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  • Dr. Soner Cagaptay: The New Sultan and Turkey’s Foreign Policy

Dr. Soner Cagaptay: The New Sultan and Turkey’s Foreign Policy

  • 01 Feb 2019
  • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928


  • A member may bring up to 4 guests to a speaker meeting at $10 per guest.
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Dr. Soner CagaptayDr. Soner Cagaptay:
Beyer Family Fellow, Director, Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute


Turkey will play a critical geopolitical role in the events of the Middle East. After the attempted coup of July 2016, the spotlight is on Recep Tayyip Erdogan – the powerful leader of the country whose increasingly authoritarian regime has increased tensions both within and outside the country.

Book Cover - The New SultanErdogan’s crackdown on dissent has been brutal and consistent – thousands of journalists arrested, academics officially banned from leaving the country, university deans fired and three quarters of the highest-ranking army officers in custody. As his opponents accuse the AKP of heavy-handedness, Erdogan promises to bring order and stability under a ‘strongman’.

Soner Cagaptay will discuss where Erdogan comes from in Turkish history, what he believes in and how he has cemented his rule. The New Sultan tells the story of the increasingly Islamic Turkey Erdogan has built and assesses the threats he faces – from the liberal youth to the Gulen movement, the army plotters and the fallout from the Kurdish question.

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Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. He has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics, and Turkish nationalism, publishing in scholarly journals and major international print media, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Jane's Defense Weekly, Foreign Affairs, Atlantic, New Republic, and Newsweek Türkiye. He has been a regular columnist for Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey's oldest and most influential English-language paper, and a contributor to CNN's Global Public Square blog. He appears regularly on Fox News, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, BBC, and CNN-Turk.

A historian by training, Dr. Cagaptay wrote his doctoral dissertation at Yale University (2003) on Turkish nationalism. Dr. Cagaptay has taught courses at Yale, Princeton University, Georgetown University, and Smith College on the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. His spring 2003 course on modern Turkish history was the first offered by Yale in three decades. From 2006-2007, he was Ertegun Professor at Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies.

Dr. Cagaptay is the recipient of numerous honors, grants, and chairs, among them the Smith-Richardson, Mellon, Rice, and Leylan fellowships, as well as the Ertegun chair at Princeton. He has also served on contract as chair of the Turkey Advanced Area Studies Program at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute. In 2012 he was named an American Turkish Society Young Society Leader.

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