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CIC Edmonton: Following the failed coup, what now for Turkey?

September 27, 2016 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm EDT


Please join CIC-Edmonton and the MacEwan UN Club in an exciting evening featuring Dr Chris Kilford and Dr Chaldeans Mensah!

These days, even the most forgiving observer of Turkish politics is having a difficult time glossing over the disturbing news coming out of Turkey. Certainly, the recent aborted coup attempt is important enough. But well before this, journalists, academics and civil society activists critical of the government found themselves under arrest and their newspapers and television channels shut down. Now, in the post-coup period, thousands of Turks associated with US-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen’s social movement have been detained and accused of either orchestrating or supporting the coup.

Meanwhile, Turkey remains engaged in a brutal fight with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group Canada listed in 2002 as a terrorist organization. For the past year, the two sides have become locked in a devastating near civil-war in Turkey’s southeast resulting in more than 600 dead Turkish soldiers and police. Numerous car bomb and suicide attacks, most often the work of the PKK or the Islamic State, have also killed and injured hundreds in Ankara, Istanbul, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep and other Turkish cities and towns.

The net impact of all this instability is best demonstrated by the almost total collapse of the tourist industry, a sinking Turkish lira and declining investor confidence. To salvage what he could just before the coup, Turkey’s President embarked on a foreign policy reset, re-establishing relations with Israel and apologizing to President Putin for the shooting down of a Russian jet-fighter that allegedly entered Turkish airspace last November. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if Turkey’s often detrimental foreign and domestic policies will really change.

During his talk, Dr. Chris Kilford, Canada’s former military attache to Turkey will discuss the current situation in Turkey and what Canada can do in the region and in particular to support its longstanding NATO ally.

Following Dr Kilford’s talk, Dr Chaldeans Mensah will offer some responding remarks, providing additional insights in what should be a stimulating topic.

Speaker’s Biography
Dr. Chris Kilford

During his 36 year military career, Chris served throughout Canada, England, Germany, Afghanistan and Turkey in various command, training, instructional and staff roles. In 2005, he was posted to Ottawa where he became the Acting Director Future Security Analysis and later Deputy Director of the team writing the Canada First Defence Strategy. In his last year there, he was the Military Liaison Officer between the Department of National Defence and the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. In July 2009, Chris deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan as the Deputy Military Attaché (Lieutenant Colonel) until July 2010. He then commenced Turkish language training and was posted to Ankara, Turkey as the Canadian Defence Attaché (Colonel) with cross accreditation to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkmenistan from July 2011 until July 2014. Chris retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in September 2014. In addition to his military duties, Chris completed a PhD in history (international development studies) at Queen’s in 2009 and today he is a Fellow at the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy while also teaching on-line international relations and Canadian foreign policy courses at the Canadian Forces College. Since retirement his opinion articles have appeared in newspapers across Canada and Turkey and he has become a frequent commentator on Turkish and Middle Eastern issues for numerous media outlets.

Dr Chaldeans Mensah

Chaldeans Mensah is a faculty member in the Department of Political
Science at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He
received his doctorate in Political Science from the University of
Alberta in 1990. A faculty member with MacEwan University since 1991,
he served as the faculty representative on the University’s board of
governors from 1998-2001 and from 2007-2013. He is also a graduate of
the Academy for Leadership Training and Development (Chair Academy,
2001) and Academy for Advanced Leadership (Chair Academy, 2010).

In 1996, Chaldeans was awarded the Canadian Immigration Award in
recognition of his teaching excellence and promoter lifelong learning.
In the same year he was recognized at MacEwan University with a
distinguished instructor award. In 2005, Chaldeans received the
MacEwan Medallion, the highest recognition awarded to a MacEwan
University employee. In the following year, he was conferred one of
the Alberta Centennial Medals in the category of education in
recognition of his outstanding service to the people and province of

In 2007, Chaldeans received the Award of Distinction for
Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Practice from the Alberta
Department of Advanced Education and Technology to recognize his
efforts in assisting Albertans to acquire the international and
intercultural knowledge, skills, and abilities to function effectively
in a global context. He is a board member of the National Collegiate
Conference Association, which organizes the world’s largest simulation
of the United Nations in New York. Chaldeans is a keen observer of
politics at all levels, and is periodically called upon by the
provincial and national media to offer commentary on political

Event Partner
MacEwan UN Club

Date and Time
Tuesday September 27, 2016
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

MacEwan University
10700 104 Avenue Northwest
Room 9-201
Edmonton, AB  T5J 4S2

This is a free event. Please reserve a spot online before Monday September 26th by clicking the button below.

Event Contact
Stefanie Rosskopf |


September 27, 2016
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm EDT