A Turkish journalist and author, Mustafa Akyol studied political science and history at Bogazici University. Since early 2000's, he has been a columnist in national Turkish newspapers. Since fall 2013, he is also a regular contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.
He has published six books in Turkish. His 2011 book, “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty” was published in the United States the W.W. Norton. The book was long-listed for the Lionel Gelber Prize, a literary prize awarded by the University of Toronto for the best nonfiction book in English that seeks to deepen public debate on significant international issues, and praised by The Financial Times as “a forthright and elegant Muslim defense of freedom.” The book has been published also in Turkish, Malay and Indonesian. (It was later banned in Malaysia, in fall 2017, after Akyol’s short arrest by the country’s “religion police” merely for giving a lecture that defends religious freedom.)
In Feb 2017, another book by Mr. Akyol, "The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims" was published by St. Martins Press. The book has received praise from the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, The National Catholic Reporter, America: The Jesuit Review and more.
Mr. Akyol is also a public speaker who has given hundreds of lectures and talks on numerous platforms, including TED, where he spoke on “Faith vs. Tradition in Islam.”
Since Jan 2017, Mr. Akyol is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Freedom Project at Wellesley College, based in Mass., USA