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Dr. Aykan Erdemir

Senior Fellow

Areas of Impact:

Turkey

Biography:

Dr. Aykan Erdemir is a former member of the Turkish Parliament (2011-2015) who served in the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, EU Harmonization Committee, and the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on the IT Sector and the Internet. As an outspoken defender of pluralism, minority rights, and religious freedoms in the Middle East, Dr. Erdemir has been at the forefront of the struggle against religious persecution, hate crimes, and hate speech in Turkey. He is a founding member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and a drafter of and signatory to the Oslo Charter for Freedom of Religion or Belief (2014) as well as a signatory legislator to the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism.

On April 27, 2016, Dr. Erdemir was awarded the Stefanus Prize for Religious Freedom in recognition of his advocacy for minority rights and religious freedoms.

After completing his BA in International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara, Dr. Erdemir received an MA in Middle Eastern Studies and PhD in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, where his doctoral dissertation was entitled, “Incorporating Alevis: The Transformation of Governance and Faith-based Collective Action in Turkey.” He also worked as a doctoral fellow at Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a research associate at the University of Oxford’s Center on Migration, Policy and Society. In March 2015, Dr. Erdemir was awarded a distinguished fellowship at the Oxford Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy.

Dr. Erdemir has taught at Bilkent University in Ankara, and Middle East Technical University, where he also served as Deputy Dean of the Graduate School of Social Sciences and graduate director of the German-Turkish Masters in Social Sciences.

Dr. Aykan Erdemir is a former member of the Turkish Parliament (2011-2015) who served in the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, EU Harmonization Committee, and the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on the IT Sector and the Internet. As an outspoken defender of pluralism, minority rights, and religious freedoms in the Middle East, Dr. Erdemir has been at the forefront of the struggle against religious persecution, hate crimes, and hate speech in Turkey. He is a founding member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and a drafter of and signatory to the Oslo Charter for Freedom of Religion or Belief (2014) as well as a signatory legislator to the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism.

On April 27, 2016, Dr. Erdemir was awarded the Stefanus Prize for Religious Freedom in recognition of his advocacy for minority rights and religious freedoms.

After completing his BA in International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara, Dr. Erdemir received an MA in Middle Eastern Studies and PhD in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, where his doctoral dissertation was entitled, “Incorporating Alevis: The Transformation of Governance and Faith-based Collective Action in Turkey.” He also worked as a doctoral fellow at Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a research associate at the University of Oxford’s Center on Migration, Policy and Society. In March 2015, Dr. Erdemir was awarded a distinguished fellowship at the Oxford Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy.

Dr. Erdemir has taught at Bilkent University in Ankara, and Middle East Technical University, where he also served as Deputy Dean of the Graduate School of Social Sciences and graduate director of the German-Turkish Masters in Social Sciences.

Dr. Erdemir has edited seven books, including Rethinking Global Migration: Practices, Policies, and Discourses in the European Neighbourhood (KORA) and Social Dynamics of Global Terrorism: Risk and Prevention Policies (IOS Press). He is co-author of the 2016 book Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites and Spaces (Routledge). His work has appeared in Politico Europe, Turkish Policy Quarterly, Business Insider, The National Interest, Ahram Online, Hurriyet Daily News, and Now Lebanon, and quoted in media including The Economist, Financial Times, Reuters, Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Berliner Zeitung.

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Turkey’s Inconclusive Referendum

17th April 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Turkey’s Inconclusive Referendum

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkey held a historic referendum on Sunday to decide whether to grant the country’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan his long-standing desire to transform the government from a parliamentary system to one heavily centralized around his own presidency. more...

Analysis & Commentary

27th April 2017 – Quoted by Laurie Mylroie - K24

Turkish airstrikes reveal rift with US

Aykan Erdemir

As more details emerge of the airstrikes which Turkey conducted on Kurdish forces Tuesday morning, the extent of Ankara’s rift with the US is becoming clearer. more...

27th April 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Turkish Airstrikes Complicate Campaign against IS

Aykan Erdemir

Turkish jets carried out airstrikes Tuesday and Wednesday against Kurdish forces in northern Syria and northern Iraq. more...

25th April 2017 – Quoted by Lorraine Caballerio - Christian Daily

Turkey referendum: Erdogan’s new powers feared to intensify Christian persecution

Aykan Erdemir

The persecution of Turkish Christians could intensify after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was granted massive new powers by the people through a referendum on Sunday, a Muslim Turk who used to serve in the Parliament fears. more...

23rd April 2017 – Quoted by Stephen Quillen - The Arab Weekly

Turkey deeply divided after vote, at time of regional conflicts

Aykan Erdemir

Turkey’s vote for a strong executive presidency has left the country divided and at odds with Europe at a time when it is em­broiled in the Syrian conflict and seeking to balance good ties with both Russia and the United States. more...