Turkey Program

About FDD’s Turkey Program:

Turkey, a Muslim country with a tradition of secularism, is both a NATO member and a United States ally. In recent years, however, with the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey has adopted foreign policies that are increasingly at odds with the West. Meanwhile, the government grown increasingly authoritarian, with systematic crackdowns on press freedom and other human rights violations at home.

FDD’s Turkey program seeks to inform policymakers and the American public about the AKP's dangerous policies that have risked Turkish and Western security. This includes Turkey's tolerance of Islamist and even jihadist activities.  FDD seeks to help Washington manage its relationship with a troubling partner.

The program is chaired by Eric Edelman, former US ambassador to Turkey. FDD’s senior counselor John Hannah provides additional guidance. The program is staffed by senior fellow and former member of the Turkish parliament, Aykan Erdemir, vice president for research Jonathan Schanzer, and research associate Merve Tahiroglu.

FDD's Turkey Program enjoys the support and guidance from a board of advisors. These seasoned policy makers and Turkey analysts help shape our work.

Erdogan Builds a Parallel Budget

10th February 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Erdogan Builds a Parallel Budget

Aykan Erdemir

Over the weekend, the Turkish government issued state-of-emergency decrees to transfer its holdings in the country’s major publicly-owned companies to a new sovereign wealth fund created last summer. These holdings include some of Turkey’s most valuable public assets, such as the country’s two top public lenders and flag carrier airline. The move follows the government’s earlier handover of the national lottery and betting rights to the fund. All are part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s transformation of the sovereign fund into a parallel budget – yet another step in his attempt to consolidate his centralized, one-man rule. more...

Analysis & Commentary

23rd February 2017 – Quoted by Kate Shellnutt - Christianity Today

Courts Split on US Christians Caught Up in Turkey’s Crackdown

Aykan Erdemir

As Turkey continues to crack down on dissent in the wake of a failed coup, two longtime American Christian expats are struggling to stay in the Muslim-majority nation they have long served. So far, they have fared quite differently in Turkish courts. more...

13th February 2017 – Quoted by Amir Tibon - Haaretz

Trump Faces Dilemma in Battle Against ISIS: Turkey or the Kurds

Aykan Erdemir

Last July, in the midst of the presidential election campaign, Donald Trump declared in an interview that he was "a big fan of the Kurds." Speaking about the fight against ISIS on the ground in Syria, Trump said he hoped there was a way to get the Kurdish forces, which have been supported by the U.S. for the last two years, to join forces with their bitter enemy, the Turkish government.  more...

5th February 2017 – Quoted by The Malay Mail Online

Holding up a cloudy mirror

Aykan Erdemir

After the havoc President Donald Trump has wreaked in his two weeks in office, it is hard not to feel schadenfreude for the superpower that has always acted like it knows what is best for the world. Apparently it does not even know what is best for itself. more...

1st February 2017 – Quoted by Frances Martel - Brietbart

Report: Hate Speech Against Christians in Turkey on the Rise

Aykan Erdemir

A report published this week by the Turkish Association of Protestant Churches warns that persecution and hate speech against Christians of all denominations increased significantly throughout the country in the last year, particularly in the media. more...