SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Ms Ana Oprisan

BA (Romania), MA (Turkey)


Ana Orpisan
Ms Ana Oprisan
Email address:
Thesis title:
The Roma in Turkey. From Survival Mechanisms to Development Strategies
Year of Study:
Year of Entry 2011
Internal Supervisors


  • Founding Partner of Euro Asia Projects Consulting in Istanbul, Turkey;
  • Vice-Chair of the Board of ERGO Network – European Roma Grassroots Organisation;
  • BA in Philology (Romanian – Rromani Section, Letters Faculty / University of Bucharest, Romania), MA in Political and Social Sciences (French Department of Public Administration, Institute of Social Sciences, Marmara University, Turkey).
  • Involved in research on ethnicity, minority issues and development policies;
  • Aspen Institute – Young Leaders and Open Society Institute – Roma Initiatives Fellow;
  • Coach and trainer on NGO management, projects development and access to European funding;
  • Trainer of the Council of Europe for Roma mediators;
  • 15 years of experience in community development projects and humanitarian aid operations, working with overall vulnerable people, refugees, Roma and victims of disasters in Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Syria etc.

PhD Research

My research will explore, analyse and present the impediments for development of the Roma / Gypsy groups in Turkey, with focus on the survival patterns chosen and on the existent or desired development strategies targeting / involving them.  The following topics will addressed:  a. A pragmatic introspection into the different conditions of Roma / Gypsy communities under-development in Turkey: Ethnic specificity of the Rom, Lom, Dom and Gypsy like groups and their “unifying” patterns of the “poverty cycle”; Survival mechanisms developed by the various sedentary and semi-nomadic Roma / Gypsy groups in Turkey; The impediments for development, from the Roma / Gypsy people perspective; Levels of inclusion, empowerment and involvement; How the future “development” is seen? Civil society and development perspectives and plans; b. An analysis of the development strategies and policies for development in which the Roma / Gypsies are or should be included: The EU pre-accession process effect on the Roma / Gypsy situation; State’s approach and the access / inclusion of the Roma / Gypsy communities in the regional / local development plans; How do the priorities for development identified by the Roma / Gypsies match / correlate with the existing funding programmes’ priorities in Turkey?

The results of the research are envisaged to serve to the following: Better understanding and stakeholders’ use of more appropriate approaches when dealing with the specific Roma / Gypsy communities in Turkey; particularly adding to the identification of the preconditions for (future) implementation of “European policies”; Helping the involved stakeholders and mainly the Roma themselves to convert the reliance on failing survival mechanisms into development strategies for the Roma / Gypsies in Turkey; Providing models for the study of Roma / Gypsy groups elsewhere and / or understanding and addressing other marginalized groups within the region.