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Last updated 18th April 2024


Dr Aytekin Kaan Kurtul is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Huddersfield. He holds a PhD from Middlesex University (2022) with a thesis on criminal defamation of heads of state, and a master's degree in law from LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, Italy (2016) where he specialised in international law. Kaan has several book chapters, articles, and blog posts on topics ranging from freedom of political expression to Westphalian sovereignty. He has also contributed to multiple platforms and institutions in the fields of constitutional law, public international law, and journalism studies such as Verfassungsblog, Strasbourg Observers, CILJ Blog, Centre for Eurasian Studies (Avrasya İncelemeleri Merkezi, AVİM), and Media, War and Conflict (Media, Krig og Konflikt, MEKK) in addition to acting as an Assistant Editor for Athena, an academic journal affiliated with the University of Bologna.


Recent publications:

  • Kurtul AK, 'The Constitution under the Rubble: How Turkish Secularism Safeguards the Rule of Law and the Rights of the Child' (Verfassungsblog, 10 March 2023)
  • Kurtul AK, 'Interfering with Free Speech and the Fate of Turkey: The Criminal Defamation Case of Ekrem İmamoğlu' (Verfassungsblog, 5 January 2023)
  • Kurtul AK, 'The Soviet Famine and Criminalising "Denialism": Choosing between EU Law and Human Rights?' (Verfassungsblog, 22 December 2022)
  • Kurtul AK, 'The Evolving Qualification of Unilateral Coercive Measures: A Historical and Doctrinal Study' (2022) 2(1) Athena: Critical Inquiries in Law, Philosophy and Globalization 204
  • Kurtul AK, 'Genocide Denial Offences in Europe as Interferences with the Right to Freedom of Expression' in Alev Kılıç (ed), Türk-Ermeni İlişkileri Üzerine Ömer Engin Lütem Konferansları 2021 (Terazi Yayınları 2022)
  • Kurtul AK, 'Ekşioğlu and Mosturoğlu v Turkey or “the Fenerbahçe Case”: Presumption of Innocence and the Disciplinary Proceedings of Sports Governing Bodies' (Strasbourg Observers, 17 September 2021)
  • Kurtul AK, 'A Ghost that Haunts European Democracies: How Lèse-majesté Laws across Europe Threaten the Right to Dissent' (Verfassungsblog, 18 May 2021)
  • Kurtul AK, 'The Karabakh Armistice: Between the Principle of Territorial Integrity and Peoples' Right to Self-Determination' (Cambridge International Law Journal Blog, 17 December 2020)
  • Kurtul AK, 'Lèse-majesté and Journalism in Turkey and Europe' in Anna Grøndahl Larsen, Ingrid Fadnes, and Roy Krøvel (eds) Journalist Safety and Self-Censorship (Routledge 2020)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Freedom of expression
  • Political offences
  • Criminal defamation
  • Libel and slander
  • Crimes of sedition
  • Westphalian sovereignty
  • Principle of non-intervention
  • Peoples' right to self-determination
  • Unilateral coercive measures
  • Rights of the child
  • Denialism
  • Lèse-majesté
  • Territorial integrity
  • History of law
  • Historical revisionism
  • Third World Approaches to International Law
  • Secularism
  • Right to a fair trial
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Lustration
  • Freedom of the press
  • Comparative constitutional law
  • Comparative criminal law
  • International human rights law
  • International investment arbitration
  • Jus ad bellum

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or