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Toleration and diversity in the Turkish nation-state


Fri, 09/23/2011 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Bican Şahin, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Friday, September 23, 2011
Marshall 490

as part of the Fall 2011 MENAS Colloquium Series


Cultural, moral and ideological pluralism is a fact of our lives. The society of Turkey is not an exception of this phenomenon. Turkey is also marked by ethnic, religious, ideological, moral and sexual diversity. Some of the ethnic and religious/non-religious groups Turkey is home to are Turks, Kurds, Laz, Circassians, Sunnis, Alevis, Jews, Christians, and atheists.

However, not everybody is welcoming towards this diversity. When someone or some groups, who do not like the ways of others, attempt to eradicate those differences, we end up having conflict in the midst of our societies. Unfortunately, Turkey is not immune from, or an exception to, the phenomenon of social conflict that is caused by diversity either. Turkey has also had its share of ethnic, religious and ideological conflicts. In this presentation, Dr. Şahin will approach cultural diversity in Turkey and associated conflict from the perspective of liberalism in general, and toleration in particular.

Bican Şahin is associate professor of political science in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. He is also the President of Association for Liberal Thinking. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2003. His dissertation title is “An Investigation of the Contributions of Plato and Aristotle to the Development of the Concept of Toleration.” Among his research topics are ancient and modern political thought, classical liberal and libertarian philosophy, the relation between liberal democracy and Islam, the relationships between state and civil society in Turkey.

Video of the talk

Colloquium archives