Dr Ziya Meral is a researcher focusing on modern Turkey and the Middle East, thematic issues of religion and violent conflict, and British defence. He is a Senior Resident Fellow at the UK Army's Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research, directing the centre's influential Global Analysis Programme. He is also the Director of Beirut and London based Centre on Religion and Global Affairs.
His latest book, ‘How Violence Shapes Religion: Belief and Conflict in Africa and Middle East’, has been released by the Cambridge University Press in 2018. He is currently working on a follow-up book, exploring the relationship between religion and organised violence, with the tentative title ‘Religion and Warfare: How Modern Militaries Engage with Religion’.
Dr Meral holds a PhD in politics from the University of Cambridge, a MSc in sociology from the London School of Economics, A MDiv from the International School of Theology in Manila, and a First-Class BA Honours from Brunel University.
He is a frequent commentator in British and international media, and regularly gives lectures and talks in leading academic, diplomatic and military institutions, and briefs officials and business leaders alike on his areas of expertise. These have included testimonies before the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as lectures at the NATO Defence College, US State Department, EU Commission and to British Army units, officer training courses and deployment orientations. Dr Meral has conducted field research and undertook academic studies across the world, including in Iran, Turkey, China, Egypt, Lebanon, Nigeria and the Philippines. A British-Turkish dual national, Dr Meral has a keen interest in advancing relations and deeper understanding between the two countries.