The Hate Crime Legislation Campaign in Turkey


‘The Hate Crime Legislation campaign in Turkey” and “ Religion, Society and Politics in a changing Turkey”

Guest speakers:

Dr Aykan Erdemir MP for Bursa, (CHP)

Binnaz Toprak MP for Istanbul (CHP)

Chair : John Woodcock MP

Date: Monday, 25th of March, 7pm-9pm

Location: Committee Rom 15,  House of Commons, Palace of Westminster

Time: 7pm

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Hate speech is a form of expression that spreads and promotes hatred based on intolerance and animosity towards individuals or groups. Hate speech not only inflicts psychological damage on the victim but also tends to incite hate crime, which can be defined as a criminal offense motivated by prejudice or hostility based on somebody’s ethnicity, national identity, religious beliefs, social status, sexual orientation or disability.

The Hate Crime Legislation Campaign Platform (in Turkey) website defines hate crimes as “message crimes,” which reach beyond the victim and make the victim’s group feel they are unwelcome in the community. This message carries with it psychological consequences, such as fear, depression and anxiety. The platform says that as a result of this message the members of the group can feel marginalized, suffer from psychological trauma and may even commit suicide. Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was fatally shot in front of the headquarters of the bilingual Armenian weekly Agos in 2007, was one of the most publicized victims of hate crime in Turkey, as he was killed because of his “Armenian” identity.

As there is currently no legislation on hate crimes in Turkish law, criminal cases issues are often left unsolved and criminals generally go unpunishe

This Centre for Turkey Studies Westminster Debate will be hosted by John Woodcock, Labour MP.

BİNNAZ TOPRAK was born in Sivas in 1942. She received her BA degreee from the Hunter College of the City University of New York and her PhD degree from the Graduate Center of the CUNY. In 1976, she joined the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University, İstanbul, Turkey, where she taught and served as department chair until 2008. She is currently the Chair of Department of Political Science and International Relations at Bahçeşehir University in İstanbul. She has published extensively in English on  secularism and political Islam in Turkey. Her publications in Turkish include Türkiye’de Din, Toplum ve Siyaset (Religion, Society and Politics in Turkey, with Ali Çarkoğlu, TESEV, 2000), Değişen Türkiye’de Din, Toplum ve  Siyaset (Religion, Society and Politics in a Changing Turkey, with Ali Çarkoğlu, TESEV, 2006) and İş Yaşamı, Üst  Yönetim ve Siyasette Kadın (Women in Business, High Management and Politics, with Ersin Kalaycıoğlu, TESEV,


She is a member of Parliament for Istanbul.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aykan Erdemir was born in 1974 in Bursa, Turkey. He is a member of the Parliament Turkish Grand National Assembly and the Party Assembly Republican People’s Party. As deputy for Bursa since July 2011, he is also a member the EU Harmonization Committee and the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erdemir holds a BA in International Relations from Bilkent University (Ankara, 1996), MA (1998) and PhD (2004) in Middle Eastern Studies and in Anthropology from Harvard University (US, 2004). His dissertation title is “Incorporating Alevis: The Transformation of Governance and Faith-Based Collective Action in Turkey.”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erdemir was a lecturer in the Department of Sociology of Middle East Technical University (METU) where he taught courses on social and political anthropology, and the anthropology of Europe and the Middle East.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erdemir’s academic research covers faith-based collective action of Turkish and European Alevi communities, work and remittance strategies of Turkish immigrants in Europe, and discrimination and hate crimes in Turkey. He participated in and directed many national and international collaborative projects funded by the Sixth Framework Programme, National Science Foundation (NSF), Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, European Center for Minority Issues, European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erdemir was also the Deputy Dean at the Graduate School of Social Sciences at METU (2004–2011) and the Director of the German-Turkish Masters Program in Social Sciences (2007–2011), a dual-diploma program of Humboldt-Universität and METU.

His main publications [in English] are as follows:

Rethinking Global Migration: Practices, Policies, and Discourses in the European Neighbourhood, (2008). Ankara: KORA. [co-edited with Helga Rittersberger-Tılıç, Ayça Ergun, and Hayriye Kahveci]

Social Dynamics of Global Terrorism: Risk and Prevention Policies (2008). Amsterdam: IOS Press.[co-edited with Nilay Çabuk-Kaya]

Alevism-Bektashism: A Brief Introduction (2006). Rabia Harmanşah, Kaan Evren Başaran and AykanErdemir, trans. London: England Alevi Cultural Centre & Cem Evi. (ISBN 975-98065-3-3) [co-authored with Ali Yaman]

“Westernization as Cultural Trauma: Egyptian Radical Islamist Discourse on Religious Education” Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, 9, 25 (Spring 2010):111-132. [co-edited with Ozan Aşık]

His main publications [in Turkish] are as follows:

Discrimination in Turkey: From the Perspective of Alevis (2010). Alevi Cultural Foundations, Ankara. [co-edited with Cahit K., Halil K., Muharrem E., Theresa W. and Umut B.]

Alevism from Past to Today (2010). Ankara: Cem Vakfı Ankara Şubesi. [co-edited with Ahmet Taşğın and Ali Yaman]

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erdemir is a professional member of the American Anthropological Association, European Association of Social Anthropologists, Middle East Studies Association of North America, International Sociological Association, International Association for Southeast European Anthropology, European Society for Central Asian Studies, Anthropological Association of Turkey, and Sociological Association of Turkey.

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