31 minutes | Sep 12th 2019

Ceren Lord

In this episode, we talked to Ceren Lord about her book Religious Politics in Turkey: From the Birth of the Republic to the AKP, in which she questions the view of the grassroots Islamist movements as natural challengers of the authoritarian secular state in a novel way based both on her archival research and the interviews she conducted with state officials, influential religious figures, and the employees of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (diyanet). What was the role of the ulema in the formation of the Turkish Republic? What kinds of alliances did the multiple state institutions form with religious groups and sects? Should we read the AKP regime as a continuity of or a rupture from the state tradition of the Republic? Ceren Lord is currently British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow, with Middle East Studies at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA), where she was previously a Sasakawa Peace Foundation Postdoctoral Research Officer. She completed her PhD in May 2015 at the London School of Economics, Government Department, focusing on the role of the state and the ulema (Diyanet) in the rise of political Islam in Turkey. She holds a master’s degree from Oxford University (St Antony’s College) in Modern Middle Eastern Studies. Alongside her academic career, Ceren previously worked in finance as an economist focusing on Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She is a regular contributor to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Associate Editor at the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies and the lead editor for the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA) Contemporary Turkey series published by I.B. Tauris. Her book, ‘Religious Politics in Turkey: From the Birth of the Republic to the AKP,’ was published in October 2018 by Cambridge University Press. https://www.area-studies.ox.ac.uk/people/dr-ceren-lord https://oxford.academia.edu/CerenLord