Mustafa Akyol is a Turkish political commentator and author based in Istanbul, Turkey.
Akyol was born in Ankara in 1972 and had his early education there. Later he graduated from Istanbul Nisantasi British High School and from the International Relations Department of the Bosphorus University. He had his master thesis on the Kurdish question at the History Department of the same university.
Since 2002, he has been a regular commentator in the Turkish media. He is currently a regular columnist for Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s foremost English-language daily, and Al-Monitor, “the Pulse of the Middle East.” He writes a regular column for a Turkish-language daily,Star, as well. He also appears regularly on Turkish TV, on political discussion shows.
He has spoken on many platforms, including the Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institution, Heritage Foundation, Mont Pelerin Society, Cato Institute, Acton Institute, Discovery Institute, Mises Institute and many universities around the world. He has been featured in popular TV shows such as Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN and Hardtalk on BBC. His talk at TED, Faith Versus Tradition in Islam, has been widely acclaimed.
Over the years, Akyol’s articles have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, The American Interest, First Things, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Times, The American Enterprise Magazine , Huffington Post, National Review Online, The Forward, Tech Central Station, Bitter Lemons and IslamOnline. He has appeared on BBC World, Al Jazeera English, France 24, and other international TV channels.
Mustafa Akyol has a book in Turkish titled Rethinking The Kurdish Question: What Went Wrong? What Next? (Dogan Publishing, 2006), which is a work partly based on his English-language graduate thesis, The Origin of Turkey’s Kurdish Question: An Outcome of the Breakdown of the Ottoman Ancien Régime. He has four other books in Turkish, three of which are collections of his essays.
His latest book, Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case For Liberty, which was defined by the Financial Times as “a forthright and elegant Muslim defence of freedom,” was published by W.W. Norton in July 2011. The book was long-listed for the 2012 Lioner Gelber Prize, along with other titles by Henry Kissinger, Francis Fukuyama and Niall Ferguson.