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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 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 The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Politico Europe, The Huffington Post, The National Interest, The Cipher Brief, Business Insider, Turkish Policy Quarterly, Hürriyet Daily News, Ahram Online, and The Times of Israel, and quoted in media including The Economist, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Jerusalem Post, Time, and Foreign Policy.

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 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 The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Politico Europe, The Huffington Post, The National Interest, The Cipher Brief, Business Insider, Turkish Policy Quarterly, Hürriyet Daily News, Ahram Online, and The Times of Israel, and quoted in media including The Economist, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Jerusalem Post, Time, and Foreign Policy.

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Turkey’s president is holding Americans hostage. Why aren’t we doing anything about it?

15th April 2018 – The Washington Post

Turkey’s president is holding Americans hostage. Why aren’t we doing anything about it?

Aykan Erdemir, Eric S. Edelman

On April 16, an American pastor unjustly detained in a Turkish prison for 18 months will finally get to defend himself in court. Andrew Brunson, a Presbyterian minister from North Carolina, faces up to seven years of pretrial detention under Turkey’s draconian state of emergency. more...

Analysis & Commentary

19th April 2018 – Quoted by Kristina Jovanovski - NBC News

Erdogan ‘needs every vote’ and is looking to Turks in U.S. for support

Aykan Erdemir

A year after his bodyguards brawled with protesters on a Washington street, Turkey's strongman president is bringing his ruling party to the United States in what observers say is a campaign to improve its battered reputation. more...

19th April 2018 – Quoted by Amberin Zaman - Al Monitor

Is an AKP victory inevitable in upcoming Turkish polls?

Aykan Erdemir

As the shock of early elections announced yesterday begins to recede, a sense of inevitability is seizing Turkey. No matter what, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will emerge victorious, or so groupthink has it. more...

18th April 2018 – BBC

Newsday

Aykan Erdemir

FDD's Aykan Erdemir joins BBC's Newsday to discuss the snap elections in Turkey announced recently by President Erdogan. more...

18th April 2018 – Quoted by Adria Rocha Cutiller - El Periodico

Erdogan adelanta las elecciones un año y medio, al 24 de junio

Aykan Erdemir

El presidente turco, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ha convocado este miércoles elecciones presidenciales y parlamentarias anticipadas para el 24 de junio de este año. Dentro de dos meses. more...