The IAPSS Winter School 2015 in Sakarya, Turkey was held from February 1st to 7th, 2015. 30 participants from 20 different countries participated in this week-long event on “the EU and the Middle East: Political Transformation and Challenges for Future Cooperation”. Throughout a series of lectures, academic workshops as well as discussion sessions, the participants were provided with a comprehensive overview on Turkish as well as regional politics by high-ranking lecturers from universities in Sakarya, Istanbul and Ankara.

Each participant at the IAPSS Winter School was set to produce a concept for an academic paper throughout the week, supported by workshops and working group sessions to review, examine and enhance the chosen methodology, the theoretical framework and the overall research objectives. On the very last day of the School, the participants presented their first paper drafts and research, followed by lively and controversial Q&A sessions. 6-8 of these papers will be selected for publication in a special issue of POLITIKON, one of IAPSS’ Journals (submissions are to be made until February 28th).

Overall, the IAPSS Winter School 2015 was a great success, featuring not only academic highlights but also a day-long excursion to the Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and its economic and cultural center as well as social events in the evening. Based on both an on-site and online evaluation, we will work with dedication to further improve our Seasonal Schools program.

We would hereby like to thank the participants of the IAPSS Winter School 2015 for their great interest, commitment and dedication, as well as the Organizing Committee and SAMEC for realizing the event. We are looking forward to the IAPSS Summer School 2015, to be held in Venice, Italy, from August 10th – 21st, 2015.