Since the mid-2000s, Turkey has emerged as a local power in Middle East with its “zero problems” policy of ensuring that bilateral relations with all its neighbours remain friendly. This policy formed the backbone of Turkish foreign policy under Justice and Development Party. However, the scene has totally changed after the “Arab Spring” and its aftermath, and the policy seems to have shifted to an “all problems” scenario where Turkey is now faced with bilateral problems with all its neighbours. Faced with an image problem internationally, growing popular dissent domestically and an upcoming general election in a time of losing popularity, can the Justice and Development Party weather this crisis? This seminar will discuss these themes and will explore the Turkey’s challenges on the international and domestic fronts.
About the Speaker:
Ihsan Yilmaz is the Founding President of the Istanbul Institute, a think tank based in Turkey. He is also a professor of political science and the Director of the PhD Programme in Political Science and International Relations at Fatih University, Istanbul. He served as the editor of Turkish Journal of Politics (TJP) between 2010-2015 and editor in chief of the European Journal of Economic and Political Studies (EJEPS) between 2009-2013.
Prof Yilmaz received his BA in Political Science and International Relations from the Bosphorus University in 1994 and completed his PhD at the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 1999. Subsequently, he worked at the University of Oxford as a Fellow between 1999 and 2001, and taught Turkish government and politics, legal sociology, comparative law and Islamic law at SOAS, University of London from 2001 until his move to the Fatih University in 2008.
He is the author of (2005) Muslim Laws, Politics and Society in Modern Nation States: Dynamic Legal Pluralisms in England, Turkey and Pakistan, Aldershot, Ashgate and (2015) From Kemalism to Erdoganism: Religion, State and Good Citizen in Turkey (in Turkish), Istanbul, Ufuk. He is also co-editor with John L. Esposito (2010) Islam and Peacebuilding: Gülen Movement Initiatives, New York, Blue Dome.