Details

When

December 4, 2017, 9:00 am - December 12, 2018, 1:12 am

Where

National Press Club
529 14th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20045 (Map)

Click the Playlist button in the upper-left corner to select other panel videos.

The Middle East Institute (MEI) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation were pleased to host MEI's 8th Annual Conference on Turkey. At a time of critical internal developments and international tensions, this program of three panels on Turkey's domestic politics, economy, and foreign relations featured Turkish, European, and U.S. office-holders, policymakers, and expert analysts from both sides of the Atlantic.

Agenda:

9:00-9:15AM  Welcome Remarks | Introduction of Conference Program
Michael Meier
Representative to the U.S. and Canada, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)
Gönül Tol
Director for Turkish studies, MEI

9:15-10:45AM | Panel 1: Islam, Democracy, and Dissent in the New Turkey
Aykan Erdemir
Senior fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Ahmet Kuru
Professor of political science, San Diego State University
Giran Ozcan
Washington representative, People's Democratic Party
Güneş Murat Tezcür
Chair of Kurdish Political Studies, University of Central Florida 
Lisel Hintz (moderator)
Assistant professor of international relations, Johns Hopkins SAIS

11:00AM-12:30PM | Panel 2: Economic Outlook: Trajectories and Setbacks
Hon. Arne Lietz
Member of the European Parliament
Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan
Professor of economics, University of Maryland
Ömer Taspinar
Professor, National Defense University
Kemal Kirisci (moderator)
Senior fellow, The Brookings Institution

1:30-2:00PM | Keynote Remarks & Audience Q&A
Hon. Michelle Müntefering

Member of the German Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee

2:00-3:30PM | Panel 3: Turkey Between Russia and the West
Dimitar Bechev

Research fellow, University of North Carolina; senior fellow, Atlantic Council
Jonathan Cohen
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Turkey, Greece, & Cyprus, U.S. Department of State
Nicholas Danforth
Senior policy analyst, Bipartisan Policy Center
Hon. Kati Piri
Member of the European Parliament
Amberin Zaman (moderator)
Columnist, Al-Monitor

3:30PM | Adjournment

Speaker Biographies:

Dimitar Bechev
Research fellow, University of North Carolina; senior fellow, Atlantic Council
Dimitar Bechev is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. He is also a research fellow at the Center of Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the director of the European Policy Institute, a think-tank based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Bechev has published extensively, in both academic and policy format, on EU foreign relations, the politics of Turkey and the Balkans, Russian foreign policy, and energy security. His book Rival Power, published by Yale University Press in 2017, explores Russia’s role in Southeast Europe. From 2010 to 2014, he was the head of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) office in Sofia.

Jonathan Cohen
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Jonathan Cohen has been the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State covering Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey since August 2016. He previously served in Baghdad as deputy chief of mission (DCM), 2014-2016, and in Paris as Acting DCM (2013-2014) and as minister counselor for political affairs (2011-2013). A Foreign Service Officer since 1986, his previous assignments include Nicosia as DCM, Rome as counselor for political-military affairs, Ankara as political advisor to Operation Northern Watch and Iraq specialist, Irbil and Baghdad, Stockholm, Vienna OSCE, Jerusalem, Bangkok, and Washington.


Nicholas Danforth

Senior Policy Analyst, Bipartisan Policy Center
Nicholas Danforth is a senior policy analyst for The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) national security program. Prior to joining BPC in January 2016, he worked on Middle East policy issues for Concepts and Strategies and the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy. Danforth received his M.A. from the School of Oriental and African Studies and his B.A. from Yale. He completed his Ph.D. in history at Georgetown University in 2015 and has written widely about Turkey, U.S. foreign policy, and the Middle East for publications including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, and Foreign Affairs.

Aykan Erdemir
Senior fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Aykan Erdemir is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Between 2011 and 2015, he was a member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and served in the EU-Turkey joint parliamentary committee, EU harmonization committee, and the ad hoc parliamentary committee on the IT sector and the internet. Erdemir is a founding member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief and a recipient of the 2016 Stefanus Prize for Religious Freedom. He was also recognized in 2014 as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons by the Junior Chamber International Turkey in the field of political, legal and governmental affairs. Erdemir has edited seven volumes and coauthored three books, including Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites and Spaces (Routledge, 2016).

Lisel Hintz
Assistant Professor of International Relations, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Lisel Hintz is an assistant professor of international relations in the European and Eurasian studies program at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. She received her Ph.D. in political science from George Washington University. Bridging the subfields of international relations and comparative politics with a regional focus on Turkey, her research investigates how contestation over various forms of identity (e.g. ethnic, religious, gender, regional) spills over from domestic politics to shape, and be shaped by, foreign policy. Hintz’s work has been published in the European Journal of International Relations, International Journal of Turkish Studies, the Project on Middle East Political Science Series, and Turkish Policy Quarterly. Hintz has also contributed to Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and BBC World Service.

Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan
Professor of economics, University of Maryland

Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan is a Neil Moskowitz Endowed professor of economics at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research as well as a fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research. Professor Kalemli-Ozcan's main research interests are in international macroeconomics, finance and growth. Her current research focuses on the linkages between real and financial sectors in a globalized economy and the effects of such linkages on economic fluctuations and development.

Kemal Kirşci
Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Kemal Kirişci is the TÜSİAD senior fellow and director of the Turkey Project at Brookings. He runs the Turkey Project Policy Paper series and frequently writes on the latest developments in Turkey, Turkish foreign policy, and migration issues. His book Turkey and the West: Faultlines in a Troubled Alliance, was published by the Brookings Institution Press in July 2017. He is the co-author of the monograph "The Consequences of Chaos: Syria's Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure to Protect" (Brookings Institution Press, April 2016), which considers the long-term economic, political, and social implications of Syria's displaced and offers policy recommendations to address the humanitarian crisis. Before joining Brookings, Kiri
şci 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.

Ahmet T. Kuru
Professor of political science, San Diego State University
Ahmet T. Kuru received his PhD from the University of Washington and was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. He is currently professor of political science at San Diego State University. Kuru is the author of award-winning Secularism and State Policies toward Religion: The United States, France, and Turkey (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009), and the co-editor (with Alfred Stepan) of Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey (Columbia Univ. Press, 2012). His new book, Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison, will be released shortly.

Hon. Arne Lietz
Member of European Parliament
Hon. Arne Lietz is a member of the foreign affairs and development committees, and a substitute in the security and defense committee and the committee of inquiry into money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. He is also a member of the parliament’s delegations for relations with Israel and the Korean Peninsula. After university, he worked for the educational organisation Facing History and Ourselves in the United States, Germany, and England (2004-2006), and for the Federal Center for Education in Germany. His political career started when he became a parliamentary assistant to SPD member of the German Bundestag Engelbert Wistuba in 2007. Before becoming a Member of the European Parliament in 2014, Mr Lietz was a personal assistant for the Mayor of Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Eckhard Naumann (2010-2014).

Michael Meier
Representative to the U.S. and Canada, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)
Michael Meier has been the FES representative to the United States and Canada since 2014. Prior to his current assignment, he was FES representative to Turkey for five years. Meier also served as department head for Western Europe and North America at FES headquarters in Berlin. From 1991 to 2003, he was the foundation's resident representative in Senegal, Ethiopia, and Botswana. He is an expert on foreign and security policy in the MENA region, where he has focused on Turkey’s role and its relations with the European Union and Israel in particular. He has served as advisor to the coordination group on Turkey in the German Social Democratic Party, and he is the author of numerous articles on policy trends in Turkey and the United States.

Hon. Michelle Müntefering
Member of the German Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee
Michelle Müntefering, born in 1980, has been a member of the German Bundestag (parliament) for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) since 2013, directly elected in her constituency Herne/Bochum II. She was re-elected in September 2017. After completing her B.A. in journalism with a focus on economics, she worked as a freelance reporter and as a research assistant in the Bundestag. In parliament Müntefering is a member of the committee for foreign affairs and its rapporteur for Turkey and the Middle East. She is the SPD parliamentary group’s spokesperson for cultural and education policy abroad and chair of the German-Turkish parliamentary friendship group. Müntefering is also president of the board of trustees of the German Orient Foundation, vice president of the German-Turkish Society, and a member of the Atlantik-Brücke, a private, non-profit, nonpartisan association with the goal of maintaining and strengthening relations between Germany and the United States.

Giran Ozcan
Washington representative, People's Democratic Party
Giran Ozcan is the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Representative in the United States. After graduating from the University of Warwick with a sociology degree, he worked at the Centre for Turkey Studies in London between 2011 and 2016. He has been working with the HDP in its overseas representative offices since 2016.

Hon. Kati Piri
Member of the European Parliament
Kati Piri is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) representing the Dutch Labor Party. She is a member of the foreign affairs, human rights, and justice & home affairs committees. Piri is the EP rapporteur on Turkey and drafts the parliament's annual report on Turkey's EU accession process. Politico ranked her as the 11th most influential delegate in the 751-member parliament in 2017.

Ömer Taşpinar
Professor of National Security Strategy, U.S. National War College
Ömer Taspinar is a nonresident senior fellow with the Center on 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institution, a professor at the National War College, and an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 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. He has expertise on Turkey, the European Union, Muslims in Europe, political Islam, the Middle East, and Kurdish nationalism. He earned his a doctorate and masters in European studies and international economics at SAIS and his bachelor's in political science from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara.

Güneş Murat Tezcür
Jalal Talabani Chair of Kurdish Political Studies, University of Central Florida
Güneş Murat Tezcür is the Jalal Talabani Chair of Kurdish Political Studies and an associate professor at the University of Central Florida. He also directs the Kurdish Political Studies Program, the only academic unit dedicated to the study of Kurdish issues in the United States. He is a social scientist studying political violence and identity and democratic struggles in the broader Middle East and beyond. His work has appeared in many journals such as American Political Science Review, Comparative Politics, Journal of Peace Research, Law and Society Review and Political Research Quarterly. He is also the author of Muslim Reformers in Iran and Turkey.

Gönül Tol
Director, Turkish Studies, MEI
Gönül Tol founded the Turkish studies program at MEI and is an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies. She was previously an adjunct professor at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. She has taught courses on Islamist movements in Western Europe, Turkey, world politics, and the Middle East. Her three years of field research in Germany and the Netherlands led to her dissertation on the radicalization of the Turkish Islamist movement Millî Görüş in Western Europe. She has written extensively on Turkey-U.S. relations, Turkish domestic politics, and foreign policy and the Kurdish issue, and she is a frequent media commentator.

 

Amberin Zaman
Columnist, Al-Monitor
Amberin Zaman is a columnist for Al-Monitor's Turkey Pulse. She has covered Turkey, the Kurds, and Armenia for The Washington Post, The Daily Telegraph, The Los Angeles Times and the Voice of America. She served as The Economist's Turkey correspondent between 1999 and 2016. She was a columnist for the liberal daily Taraf and the mainstream daily Haberturk before switching to the independent Turkish online news portal Diken in 2015.

 

 

This conference is co-organized with: