Madison Committee
on Foreign Relations

Lessons from Turkey's Democratic Experience for the Middle East

  • Thursday, September 17, 2015
  • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • The University Club, 803 State Street, Madison, WI

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Since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Turkey has experienced cycles of fragile democracy interspersed with single-party domination or military interventions.  Not long ago, Turkey was considered a model of constitutional democracy in the Middle East and President Obama chose it as his first majority-Muslim destination. However, in recent years, the country has drifted towards autocracy under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, former prime minister and current president. Jugular issues such as the fight against ISIS or the status of Kurds have been left at the mercy of domestic political calculations.
 
Dr. Aslandogan will present an overview of democracy in Turkey with a focus on the current situation in Turkey and give his views on how Turkey's experiences might translate to other Middle Eastern countries.

Dr. Y. Alp Aslandogan is the Executive Director of the Alliance for Shared Values, a 501-C-3 non-profit organization that promotes bringing together citizens of diverse backgrounds around shared values of humanity. Prior to his current position Dr. Aslandogan served as the board president
of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog in Houston, Texas and has served as an editor of the Fountain magazine.  He publishes a column in Huffington Post.
 
Dr. Aslandogan recently co-edited a book entitled, “Muslim Citizens of the Globalized World: Contributions of the Gulen Movement,” published by the Institute of Interfaith Dialog. He is also the co-author of an upcoming book on the history of democracy in Turkey.
 
Dr. Aslandogan was born and raised in Balikesir, Turkey and came to the United States in 1991 to study after receiving B.Sc. degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from Bogazici University, Istanbul. He obtained his M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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