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Debating Turkey’s Political Future
Mehmet Gurses

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: On April 16, 2017, voters across Turkey voted on a package of constitutional amendments that expands the power of the presidency. While Turkish president Erdogan and his supporters argue that these changes are necessary for stability and economic growth, critics charge that the revisions could result in an Islamist dictatorship under Erdogan. The referendum is merely a reflection of deep-seated divisions in Turkey. Thus, regardless of the outcome, Turkey’s political future is at stake. Gradual Islamization of the country under the AKP rule in the past decade has come at the expense of the secularists in the country. The protracted conflict between the Kurdish PKK and the Turkish state has spilled over into Syria. Turkey, under the pretext of fighting against ISIS, has actively engaged in the Syrian Civil War to prevent the rise of a Kurdish political entity in North Syria. Since the failed coup of July 2016, the country has experienced an unprecedented purge, which has so far resulted in the dismissal, detention, or suspension of nearly 150,000 people. This one-time lecture aims at throwing light on the changing dynamics in Turkey. How will these drastic changes affect Turkish relations with the West? Is Turkey still a trusted ally? What are the implications of an authoritarian and Islamist regime in Turkey for the broader Middle East? These questions and more will be addressed in this lecture.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Mehmet Gurses joined the Department of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University in 2007, after completing his doctorate at the University of North Texas. An expert on Middle East politics,he specializes in ethnic and religious conflict, post-civil war peace-building, democratization, and Islamist parties in the Middle East. Dr. Gurses frequently speaks to groups in several communities on a range of topics relating to the Middle East. His scholarly publications have appeared in International Interactions, Social Science Quarterly, Civil Wars, Defense and Peace Economics, Democratization, International Studies Perspectives and Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.

Time: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Date: Monday, October 16, 2017
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member - $30 per event
$75 for any combination of three events, members only
$120 for any combination of eight events, members only

Non-member - $35
Cash will no longer be accepted as payment for lectures.

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