MIGRADEMO Workshop Series: A Snapshot from Turkey

The MIGRADEMO research team has conducted fieldwork in Morocco, Romania, and Turkey, including semi-structured interviews and household surveys. As part of our dissemination activities, we have organised a series of country-level workshops in Ifrane, Bucharest, and Istanbul with local actors, survey companies, and academics supporting our research on the field in order to thank them and provide them with an update on the progress of our study. These events aim to communicate some preliminary findings to the local audience and gather valuable feedback and input from them. 

Our third and last workshop, focused on the Turkish case study, was hosted by Bilgi University and the European Institute (Istanbul) on May 23. The event encompassed two sessions, where our research team presented a selection of our initial findings and engaged in fruitful conversations with local academics.   

During the first session, Dr Eva Østergaard-Nielsen (PI) and Dr Deniz Pelek presented an overview of our findings. They discussed the results of the household surveys and qualitative interviews conducted in Konya and Uşak and explained how migration influenced the political attitudes and behaviours of members of Parliament. The speech also delved into the process of gathering access to the field, highlighting the invaluable support provided by Dr Ahyan Kaya and the European Institute in this endeavour. After the presentation, Dr Ahyan Kaya, who served as the main discussant for the session, opened the floor and facilitated an insightful exchange of views among participants. 

The second session featured Dr Deniz Pelek and Dr Ayşen Üstübici, who presented recent and ongoing research projects. As a former post-doc and current collaborator in the MIGRADEMO project, Dr Deniz Pelek outlined the results of her forthcoming article on Turkish returnees involved in civil society organisations and their transnational links. During her presentation, Dr Ayşen Üstübici, who is an Assistant Professor at Koç University, focused on future aspirations of highly skilled workforce in Turkey and access to information through digital space. The presentations were followed by an interesting Q&A session, during which participants offered constructive feedback to each speaker and discussed possible intersections between the research trajectories outlined. 

The workshop gave rise to interesting discussions among participants, which mostly focused on the impact of social and financial remittances and the methodological challenges of implementing a research project on democratic diffusion in Turkey.   

Eager to follow up on such fruitful conversations in the future, we would like to express our gratitude to all those who joined the event and shared their perspectives and ideas with us. Your contributions enriched the debate and provided valuable insights to help us digest the preliminary findings of our research. We also thank Bilgi University, the European Institute, Dr Ayhan Kaya, Didem Balatliogullari, Roberta Maria Aricò and the speakers for making this event possible.