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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 Diplomatic Collision Course

23rd December 2016 – The Cipher Brief

Turkey’s Diplomatic Collision Course

Aykan Erdemir

The assassination Monday of Andrey Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Ankara, and the subsequent signing of the Moscow Declaration between Russia, Iran, and Turkey, has presented yet another setback for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy vision. more...

Analysis & Commentary

19th January 2017 – Quoted by Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Turkey: Growing Religious Intolerance is Undermining Constitutional Commitments

Aykan Erdemir

American Pastor Andrew Brunson and his wife have been living in Turkey for 23 years running a church in Izmir with the full knowledge of the Turkish authorities. more...

18th January 2017 – Quoted by Jared Malsin - Time Magazine

The Fighting Over Erdogan’s Constitutional Reforms Has (Literally) Begun

Aykan Erdemir

On Jan. 11, members of Turkey’s parliament gathered in Ankara to debate a package of constitutional amendments that includes a dramatic expansion of presidential power. Perhaps it was only fitting that it quickly devolved into a fistfight. more...

13th January 2017 – CGTN America

The World Today

Aykan Erdemir

FDD senior fellow Aykan Erdemir discusses the Cyprus peace talks and the history of the regional conflict. more...

7th January 2017 – Quoted by John Burger - Aleteia

American pastor’s arrest in Turkey signals possible trouble for Christians

Aykan Erdemir

The plight of one American Christian evangelist is suggestive of the turmoil that lies ahead for Turkey. more...