Posts by Şener Aktürk

Şener Aktürk 05-06-2020
(TRT World) If we take March 12th, the day the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak to be a pandemic, we have entered the second month of what appears to be the first pandemic that has been captured and covered, almost synchronously, around the world. This is certainly not the first, and unfortunately extremely unlikely to be the last, deadly pandemic in human history. As of April 28th, 2020, the coronavirus...
Şener Aktürk 04-17-2020
(Mediterranean Politics) Abstract:  Bulgaria, Greece, and North Macedonia have demographically the largest and politically the most significant Turkish minorities in southeastern Europe. Yet the official recognition of Turkish ethnicity and language varies very significantly across these three neighbouring countries. This variation is particularly puzzling and counterintuitive if one considers a number of alternative explanations, all of which would...
Şener Aktürk 02-20-2020
(TRT World) Operation Peace Spring, which was launched in October 2019, has been in the making for more than four years. By mid-2015, the YPG-PYD’s expanding occupation of the mostly Arab-majority Northern Syria, combined with their deliberate policy of forced displacement of its Arab and Turkmen, but also dissident Kurdish opponents led to a new wave of Syrian refugees entering Turkey. Moreover, the PYD’s occupation of Northern Syria was accompanied by...
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Şener Aktürk 01-30-2020
(Comparative Politics) Based on a critical reading of three recent books, I argue that the exclusion of Jews and Muslims, the two major non-Christian religious groups in Europe and the Americas, has continued on the basis of ethnic, racial, ideological, and quasi-rational justifications, instead of or in addition to religious justifications, since the Reformation. Furthermore, I argue that the institutionally orchestrated collective stigmatization and...
Şener Aktürk 10-15-2019
(TRT) Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Koc University Şener Aktürk discusses operations in Syria, new US policies, the PYD-YPG as an armed ideological minority within an ethnic minority, why both Noam Chomsky and far right televangelist Pat Robertson support the YPG-PYD, and more.  Watch & Listen (YouTube) © TRT World Now (Turkish public broadcast service)    
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Şener Aktürk 10-18-2017
(Anadolu Agency) The significance of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s unilateral decision to hold a referendum for secession from Iraq cannot be overstated. Both the arguments in favor of and against the Kurdish Regional Government’s referendum have been based on some incomplete and misleading statements and wrong assumptions, which I will critically review and attempt to correct in this brief commentary. I hope that a more accurate picture of what is...
Şener Aktürk 03-16-2017
(Turkish Policy Quarterly) Turkish involvement in the Arab Spring and the Syrian civil war began at a time when Turkey’s impressive record of democratic progress and economic growth in the 2000s fueled remarkable optimism domestically and internationally about the country’s potentially democratizing influence in the greater Middle East, often discussed as “the Turkish model.” Against the background of the EU’s unwillingness to continue membership...
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Şener Aktürk 01-18-2017
(The New Turkey) Perhaps the most important geopolitical puzzle since the collapse of the Soviet Union 25 years ago has been whether the United States will reorient its grand strategy to contain and encircle another rising great power, which is most likely to be China. The default alternative is the continuation of the Cold War alliance structure with slight modifications, where Russia is perceived as an anti-American power that needs to be contained,...
Şener Aktürk 10-27-2016
(Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies). This article argues that Russia and Turkey radically reframed their projects of nation-building around the turn of the twenty-first century, and the migration patterns between the Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East, Russia, and Turkey reinforce these new projects of nationhood, aimed at reshaping society and building a new collective identity. By focusing on the nineteenth and the early twentieth century, most...
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Şener Aktürk 08-11-2016
(The New Turkey) In order to assess the geopolitical dimensions of the failed coup in Turkey, first of all, one has to acknowledge that there is a near consensus in Turkey that the failed military coup was executed by the followers of Fethullah Gülen, who has been living in the United States since 1999. Gülenists are implicated in a wide range of criminal activities including terrorism, such as the assassination of the famous Turkish-Armenian journalist...
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About the author

Associate Professor, Department of International Relations
Koç University, Istanbul