Details

When

December 4, 2019
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Where

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

Registration

Register

For More Information

Programs Department
programs@mei.edu
202-785-1141 ext. 202

The Middle East Institute (MEI) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) are pleased to host the 10th Annual Conference on Turkey. The conference will bring together policymakers and experts to discuss the challenges Turkey faces domestically and its relations with the Middle East and the West.

 

Co-Host:

 

Agenda:

9:00am-9:15am | Welcome Remarks
Knut Dethlefsen
Representative to the U.S. and Canada, FES
Gönül Tol
Director, Center for Turkish Studies, MEI

9:15am-10:45am | Panel I: Turkey after the Istanbul elections
Ruşen Çakır
Journalist, Medyascope 
Aykan Erdemir
Senior fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies 
Fehmi Koru
Freelance journalist
Giran Özcan
Washington representative, Peoples' Democratic Party

10:45am-11:00am | Coffee Break

11:00am-11:45am | Keynote Remarks & Audience Q&A
Hon. Nils Schmid, MP

Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, German Bundestag

12:00pm-1:30pm | Panel II: Art in the time of authoritarianism
Kenan Behzat Sharpe
Founder & Co-Editor, Blind Field: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry
Ayşe Öncü
Professor, Department of Sociology, Sabancı University
Sarp Palaur
Director & Musician, Susamam
Lisel Hintz (moderator)
Assistant professor of international relations, Johns Hopkins SAIS

1:30pm-2:30pm | Lunch Buffet

2:30pm-4:00pm | Panel III: Turkey between NATO and Russia
Ivan Safranchuk
Associate Research Scholar & Lecturer, MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University
Aydın Selcen
Columnist, GazeteDuvar & DuvarEnglish
General (ret.) Joseph Votel
Distinguished Senior Fellow on National Security, MEI
Jim Zanotti
Specialist, Middle Eastern Affairs, Congressional Research Service

4:00pm | Close

 

Speaker Biographies:

Knut Dethlefsen
Representative to the U.S. and Canada, FES  
Knut Dethlefsen serves as the FES Representative to the U.S. and Canada. Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., he led FES offices in Warsaw, Jerusalem, and Shanghai. In between, he also served as the Department Head of the Asia and Pacific Department of the FES in Berlin. Knut has extensive experience in the United States having completed a yearlong high school exchange program in Logan, West Virginia, and later working for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) as a Legislative Fellow, advising the Senator on foreign affairs issues.Knut obtained his M.A. in History, Political Science, and Economics from the Technical University of Berlin as well as a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He is a proud member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) as well as the German service sector trade union Ver.di.

Ruşen Çakır
Journalist, Medyascope
Ruşen Çakır is an award-winning Turkish journalist and founder of the independent online news portal Medyascope. Mr. Çakır has won journalism awards from various institutions including from the International Press Institute. He started his journalism career with the magazine Nokta and has worked for various newspapers, journals, and television channels over the years. He has penned fifteen books, on a wide variety of issues including Islamist movements in Turkey and Turkey's Kurdish question. After thirty years as a correspondent, columnist, and commentator in mainstream media, he now works as an editorial director and commentator on Medyascope-TV.

Aykan Erdemir
Senior fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Dr. Aykan Erdemir is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a member of the Anti-Defamation League’s Task Force on Middle East Minorities. He is a former member of the Turkish Parliament and served in the European Union-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee. He is also a founding member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief, a co-drafter of the Oslo Charter for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and a recipient of the Stefanus Prize for Religious Freedom. He received his MA in Middle Eastern Studies and Ph.D. in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, and worked as a faculty member at Middle East Technical University and Bilkent University. He is coauthor of Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites and Spaces.

Lisel Hintz
Assistant professor of international relations, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Lisel Hintz is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She received her Ph.D. from George Washington University, and held teaching positions at Cornell University and Barnard College of Columbia University. Her first book (Oxford 2018) investigates how contestation over various forms of identity in Turkey (e.g. ethnic, religious, gender, regional) spills over from domestic politics to shape, and be shaped by, foreign policy. Her current book project examines state-society struggles over identity in Turkey through the lens of pop culture. Dr. Hintz’s work is published in the European Journal of International Relations, Survival, Project on Middle East Political Science Series, and the Oxford Handbook of Turkish Politics, as well as in op-eds for Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, War on the Rocks, and The Boston Globe. She has contributed to multiple academic, government, and think tank panels on Turkey’s rising authoritarianism, opposition dynamics, refugee crisis, pop culture, and Kurdish and Alevi issues.

Fehmi Koru
Freelance journalist
Fehmi Koru is currently a freelance Turkish journalist and columnist. He has previously been the editor in chief of Milli Gazete and Zaman as well as written for Turkish Daily News and The New Anatolian. In 1999 he joined Yeni Şafak as its Ankara Bureau Chief and later chief columnist, and has written for Star and Haberturk. He has also appeared on multiple TV programs on channels like Kanal-7, NTV, ATV, and TRT

Prof. Dr. Ayşe Öncü
Professor, Department of Sociology, Sabancı University
Ayşe Öncü is an emeritus professor of sociology, with a PhD from Yale University. She was among the founding members of the Sociology Department at Boğaziçi University in İstanbul, where she taught for 25 years and served in various administrative capacities. She joined Sabancı University in 2003, to coordinate the Cultural Studies Program, and was the first woman to earn the title of Emeritus at Sabancı University. Öncü has published extensively in various international journals and co-edited a number of volumes, focusing on questions of space, culture, and power in globalizing cities, with special emphasis on Istanbul. She has also been involved in research networks in the Middle East, such as GURI, Meawards, and MERC, and engaged in collaborative research with partners in the region. She has been a member of the Academy of Sciences since 2013.

Giran Özcan
Washington representative, Peoples’ Democratic Party
Giran Özcan is the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP Representative to the United States of America. Prior to that, he worked with the HDP in its overseas representative offices. He graduated from the University of Warwick with a sociology degree and worked at the Centre for Turkey Studies in London between 2011 and 2016. He was a founding editor of The Region, an online news outlet covering the Middle East.

Sarp Palaur
Director & Musician, Susamam
Sarp Palaur a.k.a Şanışer is a director, composer, and musician in Turkey. He most recently received a lot of attention in Turkey for the release of the hip-hop song Susamam. Produced by a collective of 17 artists led by Sarp Palaur, Susamam talks about different social issues in Turkey. It has gained tens of millions of views so far and has led to official complaints against Sarp Palaur due to the song’s critique of various issues. He has also published several albums including Otuzuncu Gün, Açık ve Net, and LUDOVICO II. 

Ivan Safranchuk
Associate Research Scholar & Lecturer, MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University
Ivan Safranchuk currently holds several positions. He is a senior fellow at the Institute of International Relations, a non-resident fellow with CSIS, and Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. He is also the publisher of the journal “Great Game: politics, business, security in Central Asia.” He serves on the advisory council of the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation and is a member of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. He previously worked at the PIR Center for Policy Studies from 1997-2001, headed the Moscow Office of the Center for Defense Information between 2001-2007, and was appointed deputy director at the Institute of Contemporary International Studies from 2011-2014. From 2015-2017 he also served as an adviser to the President of the Diplomatic Academy of Kyrgyzstan under the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hon. Nils Schmid, MP
Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, German Bundestag
MP Nils Schmid, Ph.D., has been a Member of the German Bundestag for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) since 2017. He serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Committee for Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Nils Schmid is also speaker on foreign policy for the SPD Parliamentary Group. Prior to his election to the Bundestag, he was a Member of the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg (1997-2016), and also served as Finance and Economics Minister in the state as well as Deputy Minister President (2011-2016). The main focus of his work has been on economic development – including research, innovation, education and infrastructure – social justice, migration, and a democratic and strong Europe.

Aydın Selcen
Columnist, GazeteDuvar & DuvarEnglish
Aydın Selcen is currently a columnist at GazeteDuvar & DuvarEnglish, hosts a political talk show on ArtıTV, and analyzes foreign policy issues on MedyascopeTV. He teaches a course on diplomacy at KHAS University and his first book “Gözden Irakta” was published in May 2019. He graduated from Lycée Saint Joseph in 1988 and from Marmara University’s International Relations Department in 1992. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992 and worked on or in Iraq between 2003 and 2013. He was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Baghdad (2003-06), Head of Iraq Desk Ankara (2006-08), Counsellor in DC (Iraq, Iran, CT files, 2008-10), and Consul General in Erbil (2010-13). He then resigned from government service and he worked for a year and a half for Genel.

Kenan Behzat Sharpe
Founder & Co-Editor, Blind Field: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry
Kenan Behzat Sharpe is a freelance journalist and academic with a Ph.D. in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has published in the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association and written articles for Jacobin, Verso, and Al-Monitor. He is a founder of Blind Field: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry as well as one of the editors. His research centers on the relationship between twentieth-century social movements and developments in literature, music, and cinema in Turkey, Greece, and the U.S.

Gönül Tol
Director for Turkish Studies, MEI
Gönül Tol is the founding director of The Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies. She is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies. After three years of field research in Germany and the Netherlands, she wrote her dissertation on the radicalization of the Turkish Islamist movement Milli Gorus in Western Europe. She was also 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. She has written extensively on Turkey-U.S. relations, Turkish domestic politics, and foreign policy and the Kurdish issue. She is a frequent media commentator.

General (ret.) Joseph Votel
Distinguished Senior Fellow on National Security, MEI
General (ret.) Joseph Votel is a distinguished senior fellow on national security at MEI. He retired as a four-star general in the United States Army after a nearly 40-year career, during which he held a variety of commands in positions of leadership, including most recently as commander of U.S. Central Command from March 2016 to March 2019. In his role at CENTCOM, Gen. Votel oversaw military operations across the region, including the campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Before CENTCOM he was the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command and the Joint Special Operations Command. He was the commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment when they deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 and to Iraq in 2003. While assigned to the Pentagon, he organized the original IED Task Force that eventually grew into the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization. He was awarded numerous medals of service including three Defense Distinguished Service Medals, an Army Distinguished Service Medal, three Defense Superior Service Medals, two Legion of Merit medals, and four Bronze Star Medals.

Jim Zanotti
Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs at the Congressional Research Service
Jim Zanotti is a Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs at the Congressional Research Service (CRS), where he covers Turkey, Kurdish issues, Israel, and the Palestinians. Previously, he was an attorney in private practice in Southern California and was a Bosch Transatlantic Fellow in Berlin, working as a foreign policy advisor for the German Bundestag. He received his BA from the University of Southern California, JD from Harvard Law School, and MA from American University.