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Prof Ihsan Yilmaz



Research Chair in Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, University of London, 1999
Bachelor of Arts, Bogazici University, 1994


Professor Ihsan Yilmaz is Research Chair of Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue at the Alfred Deakin Institute. His research is focused on Islam-state-society relations in Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt and Central Asia along with research into political participation and legal pluralism in Muslim minority communities, particularly in the United Kingdom and Australia. Professor Yilmaz is one of the Muslim World’s leading social scientists, especially on Islam, secularism, Muslim minorities in the West and Islamic legal pluralism.

Professor Yilmaz’s much-cited book “Muslim Laws, Politics and Society in Modern Nation States: Dynamic Legal Pluralism in England, Turkey and Pakistan (Routledge 2005, reprinted 2016)” has been a pathbreaker in the study of unofficial Islamic legal pluralism in secular nation-states. He has been invited by several eminent thinks tanks, universities and governmental bodies in many parts of the world as either key note speaker, guest lecturer or expert witness in areas related to his expertise.

He was professor of political science at Istanbul Fatih University (2008-2016), lecturer in law, social sciences and politics at SOAS, University of London (2001-2008). Before SOAS, he was a fellow at Center for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford (1999-2001) where he worked on Muslim political participation in the UK and also on neo-ijtihad by young Muslim micro-mujtahids.

Before coming to Deakin, he served as the Director of the PhD Programme in Political Science and International Relations at the Fatih University. 

He has acted as a referee for multimillion-dollar competitive grant projects on Islam-Society-State-Politics in the Middle East, and in the West for European Union Framework Programme (FP7) and the Fund for Scientific Research – FNRS, Belgium. He has written referee reports for book manuscripts for prestigious publishers such as the Oxford University Press, Routledge, Palgrave & Macmillan, Ashgate, Lexington and Springer.

Professor Yilmaz is also a public intellectual, communicating directly with the general public his ideas, opinions and research findings. He has been interviewed by several international TV and radio news channels and newspapers such as CNN International, Al Jazeera, ABC, China State TV, Russia Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, El Pais, Le Temps, Al Ahram, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He has also had frequent appearances on Turkish national TVs. He was a columnist for the English-language daily newspaper Today’s Zaman where he wrote twice a week (2007-2016), wrote three times a week for Meydan Gazetesi (2015-2016), and had his weekly TV political debate programme on Samanyolu TV (2014-2015).

Professor Yilmaz continues to share his research and opinions on Islam, Turkish politics, Islamist populism and authoritarianism, the Muslim World and more through op-ed pieces that appear on The Conversation and the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter as well as his blog at He is also very active on social media with approximately 200,000 Twitter (@ihsanylmz) followers.

Read more on Ihsan's profile

Biography summary

Ihsan Yilmaz is Research Professor and Chair of Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue at Deakin University, Australia. He was professor of political science at Istanbul Fatih University between 2008-2016, lecturer in law at SOAS, University of London between 2001-2008 and research scholar at Center for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford between 1999-2001.

Career highlights

Academic & Teaching
Professor of Political Science, Istanbul Fatih University, 2008 - 2016
Lecturer in Law, University of London, SOAS, 2001 - 2008
Fellow, Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford, 1999 - 2001

Academic Leadership Positions
Director, PhD Programme in Political Science and International Relations, Fatih University, 2009 - 2016
Deputy Director, Centre for Ethnic Minority Studies, SOAS, 2003 - 2008

Visiting Professorship

Visiting Professor, University of Insubria, Como, Italy, May 2014            

Visiting Professor, University of Salzburg, Austria, April 2013
Visiting Professor, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, May 2012
Visiting Professor, University of East Finland, Finland, May 2011

Research interests

Islam-Constitutions-Human Rights-Citizenship

Islam-State-Society-Law (Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, UK, USA, Australia)

Islamist Populism and Radicalism in Transnational and Global Perspective

Islamic and Islamist Movements (Turkey, UK, USA, Australia)

Muslim Minorities - Law - Transnationalism - Politics (UK, USA, Australia)

Teaching interests

Muslim Politics in International and Global Perspective
Political Philosophy (Modern & Islamic)
Islamic Studies
Religion and Political Culture
Political Sociology
Comparative Politics
Turkish Politics

Units taught

Seminar in Turkish Politics (FU)
Seminar in Political Theory (FU)
Comparative Politics (FU)

Turkish Politics (FU)
Islamic Law (SOAS)
Legal Systems of Asia and Africa (SOAS)
Seminar in Turkish Politics (SOAS)

Religion and Politics in Comparative & International Perspective (FU)
Politics and Law (FU)
Classical Modern Political Thought (FU)
Modern Political Thought (FU)
Political Culture and Religion (FU)
Political Parties and Party Systems (FU)
Comparative Political Systems (FU)
Turkish Political Thought (FU)
Turkish Politics (FU)
Introduction to Public Administration (FU)
Introduction to Turkish Administrative System (FU)
Legal Systems of Asia and Africa (SOAS)
Islamic Law (SOAS)

Knowledge areas

Islam-Constitutions-Human Rights-Citizenship
Islam-State-Society-Law (Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, UK, USA, Australia)
Islamist Populism and Radicalism in Transnational and Global Perspective
Islamic and Islamist Movements (Turkey, UK, USA, Australia)
Muslim Minorities - Law - Transnationalism - Politics (UK, USA, Australia)


  • Muslim Citizens between Islamic Law and State Law: Legal Pluralism in England, Turkey and Pakistan (tentative title), Interdisciplinary Approaches to Legal Pluralism in Muslim Context, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Münster, Germany. 6-7 October 2016.
  • Religious Movements and Dialogue. Hizmet in Comparative Perspective: The Abant Experience, Transnational Religious Movements, Dialogue and Economic Development: The Hizmet Movement in Comparative Perspective, University of Turin, Italy, 10-11 December 2015.
  • Religious Political Parties in Turkey, Religions and Constitutional Transitions in the Muslim Mediterranean:  The Pluralistic Moment, Insubria University, in Como, Italy, 3-5 June2014.
  • Power of the State, Religion and Mass Media, International Conference on Christianity – Orthodoxy and the Media in Modern World, International Secretariat of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, Thessaloniki, Greece, 12–16 May 2014.
  • Islam, Peacebuilding and the Gülen Movement, The Belfast International Social Science Conference, the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, 2 May 2014.
  • Islam, Secularism, Equal Citizenship, International Conference of Religion, Citizenship and Security, Institute for Global Engagement and the al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan, 5-6 December 2013.
  • State-Religion Arrangements in Euro-Islamic Relationship, International Seminar on Religions and International Relations: State-Religions Arrangements in a Post-Western World. A Cross-Cultural Dialogue on Freedom of Religion, ISPI, The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Autonomous Province of Trento, Trento, Italy, 17-18 October 2013.
  • Civil Society & Reform in Turkey, Conference on Markets, Civil Society, and Democratic Change in the Middle East, Hudson Institute, Washington DC, USA, 2 October 2013.
  • Sacred, Secular, and Freedom of Expression: A Muslim Perspective, Respect for the Sacred versus Freedom of Expression, John Carol University, Cleveland, Ohio / USA, Apr. 2013.
  • The Way Forward, Advancing Freedom of Expression in Turkey, Advancing Freedom of Expression in Turkey, Stockholm, Sweden, Mar. 2013.
  • Contributions of the Hizmet Movement towards the Consolidation of Democracy in Turkey, Consolidating Multicultural Democracy, The 4th World Peace Forum (WPF), Bogor, Indonesia, Nov. 2012.
  • An Uneasy Mix: The State, Radicalism and Post-Islamism in Tajikistan, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Annual Convention, New Orleans, USA, Nov. 2012.
  • Sacred, Secular, Twin Tolerations and the Hizmet, Ideal Human and Ideal Society in the Thought of M. Fethullah Gülen, Lahore, Pakistan, Nov. 2012.
  • The Role of Bridging and Linking Social Capital in the Gülen Movement’s Interculturalist Activities, Société et médias dans le dialogue interculturel, Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 2012.
  • Shariah in Secular Turkish Courts: An Analysis of the Encounters between Official and Unofficial Laws, The 2012 International Conference on Law and Society, Law and Society Association, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, Jun. 2012.
  • Shatibi and Habermas in Harmony on Religion in the Public Sphere: Gülen’s Civil Islam and the Transformation of Turkish Political Islam, 3rd International Conference on Islam (ICI12), The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin-Madison / USA, Apr. 2012.
  • From Islamism to Non-Islamism: Turkish Faith-Based Civil Society’s Transformative Influence on Islamism as an Inspiration to the Middle East, International Seminar: The Arab Spring: Region and India, New Delhi, India, Feb. 2012.

Media appearances

Ihsan regularly wrote columns between 2007-2016 for Today's Zaman, an English language daily published in Turkey and between 2015-2016 for Meydan, a popular daily published in Turkish. He also contributed to many TV programmes in Turkish and English on politics, Islamism and Turkish affairs.


  • Columnist: Meydan Gazetesi (Turkish Daily), three times a week, 2015-2016.
  • Columnist: Today’s Zaman (English Daily), twice a week, 2007-2016.
  • Regular TV Commentator: Samanyolu TV, once a week, 2014-2015.
  • Frequent Appearances: CNN Turk, Kanal D, Haberturk TV, Bugun TV, Arti 1
  • Interviewed by: CNN International, Al Jazeera, China State TV, Ebru TV, WSJ, El Pais, Le Temps, Al Ahram, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Zaman, Today’s Zaman, Aksiyon, Rotahaber, + Greek, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Brazilian dailies

Ihsan is also an active social media user with 195.000 Twitter followers


  • Afgan Women in Geelong, Victoria, RIOSC (with Siew Mee Barton and Faridullah Bezhan). 31.600 AUD.


Filter by


The AKP after 15 years: emergence of Erdoganism in Turkey

I Yilmaz, G Bashirov

(2018), Vol. 39, pp. 1812-1830, Third world quarterly, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Liminality and racial hazing of Muslim migrants: media framing of Albanians in Shepparton, Australia, 1930-1955

J Barry, Ihsan Yilmaz

(2018), pp. 1-18, Ethnic and racial studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Instrumentalizing Islam in a 'secular' state: Turkey's Diyanet and interfaith dialogue

Ihsan Yilmaz, J Barry

(2018), pp. 1-16, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1


The experience of the AKP: from the origins to present times

I Yilmaz

(2017), pp. 162-175, Religions and constitutional transitions in the Muslim Mediterranean: the pluralistic moment, Abingdon, Eng., B1


The decline and resurrection of Turkish Islamism: the story of Tayyip Erdogan's AKP

I Yilmaz, G Barton, J Barry

(2017), Vol. 1, pp. 48-62, Journal of citizenship and globalisation studies, Warsaw, Poland, C1


The nature of Islamophobia: some key features

I Yilmaz

(2016), Vol. 3, pp. 19-29, Fear of Muslims?: International perspectives on Islamophobia, Cham, Switzerland, B1


Peace-building through education and intercivilizational dialogue: the case of the Gülen movement

I Yilmaz

(2015), pp. 102-115, NGOs in the Muslim world: faith and social services, Abingdon, Eng., B1-1


The sacred and the secular in the Hizmet world

I Yilmaz

(2015), pp. 162-175, Hizmet means service: perspectives on an alternative path within Islam, Oakland, Calif., B1


The Gülen-Hizmet movement, its impact on Turkey and presence in Australia

I Yilmaz, C Polat

(2015), pp. 135-156, Reconciling cultural and political identities in a globalized world : perspectives on Australia-Turkey relations, London, Eng., B1-1


Semi-official Turkish Muslim legal pluralism: encounters between secular official law and unofficial Shari'a

I Yilmaz

(2015), Vol. 1, pp. 51-65, The sociology of Shari'a: case studies from around the world, Cham, Switzerland, B1-1


Islamic family law in secular Turkish courts

I Yilmaz

(2014), pp. 148-159, Adjudicating family law in Muslim courts: cases from the contemporary Muslim world, Abingdon, Eng., B1-1


Pakistan federal shariat court's collective ijtih?d on gender equality, women's rights and the right to family life

I Yilmaz

(2014), Vol. 25, pp. 181-192, Islam and Christian-Muslim relations, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


Fethullah Gülen, the Movement and this Book: An Introductory Overview

I Yilmaz, G BARTON, P Weller

(2013), pp. 1-12, The Muslim World and Politics in Transition, London and New York, B1-1


Islam and peacebuilding: the Gülen movement in global action

I Yilmaz, J Esposito

(2012), pp. 15-32, The Ashgate research companion to religion and conflict resolution, Farnham, Eng., B1-1


Combatting terrorism in Britain: choice for policy makers

A Hussain, I Yilmaz

(2012), pp. 181-190, European Muslims, civility and public life: perspectives on and from the Gülen movement, London, Eng., B1-1


An analysis of the factors that pave the way for the radicalization of the British youth from a comparative perspective

I Yilmaz

(2012), pp. 32-53, Muslim Youth: Challenges, Opportunities and Expectations, London, Eng., B1-1


Contemporary politics and state-law relations in Turkey

I Yilmaz

(2012), Vol. 65, pp. 11-20, Pakistan horizon, Karachi, Pakistan, C1


Introduction: Fethullah Gülen, the movement and this book: an introductory overview

I Yilmaz, P Weller

(2012), pp. xxi-xxxiv, European Muslims, Civility and Public Life: Perspectives On and From the Gülen Movement, London and New York, B1-1


The role of liberalized autocracy and democratic learning in Islamists' transformation to muslim democrats in Turkey and Egypt

I Yilmaz

(2009), Vol. 11, pp. 93-112, Insight Turkey, Ankara, Turkey, C1-1


Muslim laws, politics and society in modern nation states: dynamic legal pluralisms in England, Turkey and Pakistan

I Yilmaz

(2005), Abingdon, Eng., A1


Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Women's agency and the building of social capital, cohesion and resilience in the new Afghan community in Geelong

Dr Siewmee Barton, Prof Ihsan Yilmaz, Dr Faridullah Bezhan

  • 2018: $11,150
  • 2017: $22,300


No completed student supervisions to report