Aykan Erdemir

Senior fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Aykan Erdemir is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and faculty member at Bilkent University’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

He 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.

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.

In March 2015, Dr. Erdemir was awarded a distinguished fellowship at the Oxford Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy.

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).

He is co-author of the 2016 book Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites and Spaces (Routledge).

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