Dr. Mostafa Minawi, Cornell University
October 22, 2017

Since the summer of 2015, Turkey has gone from being an economically stable multi-party parliamentary democracy with a hopeful future and growing economy, to a country in a perpetual state of emergency. This downward spiral accelerated after the failed coup in July 2016, after which the state embarked on a purge to “cleanse” the country from all those that it considered to be harmful to the vision of the ruling party and the president of the Turkish Republic. In addition to members of the military and the police, journalists, teachers, judges, academics, lawyers, doctors, writers and students have been amongst the close to 100,000 who have been fired from their jobs, labeled as traitors and sometimes imprisoned. Add this to the continuing war in the southeastern part of the country and we are left with what arguable is the worst crisis the country has faced since the establishment of the republic. This talk will attempt to put things in context on the local, regional and international levels with the aim of explaining some of the complexities of the situation and some policies that might seem counterintuitive to a casual observer of recent developments in Turkey.

Mostafa Minawi is an assistant professor of history and the director of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Initiative at Cornell University. His research focus is the late 19th century social and diplomatic history of the Ottoman Empire with particular emphasis on Ottoman-Ethiopian relations. His latest is titled The Ottoman Scramble for Africa: Empire and Diplomacy in the Sahara and the Hijaz (Stanford University Press, 2016). Mostafa holds a PhD. in History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from NYU, an MA in History from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Engineering and Management from McMaster University, in Hamilton, Canada. He travels extensively in Europe, Africa and the Middle East as he continues to conduct research on the history of the region with a focus on the Ottoman center of power, Istanbul, and its relations with its African counterparts. He is also a regular commentator on the social and political events in Turkey, and their relation to the developments in the region, as well as European and American foreign policies.

Supported by New Mexico Humanities Council, Sandia National Labs & Los Alamos National Bank