Nury Turkel is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute. He specializes in national security, foreign policy, digital authoritarianism, and issues of forced labor and supply chain risk. Turkel’s expertise also includes global justice enforcement, human rights and religious freedom in China, and the prevention of atrocities including genocide.
As an attorney, Turkel specializes in international corporate compliance, internal investigation, U.S. government enforcement relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and other anti-corruption and human rights standards. He also focuses on customs and import trade, economic sanctions and export control, business and human rights, legislative advocacy, and humanitarian immigration.
Turkel was born in a re-education camp at the height of China’s tumultuous Cultural Revolution and spent the first several months of his life in detention with his mother. He came to the United States in 1995 as a student and was granted asylum in 1998.
In May 2020, Turkel was appointed by Congress as a Commissioner to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He has testified before Congress, including most recently before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China in October 2019, speaking about Uyghur internment camps, and advocating a legislative response to China’s atrocities. Many of his recommendations have been incorporated into U.S. laws and pending bills relating to China, including the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (Public Law 116-145). In addition to his policy work in the U.S., Turkel has advised government officials in the European Union and the Australian Parliament.
Turkel currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Uyghur Human Rights Project, which he co-founded in 2003, and has also served as the president of the Uyghur American Association. Turkel is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
His policy-oriented commentary has been published in outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, TIME Magazine, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, The Independent, The Hill, and The Diplomat. Turkel has spoken at numerous policy forums, academic institutes, and human rights conferences, regarding the mass internment of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in China. He has appeared on major media outlets including CNN, BBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera, Australian ABC, Sky News, and France 24. In 2020, he was including in TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list.
Turkel received an M.A. in International Relations and a J.D. from the American University in Washington, D.C.