Event Details

Thursday, October 20, 2016

12:00 – 14:00 a.m.

Light lunch will be served.


Prof. Martin van Bruinessen, Comparative Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies, Utrecht University

Prof. Tahir Abbas, Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London


Dialogue Platform, Rue Montoyer 31, 2nd floor, Brussels 1000

The failed coup attempt of 15th July in Turkey was a historic moment in Turkish history. Both Turkish society and the world celebrated the fact that an anti-democratic intervention in the government was prevented. President Erdogan framed the coup attempt as “a gift from God” to cleanse the Turkish army, but the actions in the aftermath of the coup was not limited to the army members, dismissing tens of thousands of government officials and mass arrests of of civilians, journalists, teachers and judges that caught the world in surprise.

The state of emergency has been extended and seemingly will continue for a long time which fuels the questions about the future of the Turkish democracy. A country that has a long fight with terror at home and now pursuing cross border operations in Syria emphasize the enormous foreign and security policy challenges.

Join us for the roundtable discussion with Martin van Bruinessen and Tahir Abbas on the latest developments in Turkey and how the coup attempt and its aftermath have affected Turkey-EU relations.

About the speakers

Martin van Bruinessen is Professor Emeritus of the Comparative Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies at Utrecht University. He carried out anthropological fieldwork among the Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria and among traditionalist Muslim communities in Indonesia, and he published extensively on Turkey and the Kurds, on Sufi orders and Islam, on civil society and politics in Indonesia. In 2010, he wrote a report on the Gülen movement in the Netherlands (commissioned by the Dutch government); and among his unfinished projects is a book on the Gülen movement.

Professor Tahir Abbas is a Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. Previously, he was a Professor of Sociology at Fatih University in Istanbul, Reader in Sociology at Birmingham University, and Senior Research Officer at the Home Office and Ministry of Justice in London. Before joining RUSI in mid-2016, he lived and worked in Istanbul for six years. His recent books are Contemporary Turkey in Conflict (Edinburgh and Oxford University Press, 2016), Muslim Diasporas in the West  and Political Muslims.

If you have any questions, please contact Ugur Tok at +32 2 513 8116 or utok@dialogueplatform.eu.