Ilayda Nijhar is the founder of Unfiltered Voices. She launched this project with the aim of bringing attention and readership to young analysts and researchers within their area of expertise. Ilayda envisions that through Unfiltered Voices, young people will have their voices heard and respected on issues which they possess expert knowledge on while paving way for more inclusive debates.
Ilayda is a Russia & FSU analyst at Unfiltered Voices. She works as a political risk and business intelligence analyst covering Russia, Turkey and the Former Soviet Union. She has a particular focus on the energy sector in the Caspian region, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
Ilayda holds an MA from UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) in Russian and Post-Soviet Politics. Her thesis looked at security relations in the Black Sea Region, particularly between Russia-Turkey-NATO, and she continues to conduct research in this area. Ilayda was invited to discuss her research findings at the International Turkish-Russian World Congress on Academic Research in Ankara in 2019. Ilayda has worked as an associate journalist for five years contributing articles on contemporary Russian politics and published her first book entitled ‘Russia Unfiltered’ in 2019. She has carried out professional assignments in London, Moscow, Istanbul and Brussels. Ilayda’s area of expertise includes Russo-Turkish relations, Central Asian and wider Eurasian politics.
Ilayda is a native speaker of English and Turkish and has professional proficiency in Russian and limited proficiency in German and French.