Past Event

Turkey at a Crossroads: The Dynamics of a Democracy Under Strain

October 19, 2016
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

In this panel, distinguished panelists from Columbia University and Turkey will seek to unravel and assess the complexities and challenges currently facing Turkey. With Turkey now hosting the highest number of refugees in the world, increasingly subject to regional conflicts, and weighed down by the aftermath of a devastating coup attempt, we will seek to illuminate the pathways available to Turkey. Of particular focus will be the prospects for a stronger democratic future for Turkey.

Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1970, and his D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1974. He has taught at the Lebanese University, the American University of Beirut, Georgetown University, and at the University of Chicago. He is past President of the Middle East Studies Association, and the editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies.Khalidi is the author of Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. has Undermined Peace in the Middle East, 2013, winner of the Lionel Trilling Book Award and the MEMO Book Award; Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East, 2009; The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood, 2006, translated into French, Arabic and Hebrew; Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East, 2004 translated into French, Italian and Spanish; Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness, 1997 winner of the Middle East Studies Association’s Albert Hourani Prize for best book of 1997, translated into Arabic, French, Italian and Spanish and reissued with a new introduction in 2010; Under Siege: PLO Decision-making during the 1982 War, 1986, translated into Arabic and Hebrew and reissued with a new preface in 2014; and British Policy towards Syria and Palestine, 1906-1914, 1980. He is the co-editor of Palestine and the Gulf, 1982, and The Origins of Arab Nationalism, 1991, and has written over 110 scholarly articles.He has written for The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Vanguardia, The London Review of Books, and The Nation. He has been interviewed in Le Monde, Haaretz, Milliyet, al-Quds, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He has been a guest on radio and TV shows including All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, Morning Edition, The News Hour, The Charlie Rose Show, GPS with Fareed Zakaria, Amanpour on CNN International, and Nightline, and on the BBC, Radio France Inter and France Culture, the CBC, al-Jazeera, al-‘Arabiyya, Russia Today, and the Voice of America.

Dr. Agnès Callamard is the Director of Columbia University Global Freedom of Expression, an initiative seeking to advance understanding on freedom of expression global norms, and Special Adviser to the President of Columbia University, first amendment scholar Lee Bollinger. Dr. Callamard has a distinguished career in human rights and humanitarian work globally. She spent nine years as the Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, the international human rights organization promoting and defending freedom of expression and access to information globally. Under her leadership, ARTICLE 19 reach and reputation flourished earning global recognition for its cutting edge public policy thinking on diverse issues including national security, equality, and development. She founded and led HAP International (the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership), which is the first self-regulatory body for humanitarian agencies at the international level. Prior to this, Dr. Callamard was Chef de Cabinet for the Secretary General of Amnesty International (AI) and AI’s Research-Policy Coordinator, leading AI’s policy work and research on women’s human rights. Agnès has advised senior levels of multilateral organizations and governments around the world and has led human rights investigations in more than 30 countries. She has published broadly in the field of human rights, women’s rights, refugee movements and accountability and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the New School for Social Research in New York.

Ipek Cem Taha has been the Director of Columbia Global Centers in Istanbul since its inception in 2011. The Center is executing collaborative programs that link Columbia University to Turkey and the region. Themes under investigation include politics, sustainability, architecture, gender and public health.  Between 2005 -2010, she was producing and hosting 'Global Leaders,' a television program on NTV networks, interviewing personalities such as Pele, Kofi Annan, Richard Branson and Madeleine Albright.  Before creating Global Leaders, Ipek was for eight years a columnist for daily newspapers, including Milliyet, Yeni Yüzyıl, and Sabah.  Ipek Cem Taha is a founding board member and active leader in several non-profit organizations in Turkey, including URAK (National Competitiveness Research Institute), KAGIDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association) and SAHA, an association that supports Turkish contemporary art internationally. Since 2012, Ipek Cem Taha is also a Trustee of Robert College of Istanbul and oversees the Advancement Committee of the Board. Ipek is a member of the Turkish Advisory Board of Allianz since 2015. She has also been a board member of the Strategic Advisory Council of the Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration, and of the International Advisory Council of Columbia University. She has been an Eisenhower Fellow since 2003.