Religion, Identity and Power: Turkey and the Balkans


Guest: Assoc. Prof. Ahmet Erdi Öztürk/Coventry University and London Metropolitan University


Presenter: Prof. Scott Lucas


Title: Religion, Identity, Power: Turkey and the Balkans


Launch Day: 20 February 2021





Dr. Ahmet Erdi Öztürk is an associate professor of politics and international relations and Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow at Coventry University, GIGA AND London Metropolitan University. He is also an associate researcher (Chercheur Associé) at Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes and Non-Residence Scholar at ELIAMEP’s Turkey Programme. He is the co-editor of Edinburg University Press’ Series on Modern Turkey and editor of International Journal of Religion. He was a Swedish Institute Pre and Post-Doctoral Fellow at Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO), at Linköping University, Scholar in Residence at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He is the author of more than 25 peer-review journal articles, numerous policy reports, opinion pieces and co-editor of four special issues on religion and politics and Turkish politics. Dr. Öztürk is the co-editor of Authoritarian Politics in Turkey: Elections, Resistance and the AKP (IB Tauris 2017), Ruin or Resilience? The Future of the Gulen Movement in Transnational Political Exile (Routledge 2018) and Islam, Populism and Regime Change in Turkey (Routledge 2019). In January 2021, his first solo-authored book, Religion, Identity and Power: Turkey and the Balkans in the Twenty-First Century is published by Edinburgh University Press. He is a regular contributor to media outlets such as Open Democracy, The Conversation, Huffington Post and France 24.




  1. What does history tell us about Turkey’s relationships with Balkan countries? 3.20-7.48


  1. In the northern Balkans, many people express Turkish identity or at least an affinity with it. Yet at the same time there’s the sentiment of being left behind if not betrayed by Turkey. What is the significance of this paradox? 7.50-11.08


  1. How is religion being projected and negotiated by Turkey in the Balkans? 11.10-18.00


  1. To what extent does Erdoğan have a religious identity or is he a power politician using and actually manipulating religion to gain advantage at home or abroad? 18.05-22.38


  1. What was the catalyst for President Erdoğan’s shift in approach in 2013? 22.45-26.44


  1. What effect did the failed coup of 2016 have on these calculations over religion and power? 26.50-30.53


  1. Has President Erdoğan overreached in this use of religion? 31.00-


Video-editing: Cengizhan Doğan

Interview assistant: Selenay Tüfekçioğlu

Post-designer: Çisem Kar


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.