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Ninth Annual Transatlantic Security & Turkish Studies Symposium

Turkish Foreign Policy - Challenges and Opportunities

Symposium Poster

Istanbul

Friday, April 3, 2015
8:15 am - 5:00 pm

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2025A SDRP Ikenberry
2nd Floor
301 E. Gregory Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820 (map)

Organized by:
European Union Center
The Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security

Co-sponsored by:
Russian, East European and Eurasian Center (REEEC)
Center for Global Studies (CGS)
Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES)

EUC, REEEC, and CGS are National Resource Centers funded by the US Department of Education Title VI grant. EUC is also an European Union Center of Excellence funded by the European Union.

About the Symposium

Istanbul2Turkish foreign policy has long been considered to be either synonymous with or at least heavily influenced by the foreign policy of its Western allies.  Although its position in NATO and its relationship with both the United States and the member states of the European Union remains an important component of Turkish foreign policy, domestic and regional factors are now playing an increasingly important role in what Turkey does and how it sees itself.  This symposium examines the challenges and opportunities facing Turkish foreign policy-makers in the ever-evolving Middle East/North African region.  The presenters cover a wide range of topics, including include Turkey and the EU, Turkey and NATO, Turkey and the Prospects of a Middle Eastern Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, Turkey and the Syrian Refugee Crisis.  Also presented is an investigation of domestic determinants of Turkish Foreign Policy, the effect of Desecularization on Turkish Foreign Policy-Making, and Turkey’s role in combating Islamic Extremism.

 

Schedule [.pdf]

 

Morning Session - Turkish Foreign Policy: A Local Perspective

8:15-8:30 AM

Welcome
Drs. Edward Kolodziej, CGS Director and Interim ACDIS Director, and Anna Stenport, Director of the EUC, UIUC
8:30-9:15 AM

Çiğdem Benam, Boston College
"Opening Up the Turkish 'Black Box': Domestic Determinants of Turkish Foreign Policy"

9:15-10:00 AM

Can Kasapoğlu, Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies
"The Syrian Civil War and Turkey's Tough Choices: Ankara Facing the New Regional Security Environment"

10:00-10:30 AM
Coffee Break
10:30-11:15 AM

Kemal Kirişçi, Brookings Institution
"Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Why Were They Welcomed by the Turkish State?"

11:15 AM-12:00 PM

Ayhan Kaya, Istanbul Bilgi University
"Desecularization of the State and Society in Turkey and Its Impact on Turkish Foreign Policy: Islamization and Ottomanization"

 

Afternoon Session - Turkish Foreign Policy: A Regional/Global Perspective
1:30-2:15 PM

Bilgin Ayata, Freie Universität Berlin
"From Blessing to Curse? The Arab Uprisings and Its Implications on Turkish Foreign Policy"

2:15-3:00 PM

Ömer Taşpınar, Brookings Institution
"Turkey-EU Relations: Still Relevant?"

3:00-3:30 PM
Coffee Break
3:30-4:14 PM

Nilsu Gören,University of Maryland
"Extended Deterrence and Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Turkish Case"

4:15-5:00 PM

Kemal Sılay, Indiana University
"A Political and Military Predicament: The Escalating Danger of Islamism in Turkey and Discourses against Its NATO Membership"

5:00-6:00 PM
Reception
6:00-8:00 PM
Dinner for participants and invited guests


Speakers

Bilgin Ayata, Freie Universität Berlin
"From Blessing to Curse? The Arab Uprising and Its Implications on Turkish Foreign Policy"

Çiğdem Benam, Boston College
"Opening Up the Turkish 'black box': Domestic Determinants of Turkish Foreign Policy"

Nilsu Gören, University of Maryland
"Extended Deterrence and Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Turkish Case"

Ayhan Kaya, Bilgi University
"Desecularization of the State and Society in Turkey and Its Impact on Turkish Foreign Policy: Islamization and Ottomanization"

Can Kasapoğlu, Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies
"The Syrian Civil War and Turkey's Tough Choices: Ankara Facing the New Regional Security Environment"

Kemal Kirişçi, Brookings Institution
"Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Why Were They Welcomed by the Turkish State?"

Kemal Sılay, Indiana University
"A Political and Military Predicament: The Escalating Danger of Islamism in Turkey and Discourses against Its NATO Membership"

Ömer Taşpınar, Brookings Institution
"Turkey-EU Relations: Still Relevant?"

Abstracts

Bilgin Ayata, "From Blessing to Curse? The Arab Uprising and Its Implications on Turkish Foreign Policy"
Çiğdem Benam, "Opening Up the Turkish 'black box': Domestic Determinants of Turkish Foreign Policy"
Nilsu Gören, "Extended Deterrence and Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Turkish Case"
Ayhan Kaya, "Desecularization of the State and Society in Turkey and Its Impact on Turkish Foreign Policy: Islamization and Ottomanization"
Can Kasapoğlu, "The Syrian Civil War and Turkey's Tough Choices: Ankara Facing the New Regional Security Environment"
Kemal Kirişçi, "Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Why Were They Welcomed by the Turkish State?"
Kemal Sılay, "A Political and Military Predicament: The Escalating Danger of Islamism in Turkey and Discourses against Its NATO Membership"
Ömer Taşpınar, "Turkey-EU Relations: Still Relevant?"

Bilgin Ayata, Freie Universität Berlin

"From Blessing to Curse? The Arab Uprising and Its Implications on Turkish Foreign Policy"

The outbreak of mass protests and ensuing regime changes in the Middle East presented a critical opportunity for Turkey to show if it indeed can live up to its aspired regional leadership. Today, the worldwide euphoria about the popular protests have long subsided and are replaced by concerns about displacement, civil unrest, war, societal polarization and violent instability in the affected countries. In the meantime, Turkey's foreign policy has undergone a conflicting path in the past four years in light of the rapid changes and challenges in the region. The paper will assess the implications of the Arab uprisings on the foreign policy of the "new Turkey" who is competing with other powerful actors to influence the political remapping of the Middle East. By exploring both Turkey's rhetoric and actions towards the Arab uprisings and by considering both domestic and regional factors in its responses to ongoing crisis, three developments such as the Kurdish empowerment in Syria, the ouster of Morsi and domestic pressures will be highlighted as critical moments that have put constraints on Turkey's regional ambitions. While clear cut conclusions are difficult to draw amid ongoing conflict and crisis in the region, the paper argues that the Arab uprisings facilitated Turkey's repositioning in the Arab world as a more independent, yet also more controversial actor who requires new allies to implement its vision for a 'Post-Camp David Order' in the Middle East.

Çiğdem Benam, Boston College

"Opening Up the Turkish 'black box': Domestic Determinants of Turkish Foreign Policy"

Over the last decades Turkish politics and society have gone through enormous transformation. Increased pace of globalization combined with the Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s rise to power in 2002, an actor seen as a contender of main ideology of the Turkish state, made domestic and international become increasingly intertwined. In search of legitimacy and transformation vis-à-vis secular establishment, the AKP’s strong push for the European Union (EU) membership during its initial years epitomized this linkage. Within the country domestic political scene, economic situation, civil-military relations, public-private sector interactions and civil society have all been transformed. However, as AKP solidified its electoral base and grip in state institutions, the EU membership lost its original appeal. While not negating the structural limitations for a middle power country, this talk will discuss the role of domestic determinants of foreign policy, with a particular focus on the role of new elites, their cognitive map and changing ideational factors in foreign policy formulations.

Nilsu Gören, University of Maryland

"Extended Deterrence and Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Turkish Case"

Turkey has not as yet been able to formulate an external security policy that reconciles its NATO membership and its regional engagement in the Middle East. Turkey’s security policies have responded to changing circumstances but it has not had the internal dialogue necessary to harmonize the operating principles associated with its traditional role in NATO with its current aspiration to have a defining role in its neighborhood. This presentation will analyze the Turkish position on the U.S. non-strategic nuclear weapons deployed on Turkish soil by addressing the following questions: Do these tactical nuclear weapons serve any Turkish security interest within the alliance? How do these weapons impact the regional dynamics and Turkey's promotion of a WMD free zone in the Middle East? Would Turkey choose to pursue its own nuclear weapons, following the construction of its first nuclear power plants, if the United States dismantled its B-61 gravity nuclear bombs in Incirlik?

Ayhan Kaya, Bilgi University

"Desecularization of the State and Society in Turkey and Its Impact on Turkish Foreign Policy: Islamization and Ottomanization"

The AKP gained an absolute majority of parliamentary seats in the 2002, 2007, and 2011 general elections, as well as in the 2004, 2009 and 2014 local elections. It became the first party since 1987 to win the majority of seats in the Turkish parliament. Furthermore, it was only the third Islamist party ever to become a part of the government in modern Turkey since the coalition government established by Necmettin Erbakan’s National Salvation Party (Milli Selamet Partisi) in 1973 with the Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP), and then again Erbakan’s Welfare Party between 1995 and 1997 with the True Path Party (DYP). Following the devastating financial-economic crisis in 2001 when the coalition government (DSP, MHP and ANAP) was in power, the AKP leadership, especially Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, came accross a very fertile land for their landslide victory in 2002. Turned into a hero in the eyes of the conservative segments of the Turkish society in 1998 after he was imprisoned for four months because of a religiously loaded poem he had recited in Siirt, a southeastern province of Turkey, in 1997, Erdoğan had already attracted a great number of voters. One should also be reminded of the fact that subaltern, conservative and religious circles saw him as one of them, distanced from aristocracy, military, oppressive state, and the elitist Kemalist republicanism. This paper will discuss the ways in which the Turkish state has recently become desecularized under the AKP rule, and how the Islamization of the state and society impacted on the Turkish foreign policy making with a particular focus on cultural diplomacy performed by Yunus Emre Cultural Ceners.

Can Kasapoğlu, Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies

"The Syrian Civil War and Turkey's Tough Choices: Ankara Facing the New Regional Security Environment"

Under the politico-military conditions emanating from the Syrian civil war, Turkey has been facing a tough security environment. Firstly, the intensifying sectarian context of the conflict has forced Ankara to adopt a Sunni-camp position, even unintentionally, at the outset of the civil war. Secondly, the complex politico-military landscape made it extremely hard to keep the strategic balance for the Turkish administration. Especially, running the peace process at home, which was planned to conclude the decades-long Kurdish problem through peaceful means, and managing the volatile situation in the Kurdish-populated areas of Syria comes into the picture as the main hardship. The underlying reason of Turkey’s “Kobane resistance” was mainly the security concerns stemming from the nightmares of a region-wide separatism trend under the upside-down Sykes – Picot status quo fears, which could eventually threaten the Turkish territorial unity. Besides, rise of the Islamic State threat has paved the ground for a new security challenge stressing the region including Turkey. In this respect, very recently, Ankara had to initiate a major “relocation operation” for its only territorial enclave, the historical Suleyman Shah Tomb, outside the republic’s borders. In tandem, the Syrian crisis caused a critical “militarization” of Turkey’s political stance and regional agenda. Since the beginning of the civil war, Ankara has been beefing up its military presence along the border areas. In addition, following the interception of a Turkish F-4 Phantom in 2012, the Turkish administration has shifted its rules of engagement towards Syria, which led retaliatory moves by Ankara that ended up with the downing of a Syrian Mi-17 helicopter and a Mig-23 aircraft. Moreover, the threat of chemical warhead-tipped ballistic missiles at the hands of the Baathist regime made Turkey to demand Patriot deployment from NATO. Finally, as the Syrian civil war turned to be a regional proxy war battleground, the Ottoman strategic legacy has bitterly reminded a Middle Eastern historical fact to the Turkish elite, namely, the Turkey – Iran strategic rivalry and power struggle.

Under these circumstances, how will Ankara protect its territorial integrity, and find a peaceful solution to the decades-long Kurdish problem? What will be the framework of Turkey’s solidarity with its allies in the struggle against the Islamic State threat? Above all, would / could the Turkish administration alter their foreign policy priority of toppling the Assad rule in Syria, and adopt a different approach?

Kemal Kirişçi, Brookings Institution

"Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Why Were They Welcomed by the Turkish State?"

Within less than three decades Turkey received three mass influx of refugees: more than 300,000 Bulgarian Turks and Pomaks in 1989; almost half a million most Kurdish refugees from Iraq in 1991 and recently almost two million refugees from Syria. The latter influx together with a major increase in the number of individual asylum seekers puts Turkey among the top recipient of refugees in the world. What is more intriguing is that the Turkish government management of the Syrian influx is very different from the previous two. In the case of refugees from Bulgaria Turkey managed the crisis on its own and enabled the integration of the refugees into Turkish society even if many returned to Bulgaria once the communist regime there collapsed. The response to the second influx was dramatically different. The government tried to close its borders to prevent the refugees from seeking protection in Turkey and precipitated a major humanitarian crisis. The crisis was eventually resolved  when with the U.S. support a “safe zone” in northern Iraq was created to ensure a precipitous repatriation of these refugees. In the case of these two influxes Turkey conspicuously refrained from using the term “refugee” preferring to refer  to Bulgarian Turks as “co-ethnics (soydas)” and the Kurds, at the time the actual use of the word “Kurd” was problematic, as “guests”. In the case of the more recent influx Turkey after an initial but brief hesitation extended “temporary protection”, a status derived from international refugee law, to the victims and actually announced this policy in Geneva during an IOM meeting. Why? The presentation will offer an explanation based on three concept: the slow but effective “socialization”, mostly led by the UNHCR, of the Turkish state into the rules and practices of the international refugee regime; reform of Turkey’s asylum policies partly driven by the EU accession process  and partly by domestic developments and finally a transformed politics of identity that, at least at the governmental level, created a more receptive climate to what were overwhelmingly Sunni refugees from Syria.

Kemal Sılay, Indiana University

"A Political and Military Predicament: The Escalating Danger of Islamism in Turkey and Discourses against Its NATO Membership"

In this presentation, Dr. Kemal Silay will focus on Turkey’s twisted relationship with NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or the North Atlantic Alliance) both as a military ally and as a political rival under the AKP regime. The Republic of Turkey joined NATO in 1952 after the twelve founding countries. A lot has changed in Turkey since then. Turkey is no longer a secular Republic which follows in the footsteps of its visionary founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Its current foreign policy is based on Islamism and irrational neo-Ottoman dreams and illusions. AKP’s policies and operations are steering Turkey alarmingly and dangerously close to becoming a dictatorship. Its actions so far have proven that under the pretext of “democracy,” AKP seems determined to live up to the oft-repeated slogan of establishing a “New Turkey” by 2023, one that will essentially be an Islamist dictatorship, 100 years after the foundation of the secular Republic of Turkey. If this vision were to be realized, what would happen to Turkey’s NATO membership? Would the “New Turkey” itself (or whatever its official name would be then) leave the Alliance? Would the NATO restructure its rules to expel the “New Turkey”? And if either of these possibilities takes place, what would be the global military and political implications?

Ömer Taşpınar, Brookings Institution

"Turkey-EU Relations: Still Relevant?"

It has become a cliché to say that Turkey will never become a member of the European Union. With Europe unable to solve its economic and financial problems and Turkey moving increasingly away from Western standards of democracy, the conventional wisdom rings disturbingly true. Moreover, it is obvious that both the EU and Turkey have bigger priorities on their foreign policy agendas. Turkey is absorbed with the urgency of the Syrian war and the new Kurdish dimension of the conflict. For the EU, it is Ukraine and relations with Russia that are paramount. Under such circumstances, not much attention is being paid to Turkey-EU relations, and the issue appears increasingly irrelevant.

This is a sad state of affairs, because it is particularly in such difficult periods that both sides need each other the most. Turkish domestic politics has entered an era of unprecedented polarization. At a time when the rule of law, good governance, liberalism and democracy are in short supply at home, EU membership appears more and more attractive to an increasing number of Turks who used to feel optimistic about the future prospects for their country. According to a recent German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Trends survey, domestic support for EU membership has increased to 53 percent, up eight points from last year. This shows that EU membership is once again becoming a consensus issue in an otherwise polarized Turkish political context.
Given the populist tendencies of the AKP government, this is perhaps why the party, under the new leadership of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, is at least paying lip service to the goal of EU membership. Yet it is hard to avoid the impression that such pro-EU rhetoric coming from the AKP is nothing but a public diplomacy act in response to a Western media that is increasingly critical of worsening democratic standards and the Islamist trend in Turkish foreign policy. Turkey's transatlantic partners are fully aware that under the AKP, Turkey is sliding back in terms of human rights, freedom of expression, independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and many other criteria of good governance. The European Commission (EC) Turkey 2014 Progress Report is a clear reminder of such dynamics. The report criticized Ankara on a number of points related to the independence of the judiciary and civil liberties and freedoms. Despite new blood in Brussels, the EU bureaucracy will face major structural challenges on the path to opening new chapters. In addition to old problems, such as negative European public opinion and reluctance in France and Germany, there are new problems on the Cyprus front.

Speaker Bios

Bilgin Ayata, Freie Universität Berlin

Dr. Bilgin Ayata joined the Center for Transnational Relations, Foreign and Security Policy in 2012, after holding a  postdoctoral fellowship at the KFG Transformative Power of Europe and at the Center for Area Studies at the FU Berlin. Bilgin Ayata's research centers on transformation processes spurred by migration, conflict, social movements and memory politics. Her regional focus encompasses the Middle East and Europe, in particular Turkey and the Kurdish regions. For her Ph.D. she undertook a transnational analysis of forced migration of Kurds from Turkey with an innovative framework that linked the internal displacement of Kurds in Turkey with their external displacement to Europe as refugees. Conceptualising displacement as a form of statecraft, her dissertation identifies diasporas as political entrepreneurs who are able to challenge the politics of displacement with their transnational activism. She conducted fieldwork both in Turkey and among the Kurdish diaspora in Europe. In her postdoctoral research, Bilgin has focussed on Turkey's transformation process and examined if and how EU reforms are negotiated at the normative level in domestic debates in Turkey on taboo issues such as the Armenian Genocide. Her most recent publication analyzes  changes in Turkish foreign policy in the wake of Arab revolutions. Bilgin's theoretical and methodological interests derive from post-positivist approaches, critical theory and postcolonialism. She has received research grants and fellowships by the MacArthur Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung, FU Berlin, Johns Hopkins University and York University. Her publications have appeared in academic journals in Europe, US and Turkey. At the Center for Transnational Relations, Foreign and Security Policy, Bilgin offers courses on migration, IR Theory, postcolonial IR and memory. In July 2014, she received the Lorbär Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Çiğdem Benam, Boston College

Dr. Çiğdem H. Benam holds a PhD in International Relations from the Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey, and an MScEcon in Security Studies from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University and study-fellow at the University of Oxford. She was awarded the British Council Chevening Scholarship of the UK government twice and was a participant of the US State Department International Visitors Leadership Program. She currently is a part-time faculty at Boston College as well as visiting researcher at Boston University, Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations. She specializes in International Relations and Comparative Politics, with expertise in modern Turkish politics and society, international relations theories, security studies, migration, political Islam, European Union, and Iranian politics.

Nilsu Gören, University of Maryland

Nilsu Gören is a Turkish Ph.D. candidate at University of Maryland's School of Public Policy. Her dissertation focuses on Turkish security policymaking and cooperative security strategies to formulate a coherent Turkish nuclear posture between NATO membership and regional engagement on issues such as tactical nuclear weapons, air and missile defense, and the Iranian nuclear program. She previously conducted research at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), Federation of American Scientists, and James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and taught at Koc University, Istanbul. She holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Political Science from Sabanci University, Istanbul. Turkey.

Ayhan Kaya, Bilgi University

Dr. Ayhan Kaya is a Lecturer at the Department of International Relations, Istanbul Bilgi University; Director of the European Institute; specialised on European identities, Euro-Turks in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, Circassian diaspora in Turkey, and the construction and articulation of modern diasporic identities; received his PhD and MA degrees at the University of Warwick; his latest book is on the comparison of contemporary integration, citizenship and integration regimes of Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands (Islam, Migration and Integration: The Age of Securitization, London: Palgrave, 2009 April); his other recent books are as follows, Contemporary Migrations in Turkey: Integration or Return (Istanbul Bilgi University Press, in Turkish, co-written with others), Belgian-Turks, Brussels: King Baudouin Foundation, 2008, co-written with Ferhat Kentel), Euro-Turks: A Bridge or a Breach between Turkey and the EU (Brussels: CEPS Publications, 2005, co-written with Ferhat Kentel, Turkish version by Bilgi University); wrote another book titled Sicher in Kreuzberg: Constructing Diasporas, published in two languages, English (Bielefeld: Transkript verlag, 2001) and Turkish (Istanbul: Büke Yayınları, 2000); has various articles on Berlin-Turkish youth cultures, ethnic-based political participation strategies of German-Turks, Berlin-Alevis, historians’ debate in Germany, identity debates and Circassian diaspora in Turkey; translated Ethnic Groups and Boundaries by Fredrik Barth and Citizenship and Social Classes by T. H. Marshall and Tom Bottomore; co-edited a book Issues Without Borders: Migration, Citizenship, Human Rights, Global Justice, Gender and Security (Istanbul, Baglam Publishing House, in Turkish, 2003); co-edited another book titled Majority and Minority Politics in Turkey: Citizenship Debates on the way to the European Integration (Istanbul: TESEV, 2005); and his latest edited work (with Bahar Şahin) is Roots and Routes: Migratory Processes in Turkey (Kökler ve Yollar: Türkiye’de Göç Süreçleri) (Istanbul Bilgi University Press, 2007). Received Turkish Social Science Association Prize in 2003; received Turkish Sciences Academy (TÜBA-GEBİP) Prize in 2005; received 2005 Sedat Simavi Research Prize; and also received Euroactiv European Prize. He is recently engaged in two different FP7 projects called Modernities and Identities in Europe; and Pluralism and Tolerance in the EU.

Can Kasapoğlu, Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies

Dr. Can Kasapoğlu graduated from Ege University’s department of International Relations in 2006. He received his graduate degree from the Turkish Military Academy in 2008 through his MA thesis assessing Turkish irregular warfare activities in Cyprus before Turkey’s military intervention in 1974. Subsequently, he undertook doctorate studies at the Turkish War College where he gained his Ph.D. in late 2011 by successfully defending his doctoral thesis on “Conventional Forces in Low Intensity Conflicts: 1991 – 1999 Turkish Armed Forces Case”. Can Kasapoğlu is a member of the British think-tank Chatham House, and visited this institute for his doctoral literature review efforts. During his academic studies at the War College, he also served for Istanbul based think-tank, BUSAM at Bahcesehir University, as an analyst of political-military affairs concerning Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Afghanistan – Pakistan (AfPak) strategic issues, and also conducted a field research in Syria in 2010. Following his doctoral studies, Dr. Kasapoğlu was invited by the Israeli realist school’s leading think-tank, The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, where he served as a post-doc fellow and published analyses on key regional issues including Turkish – Iranian strategic competition and the Syrian turmoil. As a result of his expertise on Turkish – Israeli affairs and familiarity with both sides’ strategic cultures, Dr. Kasapoğlu has published numerous articles for the reputable Israeli daily Jerusalem Post during the deterioration times between Turkey and Israel. Dr. Kasapoğlu specializes in strategic affairs in the MENA region, low intensity conflicts and hybrid warfare, defense issues; especially Israeli military thought and Iranian military modernization trends, and Turkish – Israeli relations.

Kemal Kirişçi, Brookings Institution

Dr. Kemal Kirişçi is the TÜSİAD senior fellow and director of the Center on the United States and Europe’s Turkey Project Brookings, with an expertise in Turkish foreign policy and migration studies.  Before joining Brookings, Kirişçi was a professor of international relations and held the Jean Monnet chair in European integration in the department of political science and international relations at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. His areas of research interest include EU-Turkish relations, U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish foreign and trade policies, European integration, immigration issues, ethnic conflicts and refugee movements.  Kemal Kirişçi is the author of several books on Turkey including Turkey and Its Neighbors: Foreign Relations in Transition (co-authored with R. Linden et al; Lynne Reinner, 2011), Land of Diverse Migrations: Challenges of Emigration and Immigration in Turkey (co-edited with A. İçduygu; Bilgi University Press, 2009), Turkish Immigrants in the European Union: Determinants of Immigration and Integration (co-edited book with R.Erzan; Routledge, 2007), Turkey In World Politics: An Emerging Multi-Regional Power (Co-edited with B. Rubin; Lynne Reinner, 2001) and The Kurdish Question and Turkey: An Example of a Trans-State Ethnic Conflict (co-authored with G. Winrow; Frank Cass, 1997).  Kirişçi earned a Ph.D. in international relations from the City University, London; an M.A. in international relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England; and a B.A. in finance and management from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. Kirişçi has also extensively published articles on Turkish foreign policy, EU-Turkish relations and immigration in academic journals and numerous op-eds on current affairs in Turkey since joining Brookings.

Kemal Sılay, Indiana University

Dr. Kemal Silay is Professor of Central Eurasian Studies, Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Chair Professor, Director of the Turkish Studies Program, and Director of the Turkish Flagship Center in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the author of numerous articles in Turkish and English on Turkish culture, literature, and politics. Among his books are Nedim and the Poetics of the Ottoman Court: Medieval Inheritance and the Need for Change (Indiana, 1994); An Anthology of Turkish Literature (Indiana, 1996); Ahmedi’s History of the Kings of the Ottoman Lineage and Their Holy Raids against the Infidels (Harvard, 2004), and an edited volume, The Turks and Islam: A Cultural and Political Journey from the God of Heaven to Allah (forthcoming). He is a scholar of international reputation and sought-after expert on many issues regarding Turkey, its language, literature, history, society, and politics. His numerous publications, cultural activities, and scholarly endeavors have sparked the field of Turkish Studies in the US and worldwide.

Ömer Taşpınar, Brookings Institution

Dr. Ömer Taşpınar is professor of National Security Strategy at the U.S. National War College and the director of the Turkey Project at the Brookings Institution. Taşpınar was previously an assistant professor in the European studies department of the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he is still teaching as adjunct professor. He has held consulting positions at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in Washington, and at the strategic planning department of TOFAS-FIAT in Istanbul. The courses he has taught at the National War College and SAIS are: Islam and the west; non-military elements of statecraft; Turkey and its neighbors and the political economy of globalization.  Taşpınar has a Ph.D. and M.A. in European studies and international economics from Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) and a B.A. in political science from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. His research focuses on Turkey-EU and Turkish-American relations; European politics; transatlantic relations; Muslims in Europe; Islamic radicalism; human development in the Islamic world; and American foreign policy in the Middle East.  Taşpınar is the author of two books: Political Islam and Kurdish Nationalism in Turkey (Routledge, 2005) and Fighting Radicalism with Human Development: Freedom, Education and Growth in the Islamic World (Brookings Press, 2006). Some of his recent publications include: "New Parameters in U.S.-German-Turkish Relations" (AICGS, February 2005); "The Anatomy of Anti-Americanism in Turkey" (Insight Turkey, July-August 2005); "Turkey’s European Quest" (Brookings Analysis Paper, September 2004); "Europe’s Muslim Street" (Foreign Policy, March-April 2003); "An Uneven Fit: The Turkish Model and the Arab World" (Brookings Analysis Paper, August 2003).

Previous Years' Symposiums

2014 | 2013 | 2012