CEFTUS Westminster Debate ‘Turkey at a Tipping Point’


The Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) is delighted to invite you to a Westminster Debate with Dr Jenny White, a writer and social anthropologist and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies. She is the author of three scholarly books on Turkish politics and society and of three novels set in 1880s Istanbul.

Please find her biography below.

Jenny White will discuss the process by which Turkey’s national identity has been transformed over the past two decades, the subject of her new book Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks. Turkey’s Muslim elites have mounted a powerful political and economic challenge to the country’s secularists, developing an alternative definition of the nation based on a nostalgic revival of Turkey’s Ottoman past. During this process, the meaning of Islam has undergone a radical redefinition as Islamist ideology was edged out by a personal Muslimhood. However, a generation of middle-class, globalized youth has emerged, most visibly in the Gezi protests of this summer, that rejects even this definition of the nation and that crosses secular/Islamic lines. Turkish democracy is at a tipping point. Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks was chosen by Foreign Affairs as one of three “Best Books of 2012 on the Middle East.”

Dr Pelin Kadercan of University of Reading will kindly chair this debate.

This CEFTUS Westminster Debate is kindly hosted by Diane Abbott MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

The event will take place on Tuesday 4th of February, between 7PM and 8.30PM in Committee Room 8, House of Commons. Please note that security checks are required to enter the House of Commons, so we kindly ask you to arrive at 6.30PM, allowing the event to start and end promptly on time.

We look forward to welcoming you at this CEFTUS Westminster Debate.

Booking is required for this event to ensure adequate seating availability.

Please register on here

or RSVP to [email protected]

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Ibrahim Dogus


Speaker Biography

Jenny White is a writer and social anthropologist and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies and a professor at Boston University. She is the former president of the Turkish Studies Association and of the American Anthropological Association Middle East Section, and sits on the board of the Institute of Turkish Studies in Washington, DC. She has received numerous grants and fellowships from, among others, the Social Science Research Council, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and Fulbright-Hays. She is author of Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks (chosen by Foreign Policy as one of three best books on the Middle East in 2012); Islamist Mobilization in Turkey: A Study in Vernacular Politics (Winner of the 2003 Douglass Prize for best book in Europeanist anthropology); and Money Makes Us Relatives: Women’s Labor in Urban Turkey. She has authored numerous articles on Turkey and on Turks in Germany and lectures internationally on topics ranging from political Islam and nationalism to ethnic identity and gender issues. Professor White has been following events in Turkey since the mid-1970s. Her books have been translated into Turkish. She writes a syndicated blog on contemporary Turkey that Foreign Policy named as one of two blogs on Turkey that President Obama should read: http://kamilpasha.com/

Photo credit: Monica Fritz