Serdar San was well into his PhD in criminology at the University of Toronto in late 2016 when his research and personal life were turned upside down.
A Turkish National Police lieutenant who originally came to Canada on a Turkish police scholarship, San was suddenly fired from the force as an increasingly authoritarian government in Turkey looked to crack down on its institutions of policing in the wake of a failed military coup.
Not only did the move wipe out San’s career and a decade’s worth of pension contributions, it meant he could no longer travel to Turkey to conduct interviews for his dissertation – a comparative study of counter-terrorism policies in Turkey and Canada with respect to home-grown terrorism – as he risked harassment and the seizure of his passport.
So, with the help of U of T’s Scholars-at-Risk Fellowship, San pivoted his research to a different topic, the importance of which he understands all too well: How political upheaval and regime changes have impacted Turkish policing in recent decades.
Read the full profile from U of T news