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Dr. Aykan Erdemir & Dr. Jonathan Schanzer
Rayburn House Office Building
On July 15-17, 2016, elements of the Turkish military may have attempted a coup against Erdogan. This coup failed, with about 250 Turks killed and another 2000 plus wounded. President Erdogan has been quoted as saying “This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army.”
Since the coup, President Erdogan has jailed 13,000 Turks, some of whom may have been tortured, and including children. Erdogan has dismissed or suspended some 60,000 people from their jobs, including military servicemen, judges and prosecutors – also two members of the Constitutional Court – police, civil servants and teachers. One third of the nation’s general have been purged, which will undoubtedly weaken Turkey’s participation in the war against ISIS. More than 2,250 social, educational or health-care institutions and facilities have been seized. Turkey has also issued a ban on professional travel for all academics. Turkey has closed down 130 media organizations, including 16 television stations, 23 radio stations, three news agencies, 15 magazines and 45 newspapers.
The Turkish President also demanded that the U.S. extradite Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Islamist whose Gulen Movement was originally allied with Erdogan. Erdogan claims that Gulen was behind the coup. Erdogan threatened that it would be “big mistake” if U.S. does not extradite Gulen.
Erdogan also declared a three-month state of emergency and suspended the European Convention on Human Rights.
How will the attempted Turkish coup, and President Erdogan’s increasing brutal crackdown on his rivals, impact the U.S. national security? How will it affect Israel and the rest of the Middle East?
Please join us as we hear from Dr. Jonathan Schanzer and Dr. Aykan Erdemir as they explore this topic.
About Dr. Jonathan Schanzer: Dr. Jonathan Schanzer is vice president of research for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Dr. Schanzer served as a counterterrorism analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he took part in the designation of numerous terrorism financiers. He is a former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is also the author of several Middle East focused books.
Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He earned his Ph.D. from King’s College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.
About Dr. Aykan Erdemir: Dr. Aykan Erdemir is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Dr. Aykan Erdemir is a former member of the Turkish Parliament (2011-2015) who served in the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, EU Harmonization Committee, and the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on the IT Sector and the Internet. As an outspoken defender of pluralism, minority rights, and religious freedoms in the Middle East, Dr. Erdemir has been at the forefront of the struggle against religious persecution, hate crimes, and hate speech in Turkey. He is a founding member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and a drafter of and signatory to the Oslo Charter for Freedom of Religion or Belief (2014) as well as a signatory legislator to the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism.