August 14th, 2020
2:00pm – 3:30pm (EST)
Since its establishment 19 years ago, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has transformed the country’s politics, economy, and culture in many different ways. As a result of its consistent electoral and referenda successes for nearly two decades, the party has become the dominant party in Turkish politics in unprecedented ways. As the party sets out to tackle long-standing ethnic, religious and political challenges in the country, Turkey has emerged as a regional power seeking to assume a critical role in global issues.
The SETA Foundation at Washington DC is pleased to host a webinar discussion on the transformation of Turkey under the AK Party over the last 19 years.
Ravza Kavakçı Kan, Member of Parliament from AK Party and President of Interparliamentary Union Group at the Turkish Parliament
Talip Küçükcan, Professor of Sociology at Marmara University and Former Member of Parliament from AK Party
Hüseyin Alptekin, Researcher, Strategy Studies, SETA Foundation in Istanbul
Kadir Ustun, Executive Director, The SETA Foundation at Washington DC
Ravza Kavakçı Kan completed her bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. She has a master degree from Boğaziçi University and a PhD degree in Political Science from Howard University. She worked at an information technology company, Belbim in the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul. She has served as a lecturer at the Research Center for Postcolonial Studies at Hasan Kalyoncu University. As well, she was a member of the Academic Commission of KADEM. Ravza has been elected as a member of the Turkish Parliament from Istanbul for three times. From 2015 to 2018, she was a member of the Central Executive Board of AK Party. She also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Board for Human Rights for a term. She was also a member of the Committee on European Union Harmonization and Committee for Foreign Affairs. She was the head of the Parliamentary Working Group on United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. She is currently the president of the Commission of the Inter-Parliamentary Union at the Turkish Parliament.
Talip Kucukcan is a Professor of Sociology at the Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey. He was a Member of the Turkish Parliament between 2015 and 2018. Mr. Kucukcan was the Head of Turkish Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe and a Member of Foreign Relations Committee. He graduated from Uludag University (1986) and received an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (1990). Kucukcan completed his PhD in Ethnic Relations at the University of Warwick (1997). He worked as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations at the University of Warwick between 1997 and 1999. Before moving to Marmara University where he became a full professor, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islamic Studies in Istanbul until 2007. He served as a Senior Advisor to the President of Higher Education Council of Turkey between 2009 and 2013. He was among the founding team of Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) where he was first Coordinator of Social and Economic Research, then the Director of Foreign Policy Research. He served as the Editor in Chief of Insight Turkey, a policy journal published by SETA until 2015. Kucukcan was the Director of Middle East Research Institute at the Marmara University between 2011-2014. He is appointed as the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims for 2014 and 2015. Kucukcan is specialized in foreign relations with a focus on Middle Eastern affairs, Turkey-EU relations, transnational migration, international freedom of religion, security and Muslim minorities in Europe. He is a regular commentator on national and international media.
Hüseyin Alptekin completed his undergraduate studies at Beykent University, Business and International Relations Departments in 2004 and received his master’s degree from Koç University, International Relations Department in 2006. He continued his graduate studies at the Department of Political Science of the University of Utah from 2006 to 2008 and completed his doctoral studies at the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, with his dissertation titled “Explaining Ethnopolitical Mobilization: Ethnic Incorporation and Mobilization Patterns in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Turkey, and Beyond”. His main academic interests are comparative political institutions, ethnic politics, nationalism, politics of Turkey and the Middle East, and methodology of social science research. His research has been published, among others, in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Mediterranean Politics, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Afro Eurasian Studies, Insight Turkey, and Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought.
Kadir Ustun is the Executive Director at the SETA Foundation at Washington, D.C. Previously, Dr. Ustun was the Research Director at SETA DC and Assistant Editor of Insight Turkey. Dr. Ustun holds a PhD in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University and a Master’s degree in History from Bilkent University. He has contributed to various SETA reports and his writings have appeared in various publications such as Insight Turkey, Al Jazeera English, Hurriyet Daily News, Daily Sabah, Mediterranean Quarterly, and Cairo Review of Global Affairs among others. He is also co-editor of edited volumes History, Politics and Foreign Policy in Turkey, Change and Adaptation in Turkish Foreign Policy, Politics and Foreign Policy in Turkey: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, and Trump’s Jerusalem Move: Making Sense of U.S. Policy on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.
The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) at Washington, D.C. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, independent, nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C. dedicated to innovative studies on national, regional, and international issues concerning Turkey and US-Turkey relations.