Dr. Aykan Erdemir, director of international affairs research at the Anti-Defamation League, is the former senior director of FDD’s Turkey Program. He is a former member of the Turkish Parliament (2011 to 2015) who served on the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, EU Harmonization Committee, and the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on the IT Sector and the Internet. Aykan is a founding and steering group member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief. He was awarded the Stefanus Prize for Religious Freedom in 2016 and the First Freedom Award of the Hellenic American Leadership Council in 2019 in recognition of his advocacy for minority rights and religious freedom.
After completing his B.A. in international relations at Bilkent University, Ankara, Aykan received an M.A. in Middle Eastern studies and Ph.D. in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University. He worked as faculty member at Bilkent University’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration (2015-2016) and at Middle East Technical University’s Department of Sociology (2004-2011), where he also served as deputy dean of the Graduate School of Social Sciences. Aykan has edited seven books and is the co-author of the 2016 book Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites and Spaces (Routledge).