Cengiz Çandar

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Cengiz Çandar
Cengiz Candar 2012 Halifax International Security Forum.jpg
Born 1948 (age 66–67)
Nationality Turkish
Alma mater Ankara University
Occupation Journalist, war correspondent
Years active 1976-present

Cengiz Çandar (born 1948) is a Turkish journalist, senior columnist, and a Middle East expert. He is the author of bestseller Mezopotamya Ekspresi- Bir Tarih Yolculugu (Mesopotamia Express- A Journey in History) (2012),[1] which has been translated into various languages, including Kurdish (Sorani) and Arabic.[2]

Early life[edit]

He finished the secondary school at Talas American College in Talas, Kayseri and the high school at Tarsus American College in Tarsus, Mersin.[3] Çandar graduated from Ankara University in 1970 with a Bachelor's degree in political science and international relations.


He began his career as journalist in 1976 for the newspaper Vatan after living in the Middle East and Europe due to his opposition to the regime in Turkey following the military intervention in 1971.[4] Being an expert on the Middle East (Lebanon and Palestine) and the Balkans (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Çandar worked for the Turkish News Agency and for the leading Turkish newspapers Cumhuriyet, Hürriyet, Sabah, Referans[5] and Güneş as a war correspondent. Currently, he is a senior columnist for Radikal.[6] and a columnist of Al Monitor-The Pulse of the Middle East.[7]

Çandar served as special adviser on foreign policy to Turkish president Turgut Özal between 1991 and 1993. He was the lead on the establishment of relationship between the Turkish Presidency and the Iraqi Kurdish leadership (1991) that led recognition of Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani in Turkey.[3] He was also actively involved in Balkan politics, especially during the ethnic unrest in the Balkans between 1993 and 1995. In 1998, he was among the well-known journalists who have been subjected to an aggressive defamation campaign by the military.[8][9] Between 1999 and 2000, he did research work on "Turkey of the 21st century" as a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace.[10] His description of the 1998 events in Turkey as a "post-modern coup".[11] Çandar is one of the Turkish intellectuals who have recognized the Armenian Genocide by releasing an apology for the "great catastrophe of 1915". The text of the apology was "My conscience does not accept the insensitivity showed to and the denial of the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915. I reject this injustice and for my share, I empathize with the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers and sisters. I apologize to them."[12] In 2007, he condemned the authorities for depriving Aghtamar of its Armenian past by renaming it to "Akdamar".[13][14][15]

His report "Leaving the Mountain': How May the PKK Lay Down Arms?"[16] was commissioned by Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) (published in Turkish in 2011 and in English in 2012) analyses what type of a political infrastructure is needed to ultimately resolve the 'Kurdish question’.[17][18]

He has taught at Istanbul Bilgi University (1997-1999), Istanbul Kültür University (2002-2010), Özyegin University (2011). He is a frequent commentator on Turkey, Kurdish issue and Middle East affairs in international newspapers and on TV and lectures globally at universities including at Harvard University,[19] Boston and University of Oxford.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Çandar is married to writer Tuba Çandar, and they have one daughter. A lifelong Fenerbahçe fan, he has been a football commentator on Fenerbahçe TV since 2005.[21]


The English translations of these titles are not the official titles.

  • Direnen Filistin (The Palestine that Resists) (1976)
  • Dünden Yarına İran (Iran: From Yesterday to Tomorrow) (1981)
  • Ortadoğu Çıkmazı (The Middle East Impassé) (1983)
  • Tarihle Randevu (Rendezvous with History) (1983)
  • Güneşin Yedi Rengi (The Seven Colours of the Sun) (1987)
  • Benim Şehirlerim (My Cities)(1999)
  • Çıktık Açık Alınla (2001)
  • Leaving the Mountain': How May the PKK Lay Down Arms? (2011)
  • Mezopotamya Ekspresi- Bir Tarih Yolculugu (Mesopotamia Express- A Journey in History), İletişim Publications (2012)


  1. ^ http://www.iletisim.com.tr/kitap/mezopotamya-ekspresi/8656#.VjqEVel95FI
  2. ^ http://www.gazeteciler.com/kitaplik/cengiz-candarin-anilari-mezopotamya-ekspresi-simdi-arapca-79495h.html
  3. ^ a b Author biography at İz publications (Turkish)
  4. ^ Çandar, Cengiz (October 2000). "A Turk in the Palestinian Resistance". Journal of Palestine Studies (University of California Press) 30 (1): 68–82. doi:10.1525/jps.2000.30.1.02p01086. 
  5. ^ Contributions at Referans (Turkish)
  6. ^ "Cengiz Çandar artık Radikal'de". Radikal (in Turkish). 2008-08-30. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  7. ^ http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/tr/contents/authors/cengiz-candar.html
  8. ^ http://articles.philly.com/2000-12-19/news/25580644_1_modern-turkey-cengiz-candar-nato-member
  9. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/2000/nov/06/news/mn-47911
  10. ^ "Documents and Papers: Commentaries". Southeast Europe Project. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  11. ^ Çandar, Cengiz (1997-06-27). "Post-modern darbe". Sabah (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  12. ^ http://massispost.com/2015/09/turkish-intellectuals-who-have-recognized-the-armenian-genocide-fikret-baskaya/
  13. ^ Çandar, Cengiz (2007-03-30). "The so-called ‘Akdamar museum’". Turkish Daily News. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  14. ^ Çandar, Cengiz. "Ahtamar Kilisesi ya da sözde Akdamar Müzesi", Hürriyet, March 29, 2007 (Turkish)
  15. ^ Çandar, Cengiz (2007-03-23). "Beyazdamar kilisesi ve diğerleri". Agos (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2007-03-29. 
  16. ^ http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Publications/Detail/?lang=en&id=142286
  17. ^ http://www.todayszaman.com/national_tesev-report-current-paradigms-not-valid-in-solving-kurdish-problem_248493.html
  18. ^ http://www.tesev.org.tr/Upload/Publication/1fe2c9c3-fe84-4044-81a1-d8a3ab906e5c/12028ENGsilahsizlandirma16_03_12Rev1.pdf
  19. ^ https://ces.fas.harvard.edu/#/events/3435
  20. ^ http://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/research-centres/middle-east-centre/past-events
  21. ^ http://www.fenerbahce.org/detay.asp?ContentID=8764