As the Turkish electorate prepares to go to the polls to elect a new president and a new parliament, what is at stake is nothing less than the direction the Turkish Republic will take at its centennial. The discrepancy between a vibrant, modern and imaginative society and a hollowed-out state and its institutions was put on display during the catastrophic earthquake of February 6. The elections will determine the country's direction in its economic management, political system, and strategic identity. The future of Turkey's politics along a secular democratic path is at stake just when its strategic importance for the Atlantic alliance is being redefined in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul, in collaboration with the Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies, is organizing an in-person lecture with Soli Özel, a faculty member at Kadir Has University and fellow-in-residence at Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul. In his lecture at the Columbia campus, Özel will discuss the trends in Turkey, present a picture of the country’s current political topography, and evaluate the possible outcomes of the elections. The event will be moderated by Türküler Işıksel, Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.
This is an in-person event at 807 Schermerhorn. Please register here.
Soli Özel holds a BA in Economics from Benningon College (1981) and an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS-1983).
A senior lecturer at Istanbul Kadir Has University, and the fellow-in-residence at Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul, Özel was a “Europe’s Futures” fellow at Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna in 2021-2022. In the year of the pandemic, he taught a course at the American University in Central Asia (AUCA) and at the Menton campus of Sciences-Po. The same year he also hosted two series of webinars for Institut Montaigne on the American elections and the changing geopolitics of the Middle East. He was a Bernstein Fellow at the Schell Center for Human Rights at Yale Law School and a visiting lecturer in the Political Science Department of Yale. He has been a columnist at Nokta magazine and GazetePazar, Yeni Binyıl, Habertürk and Sabah newspapers. Currently he writes for Deutsche Welle-Turkish, Politikyol and does a weekly commentary on world affairs for Gazete Duvar TV. He is also a contributor to the blog of Institut Montaigne. He held fellowships at Oxford, the EU Institute of Strategic Studies and was a Fisher Family Fellow of the “Future of Diplomacy Program” at the Belfer Center of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He taught at UC Santa Cruz, SAIS, University of Washington, Northwestern University, Hebrew University, Boğaziçi University, SciencesPo-PSIA, and Yale. He was a Richard von Weizsacker fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin between 2015-2017 and a visiting fellow at Institut Montaigne in Paris in 2018.
He is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Türküler Işıksel (Ph.D., Yale) is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia and works in contemporary political theory. Isiksel is particularly interested in how descriptive and normative categories tailored to the nation-state apply to political institutions beyond that context, and combines the perspectives of normative theory, legal analysis, and institutionalist political science in her work. Her substantive research interests include constitutional theory, the law and politics of the European Union and other international economic institutions, Enlightenment political philosophy (especially the evolution of ideas about commerce and international politics in the eighteenth century), theories of corporate personhood, sovereignty, citizenship, and human rights. On occasion, she also writes on Turkish politics. Her research has appeared in Human Rights Quarterly, the European Journal of International Law, International Journal of Constitutional Law (I*CON), Global Constitutionalism, the European Law Journal, and Constellations. Isiksel has held a Jean Monnet postdoctoral fellowship at the European University Institute (2010-2011), a LAPA/Perkins Fellowship at Princeton University's Law and Public Affairs Program (2014-2015), and an Emile Noël Fellowship at NYU Law School (Fall 2015). She was also a visiting research fellow at the Justitia Amplificata Centre at Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt-am-Main (Summer 2015). Isiksel served as a Fellow-in-Residence at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University during the 2018-2019 academic year.