German-Turkish relations and political Islam

German-Turkish relations and political Islam

Friday, 23 November 2018 - 12:30pm
Add to Calendar
Venue: 
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR
Speaker(s): 
Behlül Özkan (Marmara University, Istanbul)
Chair: 
Franck Duvell (German Centre for Integration and Migration Research)
Convenor: 
Ezgi Basaran (St Antony’s College, Oxford)
Series: 
SEESOX

Relations between Turkey and Germany is one the most understudied subjects of Turkey’s foreign policy, despite the fact that there are close to three million Turks living in Germany as result of an immigration started in 1960’s and Germany’s significant share in Turkish economy. Few existing studies examines Turkish-German relations from the perspective of the European Union, since Turkey’s integration to the EU has shaped Ankara’s foreign policy in the last three decades. This article studies what kind of role Political Islam has played in influencing Turkish-German relations since 1960s. Islamist AKP has been ruling Turkey since 2002 and in the last decade experiencing major problems with Germany. While Berlin has been complaining about AKP’s instrumental use of Islamic networks in Germany for Turkey’s interests and criticizing Turkey with the involvement of German domestic affairs, Ankara has been accusing Germany of supporting terrorist groups against Turkey. By examining the development of Islamic networks in Germany with the Turkish immigration since 1960’s and their relations with Islamist parties in Turkey and Muslim Brotherhood network, this study aims to understand the role of the Political Islam in Turkish-German relations.

Behlül Özkan received his PhD from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in 2009. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at Marmara University, Istanbul. Özkan is the author of From the Abode of Islam to the Turkish Vatan: Making of a National Homeland in Turkey (Yale University Press, 2012). He also contributed op-eds to New York Times, Huffington Post, Hurriyet, Open Democracy. Özkan is also a board member of European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). In recent years his academic studies has been focused on Political Islam in Turkey and Europe.