Erol Yildiz, born in 1960, grew up in Samsun/Turkey. After completing secondary school he moved to Cologne, where he studied pedagogy, sociology and psychology at the University of Cologne. He did his PhD in 1996 in sociology on the topic of Halbierte Gesellschaft der Postmoderne. Probleme des Minderheitendiskurses unter Berücksichtigung alternativer Ansätze in den Niederlanden (Halved Society of Postmodernism. Problems of Majority Discourse under Consideration of Alternative Approaches in the Netherlands).
During his studies, Yildiz worked as a scientific assistant at the University of Cologne, where he was involved in the project ‘Urban Multiculturalism – the Example of Cologne-Ehrenfeld’, financed by the Volkswagen foundation, from 1996 to 1999. From 1999 to 2005 he was employed as a scientific assistant at the University of Cologne and habilitated in sociology on the topic of Leben in der kosmopolitanen Moderne: Die Öffnung der Orte zur Welt (Life in Cosmopolitan Modernism. The opening of cities to the world) in 2005.
Next to interim professorships at the Universities of Hamburg and Luxemburg, Yildiz holds the chair for migration and intercultural education at the faculty for cultural studies at the Alp-Adria-University Klagenfurt in the department for migration and urbanity.
His most current publication, appearing in November 2012, carries the title: Die weltoffene Stadt. Wie Migration Globalisierung zum urbanen Alltag macht (The Cosmopolitan City. How Migration Makes Globalisation an Urban Normality).