The Turkish Democracy Project is a nonprofit, non-partisan, international policy organization formed in response to Turkey’s recent turn away from democracy and toward authoritarianism.
Turkey is an important ally and historically has been model in the region of liberal ideals. But in recent years, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dramatically altered Turkey’s position in the international community and its status as a free and liberal democracy.
President Erdogan’s Turkey has threatened its regional neighbors, supported extremist groups, deployed men and material in support of conflicts ranging from the Middle East to Europe, persecuted ethnic minorities, destroyed the free press, jailed and killed political opponents, eroded democratic institutions, and spread corruption throughout Turkey’s institutions. At the same time, the Turkish economy has seen a severe economic downturn as a result of Erdogan’s policies. As rule of law is degraded and corruption runs rampant, Erdogan and his oligarchs continue to amass wealth and power. In 2020, Freedom House officially declared Turkey “not free.”
TDP is dedicated to informing the international community about Erdogan’s destabilizing actions in and beyond the region, its systemic corruption, its support for extremism, and its disregard for democracy and human rights. To keep the public informed about these threats, we will build a comprehensive database of research while providing a platform for thought leadership and expertise.
Through conventional and social media that brings our expert research and advocacy to the public, we aim to inform a policy towards Turkey that opposes its destabilizing behavior, supports genuine democratic reform, and holds the forces of corruption and oppression within Turkey to account.
The Turkish Democracy Project is committed to encouraging Turkey to adopt more democratic policies and responding to the steady erosion of Turkey’s democratic institutions, human rights protections, and economic well-being. We believe Turkey can once again be a reliable regional and international partner by rededicating itself to the foundational tenets of democracy and cultural freedom. To this end, we hope to provide a clear path forward by encouraging democratic reform through dialogue and advocacy.
In order to advocate for reform and shed light on the situation in Turkey, TDP will:
Serve as a resource for developments in Turkey and in the wider region, compiling accurate and detailed information about the Turkish government’s human rights violations, anti-democratic activities, corruption, and aggressive foreign policy.
Mobilize public opinion to support a global policy towards Turkey that discourages those practices that threaten human rights locally as well as peace globally.
Assess the risks of engaging with corrupt businesses in Turkey and impress the gravity of those risks on international companies presently or potentially exposed to the Turkish market.
Disseminate regular and reliable information through articles, TV appearances, and news briefs.
Our Board of Directors
United States Senator from Connecticut (1989 – 2013)
Former Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council (May 2004 – January 2008)
Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata
Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mario Monti’s Government (November 2011 – March 2013)
43rd Governor of Florida (1999 – 2007)
David L. Phillips
Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights
27th National Security Advisor of the United States
Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-resident Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School
Former Associate Deputy Director of Operations at the Central Intelligence Agency
US Ambassador to Chile (2010 – 2013)