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.

Turkey’s Snap Elections: Erdogan’s Improvised Gambit

21st April 2018 – War on the Rocks

Turkey’s Snap Elections: Erdogan’s Improvised Gambit

Aykan Erdemir

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called snap elections on Wednesday, bringing forward parliamentary and presidential elections to June 24, almost 17 months earlier than scheduled. Erdogan was once a sworn enemy of early elections, referring to them previously as “a sign of underdevelopment” and “treason.” While his supporters now defend the surprise as the work of a master strategist, the Turkish president’s sudden change of heart and rush to call elections in 67 days reflects his insecurity. more...

Analysis & Commentary

15th April 2018 – The Washington Post

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

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...

7th April 2018 – Quoted by Amberin Zaman - Diken

Türk-Amerikan ilişkilerinde Pompeo dönemi

Aykan Erdemir

ABD dışişleri bakanlığının yeni patronu Mike Pompeo, Türkiye’ye nasıl yaklaşacak? Rex Tillerson’un son günlerde benimsediği yumuşaklık politikasını mı sürdürecek? Yoksa Türkiye’nin Amerika’ya yönelik agresif tutumu karşısında sertleşecek mi? more...

6th April 2018 – Quoted by Joel Gehrke - The Washington Examiner

Turkey: Deal to buy Russian weapons ‘is final’

Aykan Erdemir

Turkey, a NATO ally of the U.S., will follow through with a deal to purchase anti-aircraft defenses from Russia, which could pose a significant international relations challenge to the Trump administration. more...

6th April 2018 – Quoted by Laurie Mylroie - K24

Pentagon affirms commitment to US presence in Syria as questions remain

Aykan Erdemir

Pentagon officials reaffirmed the US commitment to a continued presence in Syria until the Islamic State (IS) is defeated and the US has ensured the terrorist group cannot reemerge. more...