolitics of the Caspian Basin and Energy Politics

Module II: Steering Your Company in the Turbulent Waters

  • Driving Motives for FDI in Emerging Markets
  • Main Business Risks of Investing Abroad
  • Financial Hedging and Political Insurance
  • Guest Speakers: Executives from Multinational Firms operating in Turkey and from Turkish Firms operating in the EMEA
  • Simulation: A half-day simulation will be run to access the impacts of alternative growth strategies for a company operating in a highly uncertain political environment


Real life experiences of company executives, class discussions, lecture, simulation.

At least 65% of the week will be based in the classroom with the remainder consisting of company visits and teamwork on the simulation. Simulation results of each team will be presented at the end of the week.


  • Assoc. Prof. Suhnaz Yılmaz
  • Dr. Ahmet D. Erelcin