CEFTUS Westminster Debate ‘Dynamics of ‘New Turkey’: Domestic and Foreign Challenges’

The Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) is delighted to invite you to a Westminster Debate titled ‘Dynamics of ‘New Turkey’: Domestic and Foreign Challenges’. Keynote speakers are Dr Soner Cagaptay of Washington Institute and Journalist and Author Mr Rusen Cakir.

Please find short biographies of speakers below.

The event marks the launch of the new CEFTUS debate series titled ‘New Turkey’. Successive AKP governments have promoted the idea that they are building a ‘New Turkey,’ which they assert will be more democratic and pluralistic than the Turkey of previous generations. Opposition groups also use the ‘New Turkey’ phrase, but mostly to criticise the government’s plans to change the constitution, encourage conservative social mores and other policies. ‘New Turkey’ is in inverted commas to acknowledge critics who claim that Turkey has not fundamentally changed. In this view, the ‘old’ Turkey remains, it has only changed hands.

This new CEFTUS debate series will invite speakers from all perspectives to explore the meaning of the ‘New Turkey’ concept and its relationship to developments in Turkey. CEFTUS is a non-partisan and independent organisation aims to create a platform for opinions of all political ideas for an objective understanding of Turkey’s political, social and economic dynamics.

The ‘New Turkey’ series will invite keynote speakers of experts, academics, journalists, politicians and business people from Turkey, Britain and beyond. Debate topics will be a selection of diverse and timely subjects that lie at the heart of Turkey’s internal debates.

This Westminster Debate titled ‘Dynamics of ‘New Turkey’: Domestic and Foreign Challenges’ will explore the idea of ‘New Turkey’ from two angles. Dr Soner Cagaptay will analyse the Islamic State (IS) threat to Turkey, Turkey’s relations with the West and the region and the future of liberal democracy in Turkey. Rusen Cakir will explore Turkey’s judiciary and the followers of the US-based Islamic preacher Fettullah Gulen, also known as the cemaat (community). Can the ‘New Turkey’ avoid letting its internal power struggles stand in the way of democratisation and liberalisation?

This CEFTUS Westminster Debate is kindly hosted by Shadow Secretary of State for Justice Stephen Twigg Labour Co-operative MP for Liverpool West Derby.

Mr Gareth Winrow will kindly chair this debate. Please see below for his short biography.

The event will take place on Tuesday 14th October, between 7PM and 9.00PM in Committee Room 9, House of Commons. Please note that security checks are required to enter the House of Commons. We kindly ask you to arrive at 6.30PM to allow the event to start and end on time. Booking is required for this event to ensure adequate seating availability.

Please click ‘register’ above. Alternatively, RSVP to [email protected]

Looking forward to welcoming you at this event.


Speaker/Chairperson biographies

Dr Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. He has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics, and Turkish nationalism, publishing in scholarly journals and major international print media, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, Habertürk and Jane’s Defense Weekly. He is a regular columnist for Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s oldest and most influential English-language paper, and a contributor to CNN’s Global Public Square blog. He appears regularly on Fox News, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN-Turk and al-Hurra. His latest book is The Rise of Turkey: The Twenty First-Century’s First Muslim Power (2014).

Rusen Cakir is senior correspondent for the Turkish daily Vatan and editor of Metis Publishing’s Black and White Book Series, which promotes the work of investigative journalists. Since 1985, he has served with prominent newspapers and television outlets such as Nokta, Tempo, Cumhuriyet, Milliyet, CNN-Turk, and NTV. His publications (all in Turkish) include Neither Sharia nor Democracy:Understanding the Welfare Party (1994), Resistance and Obedience: The Islamist Woman between Two Powers (2000), Hizballah Goes Deeper:The Future of Islamist Violence (2001), Turkey’s Kurdish Problem (2004), and the co-authored Recep Tayyip Erdogan: A Transformation Story (2001).

Gareth Winrow is an independent research analyst and consultant based in Oxford. He is also a part-time tutor at Oxford University. Previously, he worked in Turkey where he was a Professor in the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University and also taught at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. A recipient of two NATO Research Fellowships and a US Institute of Peace Fellowship, he has worked as a consultant for Eurasia Group and Sidar Global Advisors, is a member of Chatham House, and serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Turkish Studies. He has published extensively on Turkish foreign policy and on energy and regional security issues. A regular participant at the UK-Turkey TatliDil Forum, he is the co-author of The Kurdish Question and Turkey: An Example of a Trans-State Ethnic Conflict (1997).