11th Annual Turkish Studies Symposium

Turkey in the Aftermath of the Failed Coup Attempt

 

April 4, 2017

1:30 – 4:30 pm

Reception to follow

 

Levis Faculty Center
4th Floor
919 W Illinois St
[map]

 

Organized by:

Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center

European Union Center

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Co-sponsored by:

Center for Global Studies

Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities

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EUC, 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 grant.

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Symposium poster [click the image to enlarge]
For the PDF version of the poster, please click here.


SCHEDULE

 

1:30 – 1:35 pm            Welcoming Remarks
Colleen Murphy, Director, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program (WGGP); Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Illinois

 

1:35 – 2:15 pm            Turkey-EU Relations After the Failed Coup Attempt

Karol Kujawa, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey; Kosciuszko Senior Scholar, University of Illinois

 

2:15 – 2:55 pm             Has Turkey’s failed coup actually succeeded?

Mustafa Akyol, Turkish journalist and author; columnist for Al-Monitor; monthly contributing opinion writer for The New York Times; Senior Fellow at Freedom Project at Wellesley College

 

2:55 – 3:00 pm            Break

 

3:00 – 3:40 pm            What changed for women after Turkey’s failed coup attempt?

Riada Asimovic Akyol, PhD candidate at Galatasaray University in Istanbul; contributing writer for Al-Monitor

 

3:40 – 4:20 pm           The Challenge of Listening after the Attempted Coup

Denise Elif Gill, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Washington University in St. Louis

 

4:20 pm                        Concluding remarks


ABSTRACTS (in order of presentation):

 

Turkey-EU Relations After the Failed Coup Attempt” 

Karol Kujawa, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey; Kosciuszko Senior Scholar, University of Illinois

 

For over half a century Turkey has been striving to become an EU member. Nonetheless, the problem of serious democratic reforms which would bring Turkey closer to the Community was first taken up by an Islamic party AKP. In the first years of his government (2002-2007) in particular, a lot of democratic reforms in Turkey were carried out under the EU pressure. Yet, in the recent years the process of the implementation of democratic reforms has weakened. Especially after they failed the coup attempt, Turkish-European relations found themselves on the verge of collapse. Despite the declarations neither party does not believe in the ability to break the deadlock. The weakness as well as the limited scope of the EU-Turkish political dialogue resulted in a number of practical problems. Ultimately, negotiations found themselves in a vacuum and are close to breaking. However, both of sides need each other. The interruption of the integration process with Turkey could have very negative consequences for both sides: for Turkey could lead to economic crisis, while for EU could lead to increase in the threat of terrorism and the outbreak of another migration crisis. How we can overcome this deadlock, and how we can reinitiate the process of integration of Turkey with EU? 

 

Has Turkey’s failed coup actually succeeded?

Mustafa Akyol, Turkish journalist and author; columnist for Al-Monitor; monthly contributing opinion writer for The New York Times; Senior Fellow at Freedom Project at Wellesley College

 

On July 15, 2016, Turkey had one of the longest and bloodiest nights in its his history. A faction within the military launched a coup attempt, met with popular resistance, and ultimately failed. It was, for sure, a victory for democracy, since a democratically elected government has been saved from a military intervention. However, it took no time for the same government to initiate a nation-wide purge which targeted not just the putschists but also mere outspoken critics. Turkey’s “state of emergency,” in fact, has gradually proved as authoritarian as a military regime would probably be. Why Turkey, once a “model” of Muslim democracy, came to this point? And where it is heading? What does the April 16 referendum on a major constitutional amendment mean? Mustafa Akyol, Turkish journalist and author, will offer his observations

 

What changed for women after Turkey’s failed coup attempt?

Riada Asimovic Akyol, PhD candidate at Galatasaray University in Istanbul; contributing writer for Al-Monitor

 

On July 15, the Turks who bravely resisted against the military coup attempt included many women — some who gave their lives heroically to resist tanks and guns. They are now commemorated in Turkey, especially among the supporters of the government, as the “female martyrs” of Turkish democracy.

This is just one scene from the complexity of women’s reality in Turkey. Politics defines everything, including women. Pro-government women, most of whom are religious conservatives, feel empowered. They seem happy to have ended the dark days of “Old Turkey,” where the Islamic headscarf was banned in public institutions and thus made them feel like second class citizens. Meanwhile, other women, those in the opposition, think that their own “dark days” have begun and maybe the worst is yet to come. 

Besides politics, women’s real issues — such as domestic violence, glass ceilings, child brides, and more — remain, as attention and progress on those burning problems are very limited. There are only a handful of examples of concerted female effort to fight misogyny. Turks’ century-old political fight, sadly, overshadows almost everything else.       

 

The Challenge of Listening after the Attempted Coup

Denise Elif Gill, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Washington University in St. Louis

 

The sounds of the failed coup of last July have had long-lasting effects on Turks in urban cities unaccustomed to the acoustics of war.  Religious devotional recitations—especially the ezan call to prayer and the sela prayer—melded within militaristic cacophony and, eventually, the chants of protesters.  In this talk, I will demonstrate how the vast intersections of sounds in the attempted coup resonate from and may resurrect pre-Republic modalities of listening in times of violence.  The coup attempt engendered new structures of listening elucidating—and challenging—Turkey’s longstanding polarization between state secularism and the public practices of Sunni Islam.  Whole spectrums of listeners are attuned in new ways to resonances in the public sphere, intimately aware of the efficacies of sound, voice, silence, and silencing.  Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Istanbul during 2016, I attend to the intersections, comingling, and contradictions of emergent structures of listening in the wake of the failed coup.


SPEAKER BIOS (in alphabetical order)

 

Mustafa Akyol is a Turkish journalist and author. He is a columnist for Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East, and a monthly contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. His articles have also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian. He is the author of Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty (2011), and “The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims.” (2017).
Akyol is currently a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Freedom Project at Wellesley College.
His website: www.MustafaAkyol.org
His Twitter feed: @AkyolinEnglish

 

Riada Asimovic Akyol holds an undergraduate degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, a graduate degree from University of Buckingham and is currently a PhD candidate at Galatasaray University in Istanbul. Her thesis focuses on religion and politics in the Balkans through a critical reading of the Huntingtonian perspective of “clash of civilizations”. Writing and speaking on women, particularly Muslim women, has been another of her great intellectual interests and passions. Hence, since 2013, she has written on topics related to Islam, Turkey and women as contributing writer for Al-Monitor.com: The Pulse of the Middle East. Her pieces were also published in The New York Times, The Nation, Al Jazeera English, and The National (based in Dubai). 

 

Denise Elif Gill is an ethnomusicologist whose work focuses on sonic practices of Turkey and the land and seas formally under Ottoman control. Her research—based on over four years of ethnographic research—is foundationally grounded in careful consideration of sound and listening in relation to intersectionality, gender and sexualities, Islam, Sufi orders (especially the Mevleviyye), health, ableism, memory, and social justice. Dr. Gill is a recipient of the Ki Mantle Hood Award (2007), two Fulbrights (2007-8, 2008-09), a Sakip Sabancı International Research Award (2008), and a fellowship from the American Council for Learned Societies (ACLS). Her first book, Melancholic Modalities: Affect, Islam, and Turkish Classical Musicians (Oxford, 2017), interrogates the melancholies intentionally cultivated by present-day musicians who champion, teach, and perform Ottoman-Turkish classical musics. Introducing new methodologies of rhizomatic analysis and bi-aurality, Dr. Gill studies how musicians deploy sonic, affective melancholies as reparative and pleasurable formations of morality.  Her current research projects examine the distinct listening structures of death, loss, and migratory thresholds. As a kanun (trapezoidal zither) player, Dr. Gill has performed on radio and television programs and in concert halls in Turkey, the United States, and in multiple cities in Europe.

 

Karol Kujawa is an analyst specializing in the Middle East, Balkans and European Neighbourhood Policy. He obtained his Ph.D. from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Prior to his doctoral work, he was a fellow at the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh (USA), Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (France), University of Zagreb (Croatia), and Mersin University (Turkey). He used to work as a senior analyst on Turkey and the Balkans in the Polish Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw, a government think tank. He has been a lecturer at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Germany), Department of Asian Studies at Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland), and Gazikent University (Turkey). He has published more than 100 articles and has given numerous interviews for media. Currently, he is an assistant professor at the Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University and a Kosciuszko Foundation Fellow in the U.S. Since 2015 he serves as expert at the governmental research institution – National Science Agency in Poland. Kujawa is currently preparing a book-length study about Turkish-US relations.


Previous Years’ Symposiums

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012