Studying the Turkish Regime: U of T News Profile of Serdar San

October 16, 2020 by Rahul Kalvapalle

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