June 24, 2021 from 10:00AM – 11:00AM

Dr. Hakan Özoğlu (Middle Eastern Studies at UCF) and Ms. Sanem Güner (The Hollings Center for International Dialogue) examine social movements and civil society in contemporary Turkey. What are the challenges faced? What opportunities exist? What are their hopes for the future?


They will also discuss how the Erdogan government interacts with non-governmental players, and whether this relationship is unique in Turkish history or mirrors the way previous governments have dealt with potential social threats or political opponents.


The speakers will provide their insight about where Turkey is headed as the country deals with economic uncertainty, COVID-19, increased security threats, and growing concern about democracy and the rule of law.


Hakan Özoğlu Director, Middle Eastern Studies 

Hakan Özoğlu’s previous research focuses on Kurdish Nationalism in the Ottoman Empire. His book was titled Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State. The Turkish edition of the book came out in 2004. Özoğlu’s main aim in this project was to understand the process of identity formation and emergence of nationalism. His research interests include the power struggle in modern Turkish Republic after WWI and US involvement of the Middle East through Turkey after the Great War. His latest book deals with the tension between the secularists and the Islamists and with the Kemalist project to tame the political opposition in an attempt to westernize the remnant of the last “Islamic Empire.” His book From Caliphateto Secular State is released by Praeger Press in 2011. He is currently the Director of Middle Eastern Studies Minor. His most recent monograph, titled, The Decline of the Ottoman Empire and the Rise of the Turkish Republic: Observations of an American Diplomat, 1919-1927, was released by Edinburgh University Press in 2021.His interviews and essays have appeared in many international media outlets including, New York Times, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, WTTW PBS Chicago.  He is the recipient of 2017-18 Fulbright Core Fellowship.


Sanem Güner: Assistant Director, The Hollings Center for International Dialogue 

Sanem Güner is the Assistant Director of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue, a non-governmental organization established to advance dialogue between the United States and countries with predominantly Muslim populations. Her job involves researching issues in the realm of international security, development, higher education, and resource resiliency that are of mutual importance to the US and the Muslim world; finding rising experts in those issues; designing dialogue programs; and running a small grants program that amplifies the impact of the dialogues. Previously, Sanem was a program officer at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) where her portfolio included projects on Turkey-EU relations, women’s political participation in Turkey and the Middle East, Turkish rapprochement with Armenia, and the peace process in Cyprus. Sanem graduated Bryn Mawr College with a BA in Political Science and went on to complete an MA in International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University. She serves on the International Advisory Board of the International Panel on Exiting Violence (IPEV) and is an External Advisor of the European Neighborhood Council (ENC). 

This is a public forum, all are welcome to attend.

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This event will also be livestreamed on the UCF Global YouTube Channel.

Posted June 1, 2021