Our Team

Vemund AarbakkeVemund Aarbakke studied Philosophy, History of Religion, and Ancient Greek philology and Culture at the University of Bergen, Norway. He continued with postgraduate studies in Modern Greek and Balkan Studies at the University of Copenhagen. During the course of his postgraduate studies he also followed courses at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Istanbul, Climent Ohridski University of Sofia and the Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje. He obtained his doctorate from the Institute of History, University of Bergen. He has worked at the University of Bergen (Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies), Chr. Michelsens Institute - Bergen, the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo and University of Oslo (Department of East European and Oriental Studies). He has taught “Contemporary Balkan Politics” at the Department of Political Sciences, Aristotle University Thessaloniki since 2004. His publications include among others: The Muslim Minority of Greek Thrace (University of Bergen, 2000), Ethnic Rivalry and the Quest for Macedonia 1870–1913 (East European Monographs, Boulder, Co. 2003), «Adjusting to the New International Framework for Minority Protection―Challenges for the Greek State and its Minorities» (Jahrbücher für Geschichte und Kultur Südosteuropas, τ. 5, 2003), “Πρόσφυγες και προσφυγικές οργανώσεις στη Βουλγαρία 1940-1990” (Refugees and refugee organisations in Bulgaria 1940-1990) in Βασίλης Κ. Γούναρης και Ιάκωβος Δ. Μιχαηλίδης (επιμ.) Πρόσφυγες στα Βαλκάνια, μνήμη και ενσωμάτωση (Πατάκης, Αθήνα 2004), «The concept of reciprocity and its significance for the political organisation of the Muslim minority in Greece. » in S. Akgönül (ed.), Reciprocity - Greek and Turkish Minorities, Law, Religion and Politics. Bilgi University Press, 2008, pp. 119- 141, «Pomak Language Usage and the Spell of Nationalism—The Case of the Pomaks in Greece,» Slavia Islamica: language, religion and identity, edited by Robert D. Greenberg, Motoki Nomachi, Slavic Eurasian studies ; no. 25, Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, 2012, pp. 149-177, «Internationalisation of the Muslim Minority Issue, » Südost-Forschungen, Band 71, 2012, pp. 310-343.

Georgios NiarchosGeorgios Niarchos is a post-doc research fellow at the Department of Political Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He holds a bachelor degree in Theology from the University of Athens (1997) and a Master of Arts in East European Studies from the University of Bradford(1999). He was awarded his PhD from the European Institute, The London School of Economics and Political Science (2005), after completing his doctoral thesis entitled: ‘Between Ethnicity, Religion and Politics, Foreign Policy and the Treatment of Minorities in Greece and Turkey, 1923-1974’. He has previously worked on research projects for the Hellenic Observatory, LSE and the European Parliament. His most recent publications are the following: ‘The Last Ottomans. The Muslim Minority of Greece, 1940-1949’ (with K. Featherstone, D. Papadimitriou and A. Mamarelis), Athens: Alexandreia, 2013 (Greek translation of the original English edition published in 2011 by Palgrave/Macmillan), and ‘The state policy of approaching the Muslim minority on Thrace during the Greek civil war, 1946-1949’, in Dalkavoukis V., Paschaloudi E., Skoulidas E. and Tsekou K. (eds). Narratives for the decade of 1940. Thessaloniki: Epikentro (in Greek). He has made several contributions to international conferences on minorities in Greece and Turkey. His research interests include modern Greek history, Balkan history, minorities and Greek-Turkish relations.

Vassilis KoutsoukosVassilis Koutsoukos studied Geography at the University of the Aegean (2000) and obtained his MA in Race and Ethnic Studies from the University of Warwick (2001). He finished his Ph.D in History at the University of Crete (2012) entitled “From empire to nation state: Spatial aspects during the annexation of Greek Thrace”. He has worked in research projects exploring the ethnic relations among opposing ethnic and national groups in the United Kingdom, Turkey and Greece. His research interests include historical geography, ethnic relations and contemporary Balkan history. His latest publication is: Colonising a former Bulgarian province under French administration, 15th October 1919 – 28th May 1920 in Ventura L. & Baltsiotis L. (eds.) “The Greeks outside the national territory”, Athens: Vivliorama Publications, 2013.

Yannis Bonos is a translator and teacher of Modern Turkish and Ottoman Turkish. He studied History and Ethnology at the Democritus University of Thrace (1995-99) and obtained his MA in Asia Minor and Interior Asia Studies from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (2001). He works on a research project focusing on the government of the issue of the non-exchangeable (établis) population in inter-war Greek Thrace. His publications include “İnkılâb”, in Λ. Δρούλια – Γ. Κουτσοπανάγου (επιμ.), Εγκυκλοπαίδεια του Ελληνικού τύπου, 1784-1974, ΚΝΕ/ΕΙΕ, Αθήνα, 2008, τόμος 4ος, σσ. 426-427; “The Turkish spelling mistakes episode in Greek Thrace, June 1929: beyond the opposition modernists versus conservatives”, in N. Clayer – E. Germain (eds.), Islam in Inter-war Europe, 2008, Hurst Pubs., pp. 362-86; “Crossing the borders in reality and in press: the role of Yeni Adım and Yarın editors in the autumn 1928 emigration from Greek Thrace to Turkish Thrace”, in N. Sigalas – A. Toumarkine (eds.), “Demographic engineering – part II”, European Journal of Turkish Studies, (online), 12/2011, (URL: His engagement with KEITH answered the needs of classification, analysis and translation of archival documents and press articles from Ottoman Turkish and Turkish to Greek.  
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