only search

About Kerem Oktem

Kerem Oktem is professor of southeast Europe and modern Turkey at the Centre for Southeast European Studies (CSEES), the University of Graz, Austria. He was previously an Open Society Fellow of the European Studies Centre at Oxford University, a senior associate of St.Antony's College and Mercator IPC Fellow at Sabanci University Istanbul. He is co-author (with Timothy Garton Ash & Edward Mortimer) of Freedom in Diversity: Ten Lessons for Public Policy from Britain, Canada, France, Germany and the United States (Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom, University of Oxford, 2013), and an associate of the Signals from the Majority project. He is also the author of Angry Nation: Turkey since 1989 (Zed Books, 2011) and co-editor (with Ayse Kadioglu and Mehmet Karli) of Another Empire? A Decade of Turkey's Foreign Policy Under The Justice and Development Party (Bilgi University Press, 2012). His website is here

Kerem Oktem's earlier books include (co-edited with Kalypso Nicolaidis & Othon Anastasakis), In the long shadow of Europe: Greeks and Turks in the Era of Postnationalism (Brill, 2009); and (co-edited with Celia J Kerslake & Philip Robins) Turkey's Engagement with Modernity (Palgrave, 2010). He is the principal researcher of the British Academy-funded project on Contemporary Islam in the Balkans

Articles by Kerem Oktem

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

What could and should the EU do with Turkey?

Is there a minimal sense of responsibility in European policies towards the people of Turkey, or do we have to content ourselves with European realpolitik?

Zombie politics: Europe, Turkey and the disposable human

Who will think of the EU as a global actor with normative power, now that it finds itself in the role of rubberstamping and in fact facilitating Turkey's slide into the abyss?

A new Turkey... but not one to Erdoğan's liking

A stunning election result against many odds is a resounding statement of Turkey's democratic credentials.

Turkey's Armenian opening: towards 2015

The approaching centenary of the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman empire is a moment for Turkey's civil society to create a new ethical reality around the issue

Leviathan in the lure of Mammon: limits of political Islam in Turkey

Turkey's political leadership has created a distinctive form of rule. But growing strains now make it harder than ever to sustain the model, says Kerem Öktem.

The two ends of Cowley road: Diversity and its challenges

Kerem Öktem is one of the co-authors of the recently published booklet, Freedom in Diversity. Ten Lessons for Public Policy from Britain, Canada, France, Germany and the United States. Here, for openDemocracy, he brings the lessons close to home.

Between global and local: a new dialectic of political expression for the twenty-first century

Three weeks into the ongoing protests in Bulgaria, the Sofia office of the European Council on Foreign Relations invited Kerem Oktem and Dimitar Kenarov to participate in a discussion named “After Taksim: What happened in Turkey?” This is an account of the conversation that ensued on the meaning, specificity and implications of the protests in Taksim, and Sofia.

Turkey, from Tahrir to Taksim

The public demonstrations in Turkey are a challenge to the social destruction and political regression being pushed through by an autocratic prime minister. This is a moment for change, says Kerem Oktem in Istanbul.

Turkey’s protests: the limits of hubris

Turkey is in turmoil. Hundreds of thousands are protesting on the country’s main squares against a whole set of grievances. They are facing extreme police brutality. But the AKP dream of unfettered economic growth and mounting regional power within a neo-Ottoman sphere of influence is over. 

Turkey, the end of Islamism with a human face

Turkey's AKP government has over a decade promised a new model of governance: progressive and reformist, Islamist and democratic. But a series of developments, including the expanding power of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is now exposing the party and its policies to ever-deeper scrutiny, says Kerem Oktem.

2011, lessons of hubris

The Arab uprisings expose the self-delusion of the powerful - from the region itself to Turkey, Germany and the rest of Europe. This is a moment to register and build on, says Kerem Oktem.

Turkey's “passive revolution” and democracy

A near-decade of rule by strategic, business-friendly, moderate Islamists has transformed Turkey’s political dynamics. Now, the prospect of a third successive electoral victory seems to offer the Justice & Development Party (AKP) a chance to consolidate its hegemony over the once entrenched military-led “deep state”. But the situation is not so simple for the AKP, nor so clear for Turkey’s future. Rather, increasing domestic tension and regional turbulence are posing critical new questions over the country’s democracy and model of governance, says Kerem Oktem.

Turkey and Israel: ends and beginnings

The new chill between once close middle-eastern neighbours reflects both Ankara’s desire to chart a new course and structural changes in the region’s geopolitics. The outcome of both shifts remains open, says Kerem Oktem.

(This article was first published on 10 December 2009)

The Armenia-Turkey process: don’t stop now

The openDemocracy authors Juan Gabriel Tokatlian and Vicken Cheterian are critical of the Armenia-Turkey rapprochment. But there is a positive case for the protocols, responds Kerem Oktem.
Syndicate content