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Turkey’s Snap Elections: Erdogan’s Gambit

8th May 2018 - 12:00 PM

 

Download the full transcript here.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies hosted lunch event on Turkey's Snap Elections on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently called snap elections, bringing forward parliamentary and presidential elections this June, almost 17 months earlier than scheduled. To understand the Turkish political and economic state of play, we held a discussion featuring Dr. Soner Cagaptay, the Beyer Family Fellow and Director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Dr. Sinan Ciddi, Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies; Dr. Aykan Erdemir, Senior Fellow at FDD and former Member of Turkish Parliament; and Dr. Lisel Hintz, Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Amb. Eric S. Edelman, Senior Advisor at FDD and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, moderated the discussion. The panel discussed what the rushed elections might mean for Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian grasp on Turkey, the growing turbulence in the Turkish economy, and the impact of the elections on U.S.-Turkish relations.

 

Turkey's Snap Elections: Erdogan's Gambit
A conversation with Dr. Soner Cagaptay, Dr. Sinan Ciddi, Dr. Aykan Erdemir, and Dr. Lisel Hintz,
moderated by Amb. Eric S. Edelman

 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
12:00pm to 1:30pm

 

Dr. Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. He has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics, and Turkish nationalism, publishing in scholarly journals and major international print media, including the Wall Street JournalWashington PostNew York TimesJane's Defense WeeklyForeign AffairsAtlanticNew Republic, and Newsweek Türkiye. He has been a regular columnist for Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey's oldest and most influential English-language paper, and a contributor to CNN's Global Public Square blog. He appears regularly on Fox News, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, BBC, and CNN-Turk. A historian by training, Dr. Cagaptay wrote his doctoral dissertation at Yale University (2003) on Turkish nationalism. Dr. Cagaptay has taught courses at Yale, Princeton University, Georgetown University, and Smith College on the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. His spring 2003 course on modern Turkish history was the first offered by Yale in three decades. From 2006-2007, he was Ertegun Professor at Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies.

Dr. Sinan Ciddi was appointed as the fourth Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies, succeeding David C. Cuthell at the end of August 2011. Dr. Ciddi was born in Turkey and educated in the United Kingdom, where he gained his Ph.D. in Political Science from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in June 2007. He was previously an instructor at Sabancı University between 2004-2008 and completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the same institution between 2007-2008. He recently published a book titled Kemalism in Turkish Politics: The Republican People's Party: Secularism and Nationalism (Routledge, January 2009) focusing on the electoral weakness of the Republican People's Party. Between 2008-2011, he established the Turkish Studies program at the University of Florida's Center for European Studies.

Amb. Eric S. Edelman retired as a career minister from the U.S. Foreign Service on May 1, 2009. He is a Senior Advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a member of its Advisory Board on Turkey. As the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (August 2005-January 2009) he oversaw strategy development as DoD’s senior policy official with global responsibility for bilateral defense relations, war plans, special operations forces, homeland defense, missile defense, nuclear weapons and arms control policies, counter-proliferation, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, arms sales, and defense trade controls. He served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey in the Clinton and Bush Administrations and was principal deputy assistant to the vice president for national security affairs. He is currently a distinguished fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a visiting scholar at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at the Johns Hopkins University, and a senior associate of the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

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. In 2016, Dr. Erdemir was awarded the Stefanus Prize for Religious Freedom in recognition of his advocacy for minority rights and religious freedoms. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies focusing on Turkey. Dr. Erdemir is co-author of Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites and Spaces (Routledge).

Dr. Lisel Hintz is an Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, where she works at the intersection of identity politics and foreign policy. She is particularly interested in how domestic identity struggles spill over to shape, and be shaped by international affairs. Her regional focus is on Turkey and its relations with Europe and the Middle East. Professor Hintz’s forthcoming book with Oxford University Press draws on 18 months of fieldwork across Turkey. She has spoken and written widely on Turkey-EU and Turkey-Syria relations (particularly on the refugee crisis), the Kurdish Question, and how what she terms Ottoman Islamism shaped Turkey's aggressive policies abroad as well as its authoritarian turn back home. She teaches courses on psychological approaches to foreign policy decision-making and European social movements.