About the Speaker: Gamon McLellan became professionally involved with Turkey in the mid-seventies, when he edited a political and economic weekly magazine in Ankara. In 1979 he joined the BBC to run the Turkish Service, which became a key source of uncensored news in the years following the 1980 military coup in Turkey, when journalism within the country was severely restricted. He also appeared regularly on the BBC World Service as an analyst covering Eastern Mediterranean affairs.
He became head of the BBC Arabic Service in 1992, overseeing the launch of the award-winning bbcarabic.com and the expansion of BBC Arabic to become a 24-hour broadcast news service. This work culminated in directing the BBC’s Arabic output during the 2003 Iraq war. Since leaving the BBC the following year, he has continued to pursue his interests in Turkey, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. He writes regularly on Turkish current affairs for the Turkish Area Studies Review (Bulletin of the British Association for Turkish Area Studies), and since 2006 he has been teaching the postgraduate course Turkey: Continuity and Change.