I am a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director of Islamic Studies Program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I am also the editor of Siyasa: A Forum on Islamic and Middle Eastern Politics. I teach courses on comparative politics and international relations of the Middle East. I received my Ph.D. (2008) from Arizona State University and M.A. (2001) and B.A. (1999) from Bilkent University, Turkey. I previously taught in James Madison College at Michigan State University. I am the author of Alien Citizens: The State and Religious Minorities in Turkey and France (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and a co-author of Generating Generosity in Catholicism and Islam: Beliefs, Institutions, and Public Goods Provision (Cambridge University Press, 2018). My most recent articles appeared in Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Politics and Religion, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Turkish Studies, and Religion, State & Society. I am the recipient of University of Nebraska’s system-wide 2021 Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award, University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Arts and Sciences 2021 Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Award, University of Nebraska at Omaha 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award, and University of Nebraska at Omaha 2018 Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award.
My book, Alien Citizens: The State and Religious Minorities un Turkey and France, is now out with Cambridge University Press.
Using parliamentary proceedings, court decisions, newspaper archives, and interviews, this book is the first systematic study that employs international context in the study of state policies toward religion, and that compares Turkey and France with regard to religious minorities.
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I received the 2021 system-wide teaching award of the University of Nebraska, Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award.
In my service-learning project, “Learning the Middle East Politics from Refugees” in Spring 2020, my students in Government and Politics of the Middle East class interviewed Middle Eastern refugees in Omaha to learn insights about government and politics in the region. Each student interviewed one refugee and produced outputs to help the refugee-advocacy efforts of our community partner, Refugee Empowerment Center.