Soner Cagaptay

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Soner Çağaptay is a Turkish-American political scientist based in the United States.[1] He is director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.[2] He is a historian by training and is an expert on Turkey–United States relations, Turkish politics, and Turkish nationalism.


Cagaptay received a Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 2003. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Turkish nationalism.

Besides English and Turkish, his research languages include French, German, Spanish, Bosnian, Hebrew, Azerbaijani, and Ottoman Turkish.[3]


The Washington Institute for Near East Policy[edit]

Cagaptay is the Beyer Family Fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). The Turkish Research Program, since its founding in 1995, has become an influential center for research and information on Turkey in Washington DC. The program conducts important research; hosts Policy Forum luncheons with guest speakers; releases numerous publications in the form of Policy Watches, Policy Notes, articles and opeds; and makes appearances in the media and Congressional hearings.[4] Speakers who have attended the institute’s Turkish Research Program events include personalities such as Abdullah Gül, then the president of Turkey.[5] In addition, they have established special programs such as the Turgut Ozal Memorial lecture series, which honors the late Turkish president by helping raise awareness of Turkish policy issues in the Washington community.[6] Previous Ozal speakers include Bernard Lewis, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Holbrooke, among others. Another special program of WINEP's Turkish Research Program is the Turkish Military Fellowship, which is the only exchange between the Turkish military and a Washington-based think tank in existence. The goal of the program is to increase awareness of Turkish security issues in Washington.[7]


He has taught courses on the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe at Princeton University and Yale University. His spring 2003 course on modern Turkish history was the first offered by Yale in three decades.[2] From 2006 to 2007, he was Ertegun Professor at the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton.

He is a visiting professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.[8]

He has also served on contract as chair of the Turkey Advanced Area Studies Program at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute.[9]


Among his honors are the Smith-Richardson, Mellon, Rice, and Leylan fellowships, as well as the Ertegun chair at Princeton.[10]

In 2012, he was named an American Turkish Society Young Society Leader.

In the media[edit]

Cagaptay has written extensively on Turkey–United States relations; Turkish domestic politics; Turkish nationalism; Turkey's rise as an economic power and Ankara's Middle East policy, publishing in scholarly journals and major international print media. These include the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Times, International Herald Tribune, Jane's Defense Weekly, and Habertürk. He is a regular columnist for Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey's oldest and most influential English-language paper, and a contributor to CNN's Global Public Square blog. He appears regularly on Fox News, CNN, NPR, al-Jazeera, BBC, and CNN-Turk.


Alevi survey results[edit]

According to a university survey results, who conducted in 2005, he concluded that Alevism is a syncretic religion, combining diverse religious beliefs,[11][12][13] which developed from Islam, Buddhist-influenced Turkic shamanism, and some elements of Christianity.[14][15][16] According to Turkish university research conducted in 2005, 44% of Alevi respondents self-identify as Muslim and 56% do not.[17]


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  1. ^ Sebastian Wojciechowski The modern terrorism and its forms 2007 Page 218 "Soner Cagaptay, a Turkish professor working in the United States,"
  2. ^ a b Expert biography
  3. ^ ""
  4. ^ About Us/Turkish Research Program :
  5. ^ TCCB Abdulllah Gul Speech:
  6. ^ About Us/Turgut Ozal Memorial Lecture
  7. ^ About Us/Turkish Military Fellowship
  8. ^ Georgetown University Directory
  9. ^ Biography/Soner Çağaptay'ın Özgeçmişi
  11. ^ Formation of Alevi Sycretism, Ceren Selmanpakoglu, 2006
  12. ^
  13. ^ The making of world society; Anghel, Gerharz et al.; Transaction Publishers; 2008; page 106
  14. ^ Soner Cagaptay, The Rise of Turkey: The Twenty-First Century's First Muslim Power, p. 85. Date=?
  15. ^ Struggling for recognition, Sokefeld, Berghahn books, 2008, page 103
  16. ^
  17. ^ Soner Cagaptay, The Rise of Turkey: The Twenty-First Century's First Muslim Power, p.90. Date=?, Publisher=?

External links[edit]