Book Talk. An Uncertain Ally: Turkey under Erdogan's Dictatorship, by David L. Phillips

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
12:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join the Harriman Institute for a talk with David L. Phillips celebrating the launch of his new book, An Uncertain Ally: Turkey under Erdogan's Dictatorship (Transaction Publishers, February 2017).

Under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has become Islamist, anti-American, and undemocratic. More journalists are jailed in Turkey than any other country. Turkey slaughters Kurds under the pretense of fighting terrorism. Erdogan seized on the failed coup attempt of July 2016 to justify a witch hunt, arresting tens of thousands and ordering the wholesale dismissal of alleged coup sympathizers.

An Uncertain Ally is a straightforward indictment of Erdogan. Drawing on inside sources in his Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the police, the book reveals corruption and money laundering schemes that benefited Erdogan, his cronies, and family members.

An Uncertain Ally exposes Turkey’s ties to jihadists in Syria and the Islamic State, raising doubts about Turkey's suitability as a NATO member. While Turkey has historically been important geopolitically, it has become an outlier in Europe and an uncertain ally of the United States. Under Erdogan, Turkey faces a dark future.

David L. Phillips is Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. Phillips has served as Foreign Affairs Expert and as Senior Adviser to the U.S. Department of State and as Senior Adviser to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Phillips has worked at academic institutions as Executive Director of Columbia University’s International Conflict Resolution Program, Director of American University’s Program on Conflict Prevention and Peace-building, Fellow at Harvard University’s Future of Diplomacy Project Fellow, Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s Center for Middle East Studies, and Professor of Preventive Diplomacy at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. He was Deputy Director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations, Senior Fellow at the Preventive Diplomacy Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and Project Director at the International Peace Research Institute of Oslo. Phillips has also been a foundation executive, serving as President of the Congressional Human Rights Foundation and Executive Director of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Phillips was an analyst and commentator for NBC News, CNBC, and the British Broadcasting Company. His upcoming book is titled An Uncertain Ally: Turkey Under Erdogan’s Dictatorship (Transaction Publishers). Previous books are The Kurdish Spring: A New Map for the Middle East (Transaction Publishers); Liberating Kosovo: Coercive Diplomacy and U.S. Intervention (Harvard’s Kennedy School/MIT Press); From Bullets to Ballots: Violent Muslim Movements in Transition (Transaction Publishers); Losing Iraq: Inside the Post-War Reconstruction Fiasco (Westview/Perseus Books); and Unsilencing the Past: Track Two Diplomacy and Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation (Berghahn Books). Phillips has also authored dozens of policy reports and hundreds of articles in leading publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and Foreign Affairs.