Dr Yaprak Gursoy

Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

Head and shoulders photo of Dr Yaprak Gürsoy

I joined Aston University in the summer of 2017. Prior to my appointment, I was an Associate Professor at Istanbul Bilgi University in Turkey and a Senior Member of St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. 

I received my PhD in politics from the University of Virginia in 2008. I have worked on regime change and consolidation, democratization, civil-military relations and coup d’états. I have published numerous articles on these subjects, covering Turkish, Greek and other Southern European countries from a comparative perspective in edited volumes and peer reviewed journals. 

My book, Between Military Rule and Democracy: Regime Consolidation in Greece, Turkey, and Beyond (University of Michigan Press, 2017), examines four episodes of authoritarianism, six periods of democracy and ten short-lived coups in Greece and Turkey. My findings are based on more than 150 interviews I conducted with the elites of both countries. In the book, I also apply my arguments to four more recent military interventions in Thailand and Egypt. 

I am currently doing research on populism and party politics from a comparative perspective. I am also interested in the relations between Turkey and Britain since the 1920s.

Personal website

Tel: 0121 204 3739

  • PhD (2008, University of Virginia, Department of Politics)
  • MA (2002, University of Virginia, Department of Politics) 
  • BA (2000, Koc University, Turkey, Department of International Relations)



  • Between Military Rule and Democracy: Regime Consolidation in Greece, Turkey, and Beyond (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2017).
  • Türkiye'de Sivil-Asker İlişkilerinin Dönüşümü (The Transformation of Civil-Military Relations in Turkey), Güvenlik Çalışmaları Dizisi, (Istanbul: Bilgi University Press, 2013). 
  • Avrupa Birliği'ne Giriş (Introduction to the European Union), edited by Ayhan Kaya, Senem Aydın-Düzgit, Yaprak Gürsoy and Özge Onursal (Istanbul: Bilgi University Press, 2011). 


Selected Journal Articles:

  • "Turkish Public Opinion on the Coup Allegations: Implications for Democratization," Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 130, No. 1 (Spring 2015): 103-132. 
  • "The Role of the EU in Changing the Role of the Military in Turkish Politics," (with İlter Turan) European Review of International Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 2014): 132-140. 
  • "The Final Curtain for the Turkish Armed Forces? Civil-Military Relations in View of the 2011 General Elections," Turkish Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2 (June 2012): 191-211. 
  • "The Changing Role of the Military in Turkish Politics: Democratization through Coup Plots?" Democratization, Vol. 19, No. 4 (August 2012): 735-760. 
  • "The Impact of EU-Driven Reforms on the Political Autonomy of the Turkish Military," South European Society and Politics, Vol. 16, No. 2 (June 2011): 293-308.
  • "Is There a Europeanization of Turkish Foreign Policy: An Addendum to the Literature on EU Candidates," (with Meltem Müftüler-Baç) Turkish Studies, Vol. 11, No. 3 (September 2010): 405-427.
  • "Regime Change in the Aegean: Reconsidering Foreign Influence," Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 27, No. 2 (October 2009): 319-347. 
  • "Civilian Support and Military Unity in the Outcome of Turkish and Greek Interventions," Journal of Political and Military Sociology, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Summer 2009): 47-75. 
  • "The Effects of the Population Exchange on the Greek and Turkish Political Regimes in the 1930s," East European Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Summer 2008): 97-128. 


Selected Book Chapters:

  • "Turkey: Populism and Geography," Shaper Nations: Strategies for a Changing World, edited by William I. Hitchcock, Melvyn P. Leffler, and Jeffrey W. Legro (Boston: Harvard University Press, 2016).
  • "The Rule of Law and Judicial Reforms in Turkey between 2002 and 2013," (with Senem Aydın-Düzgit) Siyasetin Bilimi: İlter Turan'a Armağan (The Science of Politics: Essays in Honor of Ilter Turan), edited by Boğaç Erozan, Nihal İncioğlu, and Pınar Uyan-Semerci (Istanbul: Bilgi University Press, 2015).
  • "From Tutelary Powers & Interventions to Civilian Control: an Overview of Turkish Civil-Military Relations since the 1920s," Turkey’s Democratization Process, edited by Carmen Rodriguez, Antonio Avalos, Hakan Yılmaz, and Ana I. Planet (London & New York: Routledge, 2013). 
  • "Turkey: The Counterintuitive Transition of 1983," (with Senem Aydın-Düzgit) Transitions to Democracy: A Comparative Perspective, edited by Kathryn Stoner and Michael McFaul (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). 
  • "Turkey's Relations with the United States and Israel under the Justice and Development Party Government," Troubled Triangle: The United States, Turkey, and Israel in the New Middle East, edited by William B. Quandt (Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books, 2011). 
  • "Civil-Military Relations as a Component of Democratic Consolidation in Turkey: A Comparison with Greece," Turkey-European Relations: Dilemmas, Opportunities, and Constraints, edited by Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Yiannis A. Stivachtis (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008): 303-324.


  • LP1029 –Introduction to Studying and Researching Politics
  • LP2020 –The Politics and Policies of the European Union
  • LP3048 –Democracy, Authoritarianism and Regime Change
  • LPM047 –Politics in South Europe


I am interested in supervising PhDs within the broader fields of Comparative Politics and International Relations. Prospective research students who would like to work on the following specific areas are welcome to email me:

  • regime change (towards democracy or authoritarianism)
  • civil-military relations and coups d'état
  • security and defence policies
  • comparative populism 
  • Turkish politics and foreign policy
  • Greek politics and foreign policy