Ziya Meral is a Senior Resident Fellow at the UK Army's new civilian and military think-tank Centre for Historical Research and Conflict Analysis (CHACR) based at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He is also the founder and director of Centre on Religion and Global Affairs (CRGA)- a London, Beirut and Accra based new research and policy initiative exploring relationship of religion with contemporary issues with a focus on Africa and Middle East. He is an expert on Turkish and Middle Eastern foreign policies, and thematic issues of religion and violent conflict. He is frequently interviewed by international media, and have given lectures and expert briefings at leading political, diplomatic, military and academic institutions around the world. These have included the US Congress, Danish Parliament, British House of Commons and House of Lords, as well as NATO Defence College, US State Department, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He has published on a wide range of topics, including a book comparing lives and thoughts of Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky, Turkish foreign policy, and a play which was produced for stage in Istanbul. He has authored multiple special policy reports. These have included public reports such as "Prospects for Turkey" for Legatum Institute, "Article 18: An Orphaned Right" for APPG on International Religious Freedom at the House of Commons, "No Place to Call Home: Apostates from Islam and Failures of International Community" for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, "Compulsory Religious Education in Turkey" for US Commission on International Religious Freedom. His new book, 'How Violence Shapes Religion: Belief and Conflict in Africa and Middle East' has just been released by the Cambridge University Press.
Ziya Meral holds a 1st Class BA Hons from Brunel University, MDiv from International School of Theology in Manila, where he lived for almost 4 years, and a MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics. His PhD thesis looked at ethno-religious conflict in a global age at the University of Cambridge, with a specific focus on religious conflicts in Africa and Middle East. He has undertaken field research and studies in a wide range of countries including Iran, Egypt, China, Israel, Nigeria, USA, Jordan, Turkey and Canada. During 2010-2011, he was a Joseph Crapa Fellow at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom in Washington DC, researching on ways US Government can help countries that sees religious conflicts. Prior to that, he worked as a human rights advocate focusing on religious freedom and religious minorities in the Middle East. Ziya Meral is a British and Turkish national, and enjoys supporting initiatives that build closer relations between both countries. He serves on advisory panels and boards of various charitable initiatives in UK and Middle East.