The Council

TJU – President of Counsil

Ismail DEMIR was born in 1960, Elazığ. After he completed primary education in Ankara and Eskişehir; secondary and high school education in Eskişehir, in 1982 he graduated from Istanbul Technical University as an Aircraft Engineer. After working as a Research Assistant in Uludağ and ITU for a year, in 1985 he went to the USA for graduate and doctoral studies with MEB scholarship.


He received master’s degrees in Applied Mechanics in the University of Michigan, and in Space and Aviation in Purdue University. In 1989 he started to work in solid body mechanics, fracture mechanics and material subjects within his doctoral studies. He also worked as a Research Assistant on various topics in this department where he received the Best Graduate Researcher Award. He was also involved in researches conducted at research facilities such as Livermore and Pacific Northwest Laboratories during his doctoral studies. In 1992, he graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Washington State University with a Ph.D. In May 1992; as Postdoctoral Researcher at Canada, British Columbia and Victoria Universities, he studied on semiconductor single crystal growth.


In 1993, he started to work as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at King Suud University in Saudi Arabia.


In 1997, he received the title of Associate Professor in Aircraft Elements and Materials at the Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics, İTÜ. During this time, he traveled to the USA to participate in several short-term research projects, conducting research on materials, numerical modeling, micro and mesomechanics and nanotechnology as a part-time researcher at Livermore, Northwest Pacific National Laboratories, Washington State University Materials Research Center and Mechanical Engineering.


In 2002, he started to work at the Materials Research Center of Washington State University as a researcher and worked on DARPA projects and investigated microelectromechanical systems.


In late 2003, he returned to Turkey upon the invitation of new management, began to serve as Training Director of Turkish Airlines. In April 2005, he was appointed as Senior Technical Officer (vice-CEO), in THY. During the mission, he has actively participated in the creation of sub-companies according to their areas of expertise of THY and in the process of privatizing and publicizing the majority of the shares.


In May 2006, when he was head of THY Maintenance and Repair Unit, he structured Turkish Technic as a company with its separate legal entity and became the first General Manager of Turkish Technic. At the time of carrying out this duty, he was not only creating Turkish Technic brand, but also moving the THY Technic as a worldwide maintenance and repair company, which serves companies other than THY also. As a result of these efforts, Turkish Technic quickly managed to become one of the top 10 Aircraft Maintenance and Repair Company (MRO) and succeeded in selecting the best MRO in Europe.


Until 2014, while he was serving as THY Technic’s General Manager and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors, he established several partnerships and served as Chairman/Member of the Board of Directors of the related companies. Those partnerships can be listed as:


An aircraft engines maintenance and repair company, Turkish Engine Center which has 150 million US dollars capital, with American Pratt & Whitney Motor Company


Goodrich Turkish Technic Service Center (GTTSC), for maintenance and repair of aircraft engine hood and adverse reaction units, with American Goodrich AeroStructures company


Aircraft engines and gas turbine maintenance and repair company TURKBINE with Zorlu Energy


Aircraft cabin equipment manufacturing company Turkish Cabin Interior TCI with TUSAŞ • Aircraft seat manufacturing company Turkish Seat Industries (TSI) with Kibar Holding


During his tenure at THY, in 2004, the HABOM Project, which started with the idea of establishing a maintenance and repair center in world class in order to provide added value to the region around Sabiha Gökçen Airport, that Turgut Özal named as the Advanced Technology Park (ITEP) in the 80s, was the first project to be successfully completed despite the various handicaps, construction and ground problems. The aviation maintenance and repair center, established by more than 300 million dollars construction cost, and by more than 100 million dollars equipment cost, which has 370 thousand square meters of indoor space, is the place that could be called as first in terms of architecture and construction techniques implementations, in Turkey and in Europe.


In the same period, he made moves such as constructing a hangar at Ankara Esenboğa Airport and incorporating two huge new hangars, where a private company had difficulty in operating, into THY Technic at Atatürk Airport. Furthermore, in terms of capability and capacity, technician training programs enabled the THY Technic to take place in the World MRO market as a brand. In 2005, when he started his duty, THY Technic started its operations as a unit of THY with annual turnover of 200 million US Dollars, 10% third party customers and 2500 employees. He left the company as with an annual turnover of 850 million US dollars, 28% third party customers, and 5000 employees.


In April 2014 he accepted the duty of the President of Defence Industries and was appointed to the President of Defence Industries with the letter numbered 28970 and dated 12-04-2014 of the Official Gazette. As President of Defence Industries, he provided the completion of many defence projects and the initiation of new projects in Turkey.


Within the scope of these studies, DEMİR, who doubled the number of projects ; continues to carry out acquisition and modernization processes, with new restructurings, and passion of uncompromising, domestic and national defense industry with the slogan "For Our Freedom and Future"


DEMİR, who has published many articles in various international journals and conferences on composite materials, fracture mechanics, theoretical and numerical elastic models and microelectromechanical issues, received his professorship title in 2013 and is married, with four children.

Ambassador Kiyoshi Araki

Ambassador Kiyoshi Araki was born in 1949 in Tokyo, Japan.  After graduating from the University of Tokyo with B.A. from the Department of Jurisprudence, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1972. 

His work in Tokyo covered various areas ranging from Asia and North American regional affairs to economic relations and Official Development Assistance.  Also he served as Director General for International Affairs at the House of Councilors, and as Director-General of the Geneva Conventions.

He served extensively overseas as well in countries such as US, China, Republic of Korea, UK, Canada, France, Sri Lanka.  In 1990, he spent a year at the Chatham House in London as a research fellow.

From 2011-2013, He was in Ankara as Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Turkey.  Currently he serves as Special Assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. 

Ambassador, Presidential Spokesperson of the Republic of Turkey

İbrahim Kalın served as Assistant Undersecretary of State and Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister of Turkey before taking up his current post. He is the founding director of the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) serving as its director from 2005 to 2009. His academic work focuses on the Islamic intellectual tradition and its relevance for the contemporary world. Dr Kalin has published widely on Islamic philosophy, Islam-West relations and Turkish foreign policy.

In addition to serving as the spokesperson of the President, Kalin is also the deputy chairperson of the Presidential Council of Security and Foreign Policies. He gives lectures at Ibn Haldun University. And he is the Council Member of Turkish-Japanese Science and Technology University.

Born in 1964 in Eskisehir, Dr. Mehmed Özkan continued his master’s and doctorate studies at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in USA, after graduating with honors degree in Electrical-Electronic Engineering at Bogazici University in 1986. He completed his master’s (88) and doctorate (91) studies on Intelligent Robots and Robotic Surgery.

Throughout the master’s studies at Vanderbilt University, Özkan took place also in projects towards USA-NIH and Japan industries, besides his research assistancy. At the same period, he fulfilled his duty as the administrator of Intelligent Robots Laboratory. During the doctorate studies, he worked as research asssistant responsible for development of stereotactic and robotic surgery planning systems at Department of Neurologic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). In order to do his doctorate study Özkan went to Tokio in 1992 and continued his studies as researcher at Department of Mechatronics at Bridgestone, Japan. Here, he practised one of his pioneer studies of using  artificial neural network for robot controlling.

Returning to Bogazici University in 1995, Özkan continued his academic studies at Department of Biomedical Electronic at Biomedical Engineering Institute. Achieving the Excellence in Education at Bogazici Univesity in 2007, Prof Özkan studied as thesis advisor of over 40 master’s students and 6 doctorate students graduated from Biomedical Engineering. 86 of the academic publishings he took part among the authors have been referred for around 800 times. Conducting a number of research projects, Özkan took part in refereeing and observing more than 20 industrial projects.

Founding his own start-up company on Biomedical Electronics, Özkan completed five projects within this scope. One of the Start Projects received European Comission Horizon 2020, “EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation 2014-2020, Seal of Excellence” certificate.

Being a member of TUBITAK-TEYDEB-ELOTEG Executive Committee between years 2005-2012, Özkan became a member of TUBITAK-TEYDEB-TEMEG Executive Committee between 2012-2015. In 2012-2015, he took charge in project assessment commissions on Robotics within framework of European Commission FP7 and H2020 Programmes. taking part as the representative of KUSI Istanbul Study Group in 2015-2016 and Marmara Regional Coordinator of Turkish Patent Institute in 2012-2016, Özkan became a member of TUBA in 2017. At the same year, he was assigned to Inter-university Executive Board membership and TUBITAK Executive Board membership in 2018.

As Deputy Director Between 1995-2006 at Bogazici University Biomedical Engineering Institute; Rector Advisor between 2012-2016 responsible for Technology and Innovation at Bogazici University, Vice Rector in 2016 at Bogazici University, Özkan has been continuing his academic duty as the President of Bogazici University since 2016. Related to his rectorship duty, He is the chairman of Executive Boards of Bogazici University Foundation, Bogazici University Tecnopark AŞ, BUDOTEK Tecnopark and Finance Tecnopark.

Prof. Özkan has been a Council Member of Turkish-Japan Science and Technology University since 2018.



Naci Ağbal was born on January 1, 1968 in Bayburt, Turkey. He graduated from Istanbul University, Department of Public Administration of the Faculty of Political Sciences. He obtained his graduate degree at Business Administration Programme (MBA) of the University of Exeter, UK.

Ağbal served as Finance Inspector, Vice Chairman of Finance Inspection Board, Head of Department at Revenue Administration and Advisor to the Minister of Finance. He was the General Director of Budget and Fiscal Control between 2006-2009 and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance between 2009-2015.

He was a member of TÜPRAŞ (Turkish Petroleum Refineries Co.) Board of Directors between 2004-2006, PETKİM (Petrochemical Holding Co.) Board of Directors in 2006, Turkish Airlines Board of Directors between 2006-2015. He was also a member of Council of Higher Education and the Board of Trustees at International Ahmet Yesevi Turkish-Kazakh University between 2008-2015.

Naci Ağbal is a member of the Vakıf Participation Bank Inc. Board of Directors from 17 October 2018, Council of Higher Education from 23 November 2018, Turkish-Japanese Science and Technology University Council from 18 January 2019.

He became a Member of Parliament from Justice and Development (AK) Party from Bayburt in General Parliamentary Election of 7 June 2015. He was reelected as a Member of Parliament from Bayburt in General Parliamentary Election of 1 November 2015. He was Vice President for Economic Affairs as a member of AK Party Central Decision Board of Directors (MKYK) and Central Board of Directors (MYK). Ağbal, who served as the Minister of Finance during the 64th and 65th Governments of the Republic of Turkey, has been appointed as the president of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Presidency of Strategy and Budget on July 25, 2018.

Ağbal has fluent English; is married and has two children.

Ryoji Noyori is a 2001 Nobel laureate in chemistry for

his development of chirally catalyzed hydrogenation reactions.



Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University


Dr. Eng., Kyoto University


Master, Kyoto University


Bachelor, Kyoto University




Director, Science Museum, Japan Science Foundation


Director-General, Center for Research and Development Strategy (CRDS),    Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)


Chair, Education Rebuilding Council


Chair, Science and Technology Council, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology


President, RIKEN (2015– RIKEN Fellow)


University Professor, Nagoya University


President, The Chemical Society of Japan


Dean, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University


Professor, Nagoya University


Associate Professor, Nagoya University


Instructor, Kyoto University


Academy Memberships

Member of Japan Academy and Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Foreign member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences; National Academy of Sciences, USA; Russian Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Sciences, Korea; Royal Society, UK; Polish Academy of Sciences; Chinese Academy of Sciences. Honorary academician of Academia Sinica, Taiwan.




Lomonosov Large Gold Medal (Russian Academy of Sciences)


Nobel Prize in Chemistry (Sweden)


Roger Adams Award (American Chemical Society)


Wolf Prize in Chemistry (Israel)


Order of Culture (Japanese Government)


King Faisal International Prize for Science (Saudi Arabia)


Person of Cultural Merit (Japanese Government)


Arthur C. Cope Award (American Chemical Society)


Japan Academy Prize


Tetrahedron Prize (UK)


Asahi Prize (Japan)



Center for Research and Development Strategy, Japan Science and Technology Agency.

K’s Gobancho, 7, Gobancho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 102-0076, Japan.

Date of birth: 24 November, 1948

Current job: President of Japan Space Forum (JSF) and others

(Notes; JSF is a non-profit foundation supporting Japan’s space activities.)


May 1979    -Obtained Master of Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business and Public Administration, Cornel University in the USA

March 1974   -Obtained Master of Engineering from the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo

April 1972    -Graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, the University of Tokyo


June 2019 – present

             -Member of the Board of Directors, Japan Association of Technology Executives

May 2019-present

            -Vice Chairman, Society of Technology and Management Professionals

February 2019- present

            -Member of University Council, Turkey-Japan Science and Technology University

December 2018 – present

             -Member of the Advisory Board, Tokyo University of Science

October 2018 – present

             -Chair of Nuclear Non-proliferation Science and Technology Forum,

              Japan Atomic Energy Agency

June 2018 – present

             -Member of the Board of Directors, The Engineering Academy of Japan

August 2016 - present

                 -Member of the Board of Trustees, International Human Frontier Science Program

             Organization (HFSPO) in Strasbourg, France

April 2016 - present

                -Member of Management Council, National Kobe University

July 2015 - present

                 -Advisor to the Governor of Hyogo Prefecture in Japan

June 2015 - present

                 -President, Japan Space Forum (JSF) –current job

December 2014 - present

                 -Senior Visiting Fellow, National Institute of Science and Technology Policy, MEXT

September 2011 - October 2014

                 -Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova         

July 2008 – August 2011

             -Senior Advisor to MEXT                   

                 -Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

                 -Deputy Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

January 2001 – July 2008

                 -Director-General, Minister's Secretariat, MEXT

                 -Executive Director, RIKEN

                 -Director-General, Research and Development Bureau, MEXT

               -Deputy Director-General, Minister’s Secretariat and Research Promotion Bureau,


April 1989 – December 2000                

                 -Director, Management and Coordination Division, Minister’s Secretariat,

Science and Technology Agency (STA)

                 -Director, Policy Division, Atomic Energy Bureau, STA

                -Director, Policy Planning Division, Science and Technology Policy Bureau, STA

                 -Director, Space Activity Planning Division, Research and Development Bureau, STA

                 -Director, Nuclear Fuel Division, Atomic Energy Bureau, STA

 July 1985 - March 1989           

                 -First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in the USA

April 1974    -Entered STA

Prof. Dr. Yekta Saraç was born in Istanbul on March 21, 1963. He received his B.A. from the department of Turkish Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature at Istanbul University (IU) in 1985. He became a research assistant in the department of Turkish Language and Literature, IU Faculty of Literature on December 3. 1985.

After completing his doctoral education at the same university in 1991, he received the titles of assistant professor on June 25, 1992 and associate professor on October 4, 1994, respectively. He became professor in 2000. He worked as faculty member at Eastern Mediterranean University (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) in the academic year of 2005-2006.

He was assigned as General Council member of Higher Education on October 19, 2005. Afterwards, he was appointed to the same position for the second time on October 19, 2010. Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç, working as member of Executive Board of CoHE since March 13, 2008 and as Deputy Chairman since January 21, 2010, was assigned as the Chairman of the Council of Higher Education on November 11, 2014.

 Prof. Yekta Saraç, having 8 published books and articles published in a number of journals, has specialization in old Turkish Literature, text review, and rhetoric. 5 primary works of his are listed below:

Ottoman Authors (Osmanlı Müellifleri) (2016)

Selections from Ottoman Poetry (Divan Şiirinden Seçmeler) (2016)

Knowledge on Classical Literature – Rhetoric (Klâsik Edebiyat Bilgisi Belâgat) (2015)

Knowledge on Classical Literature – Style, Meter, Rhyme (Klâsik Edebiyat Bilgisi Biçim-Ölçü-Kafiye (2013)

 Emrî Divanı (2002)

Another significant project he contributed in is Project of Ottoman Turkish Dictionary from Turkish Language Associations (TDK) 

Prof. Dr. Yekta SARAÇ is the full member of Turkish Academy of Sciences since 2012 and the member of Board of Trustee of Yunus Emre Institute.

Yener Sonuşen holds a B.A. in Management from Boğaziçi University, Master’s degree from International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan with studies in international negotiations and Ph.D. in cross cultural negotiations from Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey. Sonuşen was the Board member and CEO of Ülker group of companies until December 2005. Since then, he is a management consultant, for reorganization and negotiation projects. He worked for The Carlyle Group as a Senior Advisor/Operating Executive responsible for investments in 34 countries.   


 Until 2012 he was the Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan Government in Turkey for some years. Sonuşen is the author of “I spoke to Mt.Fuji” where he talks about his experiences throughout his time in Japan.

He is a member of different organizations and associations, including Japan Institute of Negotiations, and continues to participate in workshops from time to time at Insead and IMD-MIT Sloan. Sonuşen taught an ‘Advanced Management’ course, in Boğaziçi University.  He is board member of several international companies.

Dr. Matsumoto was appointed as President of Tokyo University of Science in April, 2018. Before this appointment, he was Executive Director of RIKEN from 2015 to 2018. Dr. Matsumoto received his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees all from the University of Tokyo in Mechanical Engineering respectively in 1972, 1974 and 1977. He became Lecturer of the same University in 1977, Associate Professor in 1978 and full professor in 1992. He served as Dean of School of Engineering from 2006 to 2008, and served as Executive Vice President from 2009 to 2015. He is now Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo. Dr. Matsumoto’s recent scientific interests are computational engineering, fluids engineering and biomedical engineering. His research works have received numerous awards; ASME Calvin W. Rice Lecture Award in 2005, JSME Medals for Outstanding Paper, JSME Fluids Engineering Award, JACM Award for Computational Mechanics in 2007, APACM Award for Computational Mechanics in 2010, ASME Ted Belytschko Applied Mechanics Award in 2010, JSME Medal for Outstanding Paper in 2011 and JSMF Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. He served as President of the Japan Society of Fluid Mechanics in 2004, President of the Visualization Society of Japan in 2007 and President of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2010. He is honorary members of VSJ and JSME and Life Time Member of ASME. He is fellows of JSFM, JSME and ASME and member of the Engineering Academy of Japan and cooperation member of Science Council of Japan.