10th Annual Turkish Studies Symposium
MIGRATION, DIVERSITY, AND IDENTITY IN TURKEY AND THE EU

TSS328 April 2016

1:00-3:45 pm

 

Illini Union
General Lounge (Room 210)
1401 W Green St, Urbana, IL 61801
(map to Illini Union)

 

Organized by:
European Union Center at the University of Illinois

 

Co-sponsored by:
European Institute, Istanbul Bilgi University; Jean Monnet Chair, Istanbul Kemerburgaz University; and the Center for Global Studies (CGS); the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC);  the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES); and the Program in Arms Control & Domestic and International Security (ACDIS) at the University of Illinois

Istanbul-Bilgi-University-European-InstituteKemerburgaz-logoEUC, REEEC, and CGS are National Resource Centers funded by the US Department of Education Title VI grant. EUC is also a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence funded by the European Union. CSAMES is partially funded by the US Department of Education Title VIa grant. This symposium is supported by funding from the US Department of Education Title VI and VIa grants.

 

ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM

eu-and-turkey-300x174Symposium poster is available here.


Turkey is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country, housing approximately 50 different Muslim and/or non-Muslim ethnic groups, some of which are Sunni Turks, Alevi Turks, Sunni Kurds, Alevi Kurds, Circassians, Lazis, Armenians, Georgians, Jews, Greeks, Arabs, Assyrians etc. This ethno-cultural and religious diversity has recently become even more visible together with the growing number of European citizens, transit migrants, and refugees originating from Syria, Irak, Pakistan, Afghanistan and sub-Saharan Africa.
Turkey was mainly a country of emigration until the late 1990s, and has turned into a country of immigration since then. Having an Ottoman imperial legacy, Turkey continues to draw migrants and refugees from different parts of the world. However, Turkey’s geographical reservation on the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees does not allow refugees entering Turkey from its eastern borders to apply for asylum. This is why the Syrian refugees, for instance, have no legal status in Turkey, and this is certainly a reason why their already difficult stay in Turkey is becoming even more difficult. Despite the fact that Turkey has adopted the Temporary Protection Law in 2014, it is far from meeting the needs of  refugees – officially called “guests” – in everyday life ranging from education for children to the provision of health services. The fact that Syrians are ethno-culturally (Kurds, Arabs, Tukrmens, Asyrians, Cricassians etc.) and religiously (Sunni Muslims, Alevi Muslims, Kaldani Christians, Ezidis) diverse is making things even more difficult for the state actors and civil society actors to deal with different aspects of the crisis.
This symposium will focus on the current debates in Turkey and the EU with regard to the refugee crisis, and the management of ethno-cultural and religious diversity in Turkey as well as the EU. Speakers will cover issues concerning the reconstruction of European identity revolving around the debates on the refugee crisis, Islamophobia, ISIS, the rise of Christian rhetoric in Eastern Europe, de-Europeanization, and Islamization of Turkey.

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SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE

1:00-1:05pm — Welcoming Remarks

 

1:05-1:25pm — Ayhan Kaya, Istanbul Bilgi University
“Turkey as a Country of Immigration: Homogenization of the Nation”
1:25-1:45pm — Bianca Kaiser, Istanbul Kemerburgaz University
“Integration Challenges faced by EU Citizens in Turkey”
1:45-2:05pm — Canan Balkır, Visiting Scholar, EU Center, University of Illinois
“From Immigration to Innovation Networks”

 

10 min Q&A

 

2:15-2:30 Break (Coffee & Tea)

 

2:30 – 2:50pm — İlkay Südaş, İzmir Ege University
“Life-Style Migrants in Turkey”
2:50-3:10pm — Saime Özçürümez, Visiting Scholar, CMES, Harvard University/Bilkent University
“Managing Diversity in Turkey: State Actors and Civil Society Actors Engaged in Integration”
3:10-3:30pm — Ulaş Sunata, Bahçeşehir University
“Syrian Refugees in Turkey”

 

10 min Q&Asilueti3

ABSTRACTS (in order of presentation):

 

Ayhan Kaya, Istanbul Bilgi University
“Turkey as a Country of Immigration: Homogenization of the Nation”

 

Turkey is a multiethnic, multicultural and multidenominational country, home to approximately 50 different Muslim and/or non-Muslim ethnic groups, including Sunni Turks, Alevi Turks, Sunni Kurds, Alevi Kurds, Circassians, Lazis, Armenians, Georgians, Jews, Greeks, Arabs and Assyrians. However, despite the last decade of democratizing reforms, the Turkish state has not given full official recognition to the ethnically and culturally diverse nature of Turkish society since the republic‟s foundation in 1923. Turkey’s ethno-cultural and denominational heterogeneity results from diverse waves of migration that have swept across Anatolia throughout its history. The history of migration towards Anatolia is also the Islamisation of Anatolia with the exceptions of Jewish migration to the Ottoman Empire in the late 16th century and of the migration of EU citizens in the early 21st century. New migratory flows have again turned modern Turkey into a destination country for immigration. This paper discusses the immigration flows to Turkey throughout history as well as the challenges and opportunities they have so far presented. In doing so, the paper will argue that the boundaries of the Turkish nation were prescribed with an emphasis on the holy trinity of Turkish, Sunni and Muslim elements, and thus question the prevailing idea of nation in contemporary Turkey deconstructing the notions of “migrants”, “guests” and “foreigners” used in everyday language as well as in the official documents.

 

Bianca Kaiser, Istanbul Kemerburgaz University
“Integration Challenges faced by EU Citizens in Turkey”

 

This paper analyses the particularities and heterogeneity of the EU immigrant community in Turkey, with special reference to the German community as the largest group. It will be outlined in which way this community has perceived of, and been affected by, Turkey’s transition from a country of emigration to a country of immigration. The reform and transformation process will be placed into the the context of Turkey’s Europeanization process. In particular, the areas of labor mobility, residence, and citizenship will be analyzed. The year 2013 will be credited as a major milestone in the development of Turkey’s migration policies with the new Law on Foreigners and International Protection starting to pave the way for a more comprehensive and formalized integration policy.

 

Canan Balkır, Visiting Scholar, EU Center, University of Illinois
“From Immigration to Innovation Networks”

 

Innovation is a product of interaction between actors that have sufficiently different knowledge in order to make Schumpeterian new combinations.” (Boschma & Martin, 2010:142). It has been cited in many studies that migrants have the potential to provide different types of knowledge other than the provided knowledge by the native population, and hence are likely to contribute to innovation through their economic engagement in both the country of origin and the host country. The focus on entrepreneurship and innovation allows for a complete new perspective in immigration policies. Instead of focusing on cultural differences and integration problems that might go along migration, the win-win situations that can results from cultural diversity and international knowledge exchange can be highlighted. Although the European Commission considers entrepreneurship as the backbone of Europe’s economy and key to ensuring economic growth, job creation and innovation, migrant entrepreneurship and innovation rarely forms part of a bigger economic agenda. This is also the case for the Turks in Germany comprising the biggest immigrant group. Although the historical long-term Turkish-German relationships bear a large potential for the role of German- Turk entrepreneurs in innovation networks,  does this relationships between German and Turkish actors exist or rare? The issues that will be discussed are the results of a three-year project within the framework of intensive cooperation program between Germany and Turkey.

 

İlkay Südaş, İzmir Ege University
“Life-Style Migrants in Turkey”

 

Turkey hosts diverse migrant groups today and among them, European lifestyle migrants are one of the most striking groups settled especially in the coastal Turkey. During the last two decades, many international tourism towns along the Mediterranean and the Aegean coastal zone of Turkey have changed into new destinations for lifestyle migration particularly from United Kingdom, Germany, Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands. However, previous researches on lifestyle/retirement migration in the Europe mostly focused on countries such as Spain, Portugal France and Italy; this study examines the characteristics of lifestyle migrants and their motivations in case of Turkey. After outlining the geographical distribution of different EU nationals in Turkey based on the recent statistical data, main motivations, cultural impacts and perspectives of the migrants for the future course will be presented.

 

Saime Özçürümez, Visiting Scholar, CMES, Harvard University/Bilkent University
“Managing Diversity in Turkey: State Actors and Civil Society Actors Engaged in Integration”


Civil society engagement in integration of immigrants and refugees has become an indispensable part of governance of human mobility in all countries. The key question, however, remains how such engagement will take place. This study will seek answers to this question by examining the case of Turkey in the past decade and the role of civil society actors as part of the integration process. It reviews the legal, social and political context within which civil society engagement in integration takes place in Turkey. It does so by examining the grey literature and the activities of the CSOs  (for example, interest groups, communities, social partners, INGOs) in the field of integration since the mid-1990s. It focuses on two major dimensions of the role of civil society in the management of diversity: service delivery and participation in policy processes (from agenda setting to monitoring) on integration. The study concludes by a discussion on the challenges and opportunities of civil society involvement in policy processes in Turkey.

 

 

Ulaş Sunata, Bahçeşehir University
“Syrian Refugees in Turkey”

 

Conflict in Syria began five years ago and there is no clear end in sight. Since March 2011, 70% of Syria’s population has left their homes because of civil war. There were at least 6.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Syria as of December 31, 2015. The number of Syrians seeking international protection continues to increase. Approximately 900 thousand (897,645) Syrians arrived in Europe and applied for asylum between April 2011 and December 2015. However, Europe’s numbers remain quite low compared to Syria’s neighbouring countries. According to UNHCR Data from February 2016, there are about 5 million (4,786,412) registered Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries (56,2% of them living in Turkey, 22,3% in Lebanon, 13,3% in Jordan, 5,1% in Iraq, 2,5% in Egypt, 0,6% in North Africa). The focus of this speech is to understand not only Turkey as the biggest pool of refugee-hosting in the last five years but also “becoming refugee” as Syrian in Turkey. We will try to read Turkey and the refugee not as the main actors of the current global crisis, but their positions “in-relation-to” this phenomenon. In particular, we will concentrate on two Syrian refugee’s migration experiences: travel between the land border of Syria and Turkey and the sea border between Turkey and Greece.

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SPEAKER BIOS (in order of presentation):

 

Ayhan Kaya, Istanbul Bilgi University
Professor of Politics and Jean Monnet Chair of European Politics of Interculturalism at the Department of International Relations, Istanbul Bilgi University; Director of the European Institute; member of the Science Academy, Turkey; worked and taught at the European University Viadrina as Aziz Nesin Chair in 2013; worked and taught at the Malmö University, Sweden as the Willy Brandt Chair in 2011; specialised on European identities, Euro-Turks in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, Circassian diaspora in Turkey, and the construction and articulation of modern transnational identities; received his PhD and MA degrees at the University of Warwick, England. Some of his books are Europeanization and Tolerance in Turkey (London: Palgrave, 2013); Islam, Migration and Integration: The Age of Securitization (London: Palgrave, 2009); Migrations to Turkey Since the 14t Century (Istanbul Bilgi University Press, 2015, co-edited with M. Erdoğan); Contemporary Migrations in Turkey: Integration or Return (Istanbul Bilgi University Press, in Turkish, co-written with others), Belgian-Turks, Brussels: King Baudouin Foundation, 2008, co-written with Ferhat Kentel), Euro-Turks: A Bridge or a Breach between Turkey and the EU (Brussels: CEPS Publications, 2005, co-written with Ferhat Kentel, Turkish version by Bilgi University); wrote another book titled Sicher in Kreuzberg: Constructing Diasporas, published in two languages, English (Bielefeld: Transkript verlag, 2001) and Turkish (Istanbul: Büke Yayınları, 2000); translated Ethnic Groups and Boundaries by Fredrik Barth and Citizenship and Social Classes by T. H. Marshall and Tom Bottomore; and he edited several book on migration, integration, citizenship, and diasporas. Kaya received Turkish Social Science Association Prize in 2003; Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA-GEBİP) Prize in 2005; Sedat Simavi Research Prize in 2005; and also Euroactiv European Prize in 2008.

 

Bianca Kaiser, Istanbul Kemerburgaz University
Bianca Kaiser (BA/MA Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany; PhD Bosphorus University, Turkey) is the founding and acting Chair of the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Kemerburgaz University, Turkey, where she teaches as a full professor of International Relations. Since 2015, she holds the Jean Monnet Chair in Education in Diversity. Apart from several Jean Monnet teaching modules, she was also Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Integration at Istanbul Kültür University, 2005-2011. Her special research interests are migration to Turkey, the Europeanization of Turkey’s integration policy, Turkey-German relations, and intercultural dialogue. She has pioneered original field research on migration toTurkey from the EU, and has been involved in several related projects. In 2012-13 she was part of an OSCE-initiated research group evaluating the new Turkish Law on Foreigners and International Protection, and still acts as national co-coordinator of the related Brussels-based MIPEX project. Her publications include many book chapters and articles about German and other EU migrants in Turkey, Germany’s foreign policy, a monograph on Germany’s European policy, and a forthcoming edited e-book on the challenges of the European Union from an intercultural perspective.

 

Canan Balkır, Visiting Scholar, EU Center, University of Illinois
Canan Balkır is professor of economics, Jean Monnet Chair in European Economic Integration and has been the chair person of EU Studies Department and coordinator of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey. She was a Fulbright scholar at North Carolina State University, and British Council scholar in UK; Research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK; honorary fellow at the University of Exeter, UK. In 2011, she received first prize from Turkish Academy of Sciences for her book on “International Economic Integration: Theory, Policy and Practice”. She has also worked as a senior consultant to the Minister for Economics between 1987-91,and has been consultant to private sector. She is currently working on a book project with Ghent University, titled ‘The EU’s Expanding Trade Policy: Challenges for the Customs Union with Turkey’. Her recent publications include the book on the “Europeanisation of Public Policy in Southern Europe- Comparative Political Economy from the 2000s to the Crisis (Ed.in coll.Bolukbasi,Ertugal), Routledge; book chapters on “A reality Check to Migrant Entrepreneurship: The Case of German-Turkish Entrepreneurs” (forthcoming in 2016); “Europeanization of Trade Policy: an Asymmetric Track”; “Different Trajectories yet the Same Substance: Croatia and Turkey” (in coll. Aknur); “Comparison of Residence, Social Security and Citizenship Strategies of Turkish Return Migrants and Dutch Retirement Migrants in Turkey (in coll. Böcker)”; “Guests and Hosts: European Retirees in Coastal Turkey (in coll..Sudaş); “Europeanisation and Dynamics of Continuity and Change: Domestic Political Economies in the ‘Southern Periphery’” (in coll.Bolukbasi, Ertugal)

 

İlkay Südaş, İzmir Ege University
İlkay Südaş (M.A.-Ege University; PhD-Ege University in Izmir, Turkey) is an assistant professor at the Department of Geography, Ege University in Izmir. His main research interests include international migration, specifically retirement migration, lifestyle migration and cultural geography. He participated in research projects focusing on the EU citizens migrating to the holiday destinations located on the Aegean and Mediterranean coast of Turkey, such as Alanya, Antalya, Marmaris, Kuşadası and Ayvalık. His research focuses on the regional differences of EU immigrants in different destinations of coastal Turkey, their migration motivations, expectations and needs. His publications deal with migration process of the EU immigrants in different spots of Turkey. He has articles published in Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales (REMI), European Journal of Geography and Insight Turkey. Within the frame of the “rural lifestyle migration”, “spatial segregation” and “gated communities”, he is currently conducting a research project about a recent mobility trend of the urban elite, escaping from the metropolitan areas towards the periphery of cities in search of a higher life quality.

 

Saime Özçürümez, Visiting Scholar, CMES, Harvard University/Bilkent University
Saime Ozcurumez (Ph.D., McGill) is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Bilkent University (on leave 2015-2016). She conducts research and publishes on migration policy and politics in the European Union, Turkey, and Canada, health and immigration, gender and immigration, irregular immigration, integration and citizenship, media representation of migrants, comparative politics of deliberative democracy, and Europeanization research agenda. She has articles published in International Migration, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Turkish Studies, Comparative European Politics, Journal of Common Market Studies, Uluslararasi Iliskiler-International Relations, Women’s Studies International Forum and European Political Science. She is the co-editor of two books: Of States, Rights and Social Closure with Palgrave and Asylum, International Migration and Statelessness: Concepts, Theories and Politics (in Turkish, UNHCR publications). Her current research is on the resilience of health care systems in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon in response to mass influx of refugees from Syria.

 

Ulaş Sunata, Bahçeşehir University
Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology of the Bahçeşehir University (BAU); Director of the Center of Migration and Urban Studies (BAUMUS). She received her B.Sc. in Statistics and M.Sc. in Sociology from Middle East Technical University, Ankara. She was invited to be a visiting scholar in the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) in Germany for her work in migration studies and was awarded scholarships by DAAD and Hans-Böckler Foundation. Professor Sunata completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Osnabrück and joined the BAU academic staff in 2010. Professor Sunata has published numerous works in the fields of migration, globalization, diaspora, urbanization and gender studies including two books while in Germany. Her research deals with contemporary diasporas of Turkey and focuses on the complex migratory relationship between Turkey and Germany. Her recent work includes an oral-history project on the Circassian diaspora in Turkey. Since 2013, she has expanded her research towards developing and conducting academic projects about Syrian refugees. Her research method combines theoretical policy analysis with large-scale corpora and data-driven methodologies. Professor Sunata established the Center of Migration and Urban Studies (BAUMUS) in order to empower interdisciplinary teamwork and foster collaborative projects.

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Special pre-symposium event:

Transatlantic Security Symposium:
“Crossing Boundaries: Security and Migration in Europe”

28 April 2016
9:30-11:30am

Illini Union
General Lounge (Room 210)
1401 W Green St, Urbana, IL 61801

Speakers:
Ayhan Kaya, Istanbul Bilgi University
“Securitization of Migration and Islamization of Radicalism in the EU”
Maxime Larivé, University of Illinois
“Unstable Peripheries: Security and Strategic Challenges for the European Union”
Konstantinos Kourtikakis, University of Illinois
“Security in the European Union Neighborhood: The Role of Non-Governmental Organization Networks”

 

Organized by the Program in Arms Control & Domestic and International Security (ACDIS) and co-sponsored by the European Union Center at the University of Illinois.

 

Transatlantic Security Symposium poster is available here.

 

Previous Years’ Symposiums

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012