The Executive Director

Sinan Ciddi

Sinan CiddiSinan Ciddi was appointed as the fourth Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies, succeeding David C. Cuthell at the end of August 2011.

Ciddi was born in Turkey and educated in the United Kingdom, where he gained his Ph.D. in Political Science from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in June 2007. He was previously an instructor at Sabancı University between 2004-2008 and completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the same institution between 2007-2008.

He recently published a book titled Kemalism in Turkish Politics: The Republican People's Party: Secularism and Nationalism (Routledge, January 2009) focusing on the electoral weakness of the Republican People's Party.

Between 2008-2011, he established the Turkish Studies program at the University of Florida's Center for European Studies.


Turkish Studies, Vol. 15, No. 3 Sinan Ciddi & Paul T. Levin, "Interdisciplinarity and Comparison in Turkish Studies", Turkish Studies, Vol. 15 No. 4, 2014, pp. 1-14
Turkish Studies, Vol. 15, No. 3 Sinan Ciddi & Berk Esen, "Turkey's Republican People's Party: Politics of Opposition Under a Dominant Party System", Turkish Studies, Vol. 15 No. 3, 2014, pp. 419-441

This article seeks to account for the prolonged inability of the Republican People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP) to be considered as a credible alternative to the governing Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, AKP). Accounting for this is relevant from two perspectives: the emergence of a dominant party system during the AKP decade, and the increased rhetoric and public discourse stressing the "lack of [credible] opposition parties" in the party spectrum. The article attributes the CHP's electoral malaise to a mixture structural and leadership problems specific to the party organization. This argument, however, is placed against the backdrop of the dominant distributive position that the incumbent occupies in Turkey's political arena. The AKP's domination of both national and local government, typified by a service-oriented governing style, serves to undermine not just the CHP's chances of success, but virtually all opposition parties.
"Political Opposition in Turkey - From Political Parties to the Gezi Protests", Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Summer/Fall 2014.

"Turkey's September 12 Referendum", Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 15, No. 4, December 2011.

This article considers the reasons for and the overall impact of holding a national referendum in Turkey on September 12, 2010, for a series of constitutional amendments passed by the governing AKP (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi or Justice and Development Party). Although the measures were publicly accepted with nearly 58 percent approval, the prospects for the drafting of a new constitution based on political consensus to replace the military-created 1982 document remain weak. While the opposition parties and the judiciary perceive the reforms as a government initiative to politicize the judiciary, the AKP is focused on taming a politically motivated "juristocracy."
Sinan Ciddi & Berk Esen, "Turkey's 2011 Elections: An Emerging Dominant Party System?", Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 15, No. 3, September 2011.

This article analyzes Turkey's June 12, 2011, general elections, focusing on the three parties and the predominantly pro-Kurdish independents. Although the incumbent Justice and Development Party won by a sizeable majority, it gained fewer seats in comparison to its 2002 and 2007 electoral performances. The Republican People's Party maintained its position as the main opposition party, with noticeable increases in its voting shares both regionally and locally. The pro-nationalist Nationalist Action Party was the only party to lose seats in parliament. Last, the Kurdish independents increased both their parliamentary representation and their share of electoral spoils. Though the government maintained an overall parliamentary majority, its desire to enact constitutional changes and/or implement a presidential system will be constrained and dependent on support from the remaining parties in parliament.
Turkish Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3 "The Republican People's Party and the 2007 General Elections: Politics of Perpetual Decline?", Turkish Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3, September 2008.

The founding party of modern Turkey continues to find it difficult to build electoral alliances and to appeal to an increasingly diversifying Turkish electorate. Although the party has maintained its electoral position in comparison to the 2002 general elections, the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) has considerably increased its own vote share. While short term factors such as leadership can be cited for the electoral weakness of the Republican People's Party (CHP), this essay speculatively concludes that it is perhaps unrealistic to expect the party to revise its ultra-secularist and ultra-nationalist outlook based upon a combination of a weak track record of consolidating ideological change and the existence of political capital that remains to be gained from maintaining a rigid stance towards issues of public debate.

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