Freedom of Belief? Religion & the Secular State in Turkey

In this exclusive community event international scholar Assistant Prof. Umut Azak examines the complex and fluid relationship between the Turkish secular state and religious freedom.


Was/Is freedom of belief restricted in Turkey? Whose freedom of belief was – and is now – at stake?

Can freedom of belief be restricted in the name of secularism?

A/Prof. Azak explores these pivotal questions and explains their relevance to notions of secularism in the west.

About Umut Azak: Assistant Professor Umut Azak graduated in Political Science and International Relations at Bogaziçi University, Istanbul and completed her PhD in the Department of Turkish Studies at Leiden University. She has taught and researched at Sabanci University, Leiden University, Utrecht University and the Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) in Leiden. She was 2008/09 fellow of the Berlin-based research program “Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe” (EUME). She is currently assistant professor at the Department of International Relations, Okan University, Istanbul. Her research focuses on the transformation of secularism and Islamism in Turkey. She is the author of Islam and Secularism in Turkey: Kemalism, Religion and the Nation State (I.B.Tauris, London, 2010).

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