We are pleased to invite Rainer Hermann, journalist who writes on Turkey and the Middle East and is a correspondent of the national German daily, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitun,” for an open-to-public roundtable discussion. He will be speaking on his new book called “Where is Turkey Headed?” which highlights the culture battles in Turkey, especially as it pertains to today’s political crisis.
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Tuesday, February 3
from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
205 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 4240
Chicago, IL, US, 60601
Rainer Hermann has been working as a journalist in Turkey and the Middle East for more than twenty years. As a correspondent of the national German daily “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,” he lived in Istanbul from 1991 to 2008. Then he moved to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Since 2012, he is an op-ed editor at the daily’s headquarter in Frankfurt, Germany.
Rainer Hermann studied economics and Middle Eastern Studies in Freiburg (Germany), Rennes (France), Basel (Switzerland), and Damascus (Syria). He has an M.A. in Economics and a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies. His most recently published book in Germany is “The Gulf States” (2011). In March 2015, his new book “Final Destination Islamic State? State Failure and Religious War” will be on sale in German.
Turkey is a pivotal country: it is one of the few countries with a functioning democracy: it links the West with the turbulent Middle East: and it has been a reliable partner in NATO in difficult times. It is a pivotal country in crisis.
Over the past decades, the trajectory of Turkey’s history had been anything else than a straight line. Especially its past 25 years has been a story of profound and deep changes. The start was when rural Anatolia, which had been neglected over centuries, awoke. A new Anatolian middle class emerged, became prosperous, but still remained pious; Erdogan became its political leader. They were called the “black Turks” who challenged the traditional urban elite, the “white Turks.” Change in Turkey was not about Islam; it was about a fundamental shift in society. Turkey is a natural partner of the West in the Muslim world, despite the recent setbacks. It is a country that is needed to stabilize war-torn neighbors such as Syria and Iraq and to prevent a spill over to other countries.