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Aykan Erdemir

Senior Director, Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former member of the Turkish Parliament

Aykan Erdemir is the senior director of the Turkey Program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Mr. Erdemir is a former member of the Turkish Parliament (2011-2015), where he served on the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, EU Harmonization Committee, and the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on the IT Sector and the Internet.

He is also a founding and former steering committee member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief, 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. He also serves as a member of the Anti-Defamation League’s Task Force on Middle East Minorities.

Dr. Erdemir holds a PhD in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. He was 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.

He worked as faculty member at Bilkent University’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration (2015-2016) and Middle East Technical University’s Department of Sociology (2004-2011), where he also served as the Deputy Dean of the Graduate School of Social Sciences (2005-2011).

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).

Articles by Aykan Erdemir

Erdogan’s Balancing Act Between Russia and Ukraine

Turkey’s strongman leader has expressed support for the besieged country. He has also joined Putin’s assault on the Western media.

March 3, 2022

Turkey Undermines NATO, Yet Again

Erdogan saves Putin’s Belarusian ally by playing spoiler role within NATO.

June 1, 2021

Putin and Erdogan: Two Men Race to the Bottom

Russia’s and Turkey’s lack of a solid economic performance is what motivates their two leaders’ steady resorting to domestic oppression.

March 3, 2021

The Erdogan/Hamas Axis?

Although Turkey’s Erdogan is president of a NATO member country, his Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Hamas share a similar ideology, built on an anti-Western and anti-Semitic worldview.

August 29, 2020

The Turkey-Russia Tango Over Syria and Libya

Is Turkey turning into a Russian puppet? Vladimir Putin is showing a remarkable ability to reverse Erdogan’s Syria ambitions.

January 19, 2020

Erdogan and ISIS

Trump should not fall for the Turkish president’s public relations stunts.

November 11, 2019

Erdogan’s Russian Pipe Dreams

While Turkey’s President dreams big power dreams, Putin plays Erdogan like a fiddle.

August 31, 2019

Erdogan Makes Mockery of Elections

Ultimately, Erdogan might end up losing Istanbul again. And botch yet another opportunity to normalize relations with the Kurds.

May 7, 2019

Erdogan At a Crossroad

Losing Ankara and Istanbul is a significant defeat for Turkey's President.

April 3, 2019

Turkey’s Erdogan Rushes to Maduro’s Defense

Turkey’s President is eager to stand side-by-side with Russia, China, and Iran in Venezuela.

January 26, 2019

The Khashoggi Murder and Erdogan’s Naked Truth

Erdogan is a pragmatist, and will likely be looking to maximize both diplomatic and monetary rewards for the evidence he possesses, real or presumed.

October 25, 2018

Khashoggi Crisis Holds a Mirror to Turkey

Turkey's anger over possible Saudi role in Khashoggi disappearance rings hollow.

October 12, 2018

U.S. Sanctions on Turkish Ministers Require Recalibration

Additional designations of Erdogan’s cronies would hurt the Turkish strongman’s warchest.

August 10, 2018

Turkish Elections: A Win That Cannot Be Stolen

Turkey’s June 24 elections and the likely runoff will be determined by the opposition’s ability to stop Erdogan’s rigging attempts.

June 23, 2018

Erdogan’s Hostage Diplomacy: Why We Need a Transatlantic Response

Only a strong and coordinated response can deter the Turkish president from continuing to use Western nationals as pawns to advance his political agenda.

June 4, 2018

Catholic Church in Turkey Attacked – Again

Turkey’s culture of impunity continues to make Christians an attractive target for hate crimes.

March 11, 2018

Turkey’s Latest Scapegoats: Christians

Is the ruling Islamist-rooted AKP party in Turkey intimidating Turkish Christians?

November 20, 2016

After the Coup: Backlash Against Turkey’s Minorities

The failed coup has sparked a wave of hatred and violence against religious minorities for their supposed "complicity" in the incident.

August 22, 2016

The Creeping Pakistanization of Turkey?

The dangerous effects of Erdogan’s ill-fated strategy toward ISIS.

July 9, 2016

EU Refugee Crisis: Turkey as an Effective Partner?

Appeasing Erdogan’s Turkey without regard for European values won’t create an effective border.

March 6, 2016