Emre Atsü

Research Topic:

Democracy and Secularism in Turkey
Government and Politics Network
Corpus Christi College
MPhil Comparative Government

I am a candidate for the Master of Philosophy in Politics: Comparative Government in the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR), at the University of Oxford, primarily working on Turkish domestic politics and foreign affairs. My main academic interest lies in the historical democratisation and secularisation process in Turkey. My objective is to produce an MPhil thesis with regards to the improvement of entrenched Turkish democracy, established following the abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate, and "assertive" Kemalist laicism, "aiming to eliminate the influence of religion on the public sphere in a coercive manner." I am also particularly interested in Turkey’s complex path towards EU membership. I am therefore eager to examine the diplomatic and economic aspects of EU-Turkey relations, in order to provide an accurate account of Ankara’s constant failures in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, regarding the Republic’s long-standing ambition to become an EU member.

Prior to my postgraduate studies, I was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in International and Comparative Politics, with a minor in International Law, at the American University of Paris. I graduated with the second highest GPA (3.85/4.0) in my 2019 major cohort and have been granted multiple high-ranking academic awards such as Magna Cum Laude and Departmental honours, as well several nominations to the Provost’s List. My senior thesis focused on the role of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey during the modern globalisation period, through which I tried to emphasise the Turkish State’s partial integration into the new international system.

Outside of my studies, I enjoy cooking, going to the theatre, playing tennis, and travelling. I am also passionate about music. I like singing and playing guitar.


  • Turkish: Native Language
  • English: Full Professional Proficiency
  • French: Full Professional Proficiency
  • German: Limited Working Proficiency


My research interests include:

  • Foreign Policy and Diplomacy,
  • Comparative Politics and Government,
  • Constitutions and Government,
  • Democracy and Democratisation,
  • Religion
Emre Atsü