IamA rocket scientist turned law professor who specializes in democratic coups. I wrote a book that made me a public enemy in Turkey, and I ended up on Wikileaks. AMA about rocket science, Wikileaks, Turkish politics, coups, and Trump.
I grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, in a family of no English speakers. I moved to the United States at age 17 by myself to attended Cornell University. I served on the operations team for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers mission. I built stuff that went to Mars and wrote code that snaps photos of the Martian surface.
These days, my academic work has focused on challenging conventional wisdom on constitutional design and democratic revolutions. In my first book, The Democratic Coup d’État, I advance a simple, but contrarian, argument: Sometimes a democracy is established through a military coup.
I was declared a public enemy in Turkey as a result of the arguments now in the book. Turkish President Erdogan lashed out against me in a public speech, which was followed by ad hominem front-page attacks in government-friendly newspapers. I was also targeted by troll armies on social media who lobbed accusations at me ranging from traitor to CIA agent. My name popped up in the "Erdogan emails" leaked to Wikileaks.
I’m really excited to be here and answer any questions you may have. AMA!
Thanks so much everyone for the thought-provoking questions! If you'd like to stay in touch, you can follow my writing on my website.