Ex-CHP MP joins US foreign policy foundation
ANKARADr. Aykan Erdemir, a former member of the Turkish parliament from 2011 to 2015, has joined the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) as a non-resident fellow, the foundation announced in a written statement on June 9.
Erdemir, who ceased his political career after serving four years in parliament for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) as a deputy in Bursa, will be based in Ankara and focus on Turkey’s internal politics and foreign relations, the peace process with the Kurds and Turkey’s ongoing involvement in terrorism finance, according to the statement.
“Aykan Erdemir brings an incredibly rich background as both a scholar and a political practitioner to FDD’s coverage of the increasingly dramatic developments in Turkey,” said Eric Edelman, former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and now a senior advisor to FDD’s Turkey program. “His insights and experience will provide an invaluable perspective to understanding what is happening on the ground in this incredibly pivotal country for U.S. national security.”
“Aykan joins FDD’s Turkey program at a fascinating time. Turkey is at a crossroads after Sunday’s election,” said Jonathan Schanzer, FDD’s vice president for research. “We will look to Aykan to provide valuable insight into the challenging political process ahead.”
“FDD was particularly impressed by the way Aykan conducted himself while serving in Turkey’s parliament, working across Turkey’s political divides to foster freedom, equality, and pluralism,” Schanzer added.
Erdemir was a member of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, the EU Harmonization Committee and the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on the IT Sector and the Internet. As an outspoken defender of minority rights and religious freedoms in the Middle East, Erdemir has been at the forefront of the struggle against persecution, hate crimes and hate speech in Turkey. He was 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.
“As a scholar-cum-policymaker at the forefront of the struggle against hate, extremism and religious persecution in Turkey and the Middle East, I am happy to join FDD in its efforts to defend democratic values,” said Erdemir.
Founded in 2001, the FDD is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 policy institute focusing on foreign policy and national security.