12th Annual Turkish Studies Symposium

Future of Democracy
in Turkey


April 27, 2018

2-4 pm


Illini Union, Room 404


This year’s symposium will explore the following topics:

  • Turkey in Global Perspective: Turkey as a case of a global phenomenon of moving away from democracy
  • Democracy Internally and Legal/Constitutional Issues: recent major legal and constitutional changes that have moved the country further away from democracy
  • Foreign policy: The rift between US and Turkey; Turkey also moving away from the EU, Turkey-Russia relations



Sinan Ciddi

Executive Director, Institute of Turkish Studies, Georgetown University


Sinan Ciddi is the Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies at Georgetown University. He has served in this capacity since 2011. Prior to that, he was the Assistant Director of the Center for European Studies and Head of the Turkish Studies Program at the University of Florida, Gainesville. From 2007 – 2012 Dr. Ciddi was with the Economist Intelligence Unit of the Economist Group in London and was responsible for authoring monthly political forecasts about domestic and foreign policies, elections and the political stability of Turkey. Sinan was born in Turkey and educated in the UK, receiving his PhD in Political Science from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. His most recently published book is Kemalism in Turkish Politics: The Republican People’s Party: Secularism and Nationalism which focuses on the electoral weakness of the Republican People’s Party.


Lisel Hintz

Assistant Professor International Relations, European and Eurasian Studies Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)


Lisel Hintz is Assistant Professor of International Relations and European and Eurasian Studies at John Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. She received her PhD in Political Science from George Washington University and did a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies during 2015-2016. She was also a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and Columbia University. Professor Hintz is currently working on her forthcoming book from Oxford University Press entitled, Identity Politics Inside Out: National Identity Contestation and Foreign Policy in Turkey. Professor Hintz teaches courses on Turkey and the Middle East, Political Violence and Terrorism, and Problems in International Security.


Hüseyin Levent Köker

Research Associate, The Roberta Buffet Institute for Global Studies, Northwestern University


Huseyin Levent Köker is a Research Associate at Northwestern University Buffet Institute for Global Studies. He is a graduate of Ankara Law School and holds a PhD in Political Science. Dr. Köker was previously a Hans Speier Visiting Professor in the New School for Social Research, New York. He is currently working on a critical re-interpretation of constitutional politics in Turkey. Dr. Köker’s research interests include: constitution-making and post-national constitutionalism, democratic political theory, secularism, nationalism, multiculturalism, and cosmopolitanism. His publications include Modernization, Kemalism and Democracy (2009), Two Different Conceptions of Politics (2008), and Democracy, Critique, and Turkey (2008).





Avital Livny

Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Illinois


Dr. Livny has a PhD from Stanford University. She was recently named a 2018-2019 Fellow with the Center for Advanced Studies and will be pursuing her project “Persistent Effects of Diversity for Politics and Economics: The Case of Ottoman Turkey.” Her research topics include the politics of religion and ethnicity especially in the Muslim World.



The 2018 Turkish Studies Symposium is organized by the European Union Center and co-sponsored by the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC); the Center for Global Studies (CGS); the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES); and the Political Science Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Previous Years’ Symposiums

2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012