Événements passés


The Syrian crisis and its effects on Turkey’s foreign policy

Sinan Ülgen (EDAM)
Galip Dalay (Oxford University, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow)

Since its foundation in 1923, the Turkish Republic has never encountered a regional security and political crisis as severe as the Syrian Civil War. Indeed, the Syrian crisis that erupted in the context of the Arab uprising ten years ago continues to have significant impacts on the neighboring countries, especially on Turkey that had a very privileged relationship with Damascus before the civil war.

 In terms of foreign policy, the impact of the Syrian crisis is the most serious one. Turkey has become increasingly torn between its traditional loyalty to the West and new security calculations precipitating a tilt to the East, namely a rapprochement with Russia, Iran, and even China. To what extent is the Syrian crisis a turning point in the Turkish foreign policy traditionally oriented toward the West? What are the other effects of the Syrian crisis on Turkish foreign policy? These are the main issues that will be developed in the 7th session of the joint seminar organized between Kadir Has University and the IFEA this month with two prestigious scholars: Sinan ÜLGEN and Galip DALAY.

Sinan Ülgen graduated in 1987 from the University of Virginia with a double major in computer sciences and economics. He undertook graduate studies at the College of Europe in Brugge, Belgium where he received, in 1990, a master’s degree in European economic integration. He then joined the Turkish Foreign Service as a career diplomat. In 1992, he was posted to the Turkish Permanent Delegation to the European Union in Brussels where he became part of the team that negotiated the Turkey-EU customs union. Ulgen is the founder and managing partner of Istanbul Economics. The consultancy specializes in market entry strategies for international companies, political and economic risk analysis related to Turkey and regulatory affairs. Ulgen is also the chairman of the Istanbul based think tank, Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM) and a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels. His research and opinion pieces have been published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Center for European Policy Studies, Center for European Reform, the Atlantic Council, German Marshall Fund, Brookings and the World Economic Forum as well as newspapers such as Le Figaro, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, European Voice, Project Syndicate and the International New York Times. He is also the co-author of a book on Turkey-EU relations with Kemal Dervis and a frequent commentator on Turkish affairs in the international press. Ulgen served on the academic advisory board member of the NATO Defence College in Rome. He was a member of the Europe Council of the World Economic Forum. He was also a member of the international policy experts group setup by the NATO Secretary General Rasmussen.

 Galip Dalay is the Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy, an associate fellow at Chatham House, and a doctoral researcher in the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford, and non-resident fellow at the Brookings Doha Center (BDC). His current research focuses on the question of regionalism, regional order and governance in the Middle East, Turkish politics, Turkish foreign policy, regional Kurdish politics, Middle Eastern politics, Turkish -Russian and history and politics of Turkish -Western/European relations, and history of post-colonial and post-imperial forms of internationalism. Dalay’s pieces and analysis have appeared on Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Project Syndicate,  Newsweek,  Le  Monde,  Al Jazeera, Open Democracy, Middle East Eye and The World Politics Review.

Interventions en anglais

Date de l'événement 15/04/2021 6:00 pm
Places: Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 0
The Ottoman constitutional rule and Evolution of the Law on Brigandage (Çeteler Kanunu): The Jovanovich Murder Case

Barış Zeren (chercheur indépendant/CETOBAC) 

Séance modérée par Denis Hermann (IFEA)

In December 1909, Ottoman police patrols in Bitola discovered the body of a certain Jovanovich who had been stabbed to death. Local Ottoman authorities launched a wave of operations in the town that resulted in the arrest of local Bulgarian notables for their involvement in the murder. The murder was considered a political crime –– a definition that placed the case within the framework of the Law on Brigandage, which was adopted as a provisional law bypassing the parliament. The local tension created a vortex drawing in provincial and central bureaucracies, the Ottoman parliamentarians as well as Macedo-Bulgarian political actors. This presentation aims to reconstruct the evolution of the case in its interaction with the new Ottoman political-legal sphere and to shed light on the implementation of the laws as well as on the power relations in an era marked by parliamentarism and discourse of Ottoman fraternity.
Barış Zeren is an independent researcher and associate member of CETOBAC, EHESS. He received his PhD in 2017 from Boğaziçi University and EHESS in which he studied the socio-political and judicial crisis of transition to the constitutional regime in the Ottoman Empire. He gave courses in Ottoman, Republican Turkey, and Russian history at Işık University and Boğaziçi University. His current research agenda includes the role of trans-imperial and underground networks in the development of the culture of constitutionalism within the period of 1848-1914 with a particular interest in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Intervention en anglais


Date de l'événement 12/04/2021 6:00 pm
Places: Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 0
Al-Jumhuriya (The Republic): a Syrian political and cultural electronic magazine

Karam Nachar, Historian, Executive Director and Editor of Al-Jumhuriya Collective

Séance modérée par Nouran Gad (IFEA) et Franck Mermier (IFEA)

The Al-Jumhuriya (Republic) website magazine was launched in March 2012 by a group of Syrian journalists, writers and intellectuals who support the democratic and secular ideals of the Syrian Revolution. The magazine publishes in-depth analyses and investigations on the social, political, economic and military situation in Syria and plays an important role in the development of investigative journalism and documentary literature by bringing out a new range of authors and styles. In 2020, the site's editorial staff created a weekly edition in order to strengthen the deciphering of events. The motto of the magazine "The world in Syria and Syria in the world" reflects both the international dimension of the Syrian tragedy and the transnational character and Syrian anchorage of Al-Jumhuriya.

The presentation will retrace in what circumstances and for what purposes this magazine was founded. It will therefore deal with the modalities of the formation of the collective that animates the site and will analyse the cultural and political functions of this review by highlighting its ethical, aesthetic, thematic and communicational choices. The presentation will focus on the transnational dimension of Al-Jumhuriya. through the location of the members of its editorial team in several countries and will give insights on the changing role of Istanbul in its evolution.

This webinar is part of a series of webinars on Arab Presence in Turkey and is co-organized with the research program aMiMo (Migrations and Mobilities) at IFEA.

Intervention en anglais

Date de l'événement 26/03/2021 6:00 pm
Places: Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 0
La face invisible de l’Amérique: le pays des libertés et de l’immigration

Seçil Paçacı Elitok

Cette conférence discutera des politiques d'immigration ayant eu un impact sur la politique et les récentes campagnes électorales américaines. Dans un premier temps, une brève présentation de la population immigrée aux États-Unis, de sa répartition et de son profil au niveau macroéconomique sera faite. Puis, seront résumées les politiques migratoires du Président Obama et du Président Trump de 2008 à aujourd'hui ; les différences et les similitudes au niveau du discours et de la pratique seront notamment comparées de manière critique. Après avoir abordé l'impact de ces politiques sur les immigrés, et analyser les divers soutien et oppositions des électeurs, la dernière partie de cette conférence discutera des engagements du Président Biden durant campagne électorale en matière de politique d’immigration et des attentes des électeurs lors de cette nouvelle période.

Seçil Elitok, est diplômée d’une licence au département d'économie  à l'Université de Marmara, et d’un doctorat à l'Université de l'Utah (USA) en 2008. Ses études post-doctorales se portent sur le domaine des migrations en tant que chercheuse Marie Curie à l'Institut d'économie internationale de Hambourg (HWWI). Après avoir été chercheuse au Istanbul Policy Center en 2012, elle est revenu en Turquie terminer son projet de recherches sur “ le rôle de la migration dans les relations Turquie-UE ”. Entre 2014-2016, elle a travaillé en tant que chercheuse au Centre de recherche sur les migrations à l'Université de Koç (MireKoç) dont son projet portait sur les femmes immigrées africaines à İstanbul (LeFAMSol). Après avoir obtenu son titre de professeur sur les relations entre la Turquie et l’Union européenne, elle immigra au Etats-Unis en 2016 avec son conjoint et ses deux enfants. Elle est chercheuse au Wayne State University Center for the Study of Citizenship (CSC) et maîtresse de conférences au Michigan State University Center for European, Russian and Euroasian Studies (CERES). Ses thèmes de recherche sont les relations UE-Turquie, la gestion des migrations dans l'UE, la migration de retour, le transfert possible des droits des migrants dans les accords bilatéraux de sécurité sociale, les envois de fonds, la migration de main-d'œuvre qualifiée, le genre et la migration, l’économie migratoire et la politique d'immigration. Elle a donné des cours sur l'immigration et l'intégration à l'Université de Hambourg, de l'Utah et à l'université Sabanci. Elle donne actuellement des cours à l'Université d'Oakland sur le Moyen-Orient et la migration.

Intervention en turc

Date de l'événement 25/03/2021 6:00 pm
Places: Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 1
Turkey and Iran: Liquid Alignment and Regional Balances

Salih Bıçakcı (Kadir Has University) and Bayram Sinkaya (Yıldırım Beyazıt University)

Iran and Turkey have been competing for regional power projection in the Middle East for almost centuries. Current developments, noticeably in Syria and Iraq are the new scenes of cooperation and competition schemes between these two actors. Both parties sought a solution through cooperation to find a peaceful end to the conflict in the Astana talks, while also at the same time confronting each other in Idlib province via proxies. This simultaneity of competition, cooperation, and confrontation that has been reinforced in the Syrian Crisis present a picture of a relationship that is riddled with contradictions and is in effect a paradox.

The question that must be asked is, how can we understand this puzzle of competition, cooperation, and confrontation in Turkish–Iranian relations in the Syrian Crisis but not only, even in the Caucasus and in the larger Middle East.  Historical and contemporary research brings in discussions on the longue durée, narratives, domestic constraints, and, most importantly the international factors which can help to decipher this intellectual puzzle. Moreover, the ‘relationality’ of each country’s policies in Syria combined with historical regard on the mutual perception can help unlock the puzzle of the Turkish–Iranian relationship in Eurasia and the Middle East, and provide insight into the debate surrounding the diverging Turkish and Iranian policies in the Syrian crisis.

Dr. Salih Bıçakcı is Associate Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. He completed his B.A. on History at Marmara University Education Faculty in 1994, and his M.A. at Marmara University Turkic Research Institute in 1996. Bıçakcı received his PhD from Tel Aviv University in Israel in 2004. Dr. Bıçakcı began his academic career at Işık University and took part in numerous academic projects on identity, security and terrorism. He has thought classes in several national and international universities on the Middle East in International Politics, International Security, International Relations Theory and Turkish Foreign Policy. He has made evaluations and presentations on cyber security at the NATO Defense Against Terrorism Centre of Excellence (COEDAT), NATO Command and Control Centre of Excellence (C2COE) and NATO Maritime Security Centre of Excellence. He has though Cyber Security and Middle Eastern Security courses at the Armed Forces Academy of the Turkish War College. He has presented on international security and cyber security in several international academic conferences.

Bayram Sinkaya is Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations in the Faculty of Political Science at Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Ankara. He received his PhD from Middle East Technical University, Ankara. He has been a Visiting Researcher at Columbia University (2007-2008). His research interests include Iranian politics, Iran’s foreign and security policies, Middle Eastern politics and the Turkish foreign policy. He is the author of The Revolutionary Guards in Iranian Politics: Elites and Shifting Relations (NY: Routledge, 2015).

Intervention en anglais

Date de l'événement 10/03/2021 6:00 pm
Places: Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 0
Le pèlerinage de l’Arba‘in à Karbala, un fait social total

Sabrina Mervin (CNRS, CéSor)

Chaque année, des millions de chiites viennent du monde entier pour effectuer le pèlerinage (ziyara) de l’Arba‘in à Karbala, en Irak. Ils célèbrent ainsi la fin du deuil pour Hossein, leur troisième imam, qui connut le martyre lors de la bataille de Karbala, en 680, avec ses proches et ses compagnons. Les rescapés furent capturés et emmenés à Damas pour comparaître devant le calife Yazid qui les fit relâcher ; ils repartirent pour Karbala avec la tête de de Hossein, afin de l’enterrer près de son corps. C’est ce « retour de la tête » que commémore la marche des pèlerins vers Karbala. Ils affluent pendant une dizaine de jours et sont reçus par des groupes (mawkib) qui leur fournissent de multiples services : distribution d’eau, de nourriture, hébergement, soins, etc. Sur les routes, en ville, des représentations rappellent le drame, des processions et des performances le rejouent. Plus on se rapproche des sanctuaires, plus la foule et dense et plus la ferveur religieuse est intense.

Historienne et anthropologue, Sabrina Mervin est directrice de recherche au CNRS, affectée au CéSor (Centre d’études en sciences sociales du religieux). Ses travaux se concentrent sur l’islam chiite contemporain, en particulier les autorités religieuses et les pratiques rituelles, ainsi que sur la transmission du savoir en islam.

Elle développe aussi des projets en anthropologie visuelle et prépare un documentaire sur le pèlerinage de l’Arba‘in à Karbala.

Parmi ses publications :

Sabrina Mervin, Histoire de l'islam. Fondements et doctrines, Flammarion (« Champs »), 2016.

Sabrina Mervin, Yasser Tabbaa et Erick Bonnier (photographies), Najaf, The Gate of Wisdom : History, Heritage and Significance of the Holy City of the Shi’a, Unesco Publishing, 2014.

Sabrina Mervin, Un réformisme chiite. Ulémas et lettrés du Jabal ‘Âmil de la fin de l’Empire ottoman à l’indépendance du Liban, Karthala, 2000.

Intervention en français



Date de l'événement 03/03/2021 6:00 pm
Places: Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 0
Arab Presence in Turkey/ présences arabes en Turquie

Seda Altuğ (The Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History), Philippe Bourmaud (Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes), Olof Heilo (Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul), Franck Mermier (IFEA), Alexis Wick (American University of Beirut)

Beyond the field of expertise in international relations and political science which focuses on the stakes and consequences of AKP's policy vis-à-vis the Arab region, particularly since 2011, the study of the "Arab fact" in Turkey requires the constitution of a particular "place of knowledge" to relay and develop its own dynamics. One of the characteristics of this subject study is that it subverts the boundaries of area studies by highlighting complex contextualisation processes which cannot be apprehended from a single cultural area. By bringing together several teaching and research institutions, this seminar on Arab Presence in Turkey intends to give visibility to current research, to integrate it into the wider academic debate, and to initiate a multidisciplinary dialogue between researchers.

Interventions en anglais

Date de l'événement 26/02/2021 5:00 pm
Date de fin 26/02/2021 7:00 pm
Places: Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 0
Scholar-Bureaucrats and the Making of the Early Modern Ottoman Empire: Bearers of Authority, Legitimacy, and Expertise

Abdurrahman Atçil (Université Sabanci)

Séance modérée par Denis Hermann (IFEA)

In the pre-modern Ottoman Empire, a large group of Muslim scholars, specialists of Islamic religious knowledge, constituted a significant branch of the Ottoman bureaucracy. In addition to participating in the transmission of religious knowledge and providing religious guidance, these scholars acted as the agents of the sultans’ government, serving as judges, financial officials, administrative investigators, diplomats, etc. They pursued a career in government service, climbing up a ladder of hierarchically organized positions with regular promotions. The functions they fulfilled and the form of their relationship with the government distinguished these scholars from their predecessors and their contemporary colleagues. They were a unique group, and deserve a unique label: “scholar-bureaucrats.”

Muslim scholars traditionally claimed the moral authority in the Islamic world and usually esteemed independence from the ruling authorities. For this reason, their incorporation into the government was a significant development. It was a gradual process and had many ups and downs and turning points. From the second half of the fifteenth century, many factors, such as the construction of largescale educational complexes, the institutionalization of the state, international developments, and scholars’ increasing desire to participate in the government, dynamically interacted and brought about the rise of the group of scholar-bureaucrats.

The special position of scholar-bureaucrats was one of the distinctive characteristics of the early modern Ottoman Empire. Scholar-bureaucrats contributed legal and administrative expertise to the Ottoman government. They also helped the Ottomans to acquire and strengthen their legitimacy. Last but not least, the presence of scholar-bureaucrats hindered the rise of a body of religious authorities, with parallel and competing claims to those of the government. 

Abdurrahman Atçıl is an associate professor of history at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago in 2010. Before joining Sabancı University in 2020, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Law School and as an assistant professor and associate professor at Queens College of the City University of New York and Istanbul Şehir University.

In terms of research, Dr. Atçıl is particularly interested in questions of law, religion, and politics in the early modern Ottoman Empire. His first book, Scholars and Sultans in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire, details Muslim scholars’ transition from independent and cosmopolitan actors to scholar-bureaucrats. His other published work is devoted to addressing issues, such as the Ottoman-Safavid conflict, scholarly mobility and theology and philosophy in the Islamic legal tradition.

Dr. Atçıl is currently working on two projects: The first, funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey-Career Development Grant, uses social-network-analysis technologies to examine the professional and intellectual networks of over 750 high-level Ottoman scholar-bureaucrats in the period 1470–1650. The second, funded by European Research Council-Consolidator Grant, investigates the formation of law in the Ottoman Empire between 1450 and 1650. Examining the religio-legal opinions (fetva) of scholars and decrees of sultans (kanun), it aspires to develop a model of lawmaking that will account for diversity and change in early-modern societies.

Intervention en anglais

Date de l'événement 15/02/2021 6:00 pm
Places: Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 0
Turkey and Europe: Issues and Challenges

In a recent comment, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey desires to “turn a new page in its relations with the EU in the new year,” in a message addressed to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden. According to him, the new year would offer a positive atmosphere in terms of new cooperation not only in the field of migration as was the case since the signature of a deal between the two sides in 2016. There is a desire in Turkey to update the Customs Union, to get visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, and to reopen the membership negotiation.

In the same statement, the Turkish presidency said that “mutual trust should be restored” between Turkey and Europe but at the same time reproaching some European member states with “creating caprices” that creates artificial problems.

Last year, tensions between the EU and Turkey escalated around different issues such as the Eastern Mediterranean crisis, the situation in Syria, and the Nagorno Karabagh, among others.

The announcement made by Erdogan coincides with the presidency of Joe Biden that promises to have some impact on the Middle East, Turkey, and Europe. To what extent there is a correlation between Turkey’s change of tone vis à vis Europe and the departure of Donald Trump from the White House? Does the new US presidency offer good chances to resolve the numerous crises that exist between and Europe? To discuss the various challenges and issues between Turkey and Europe, we have invited to our seminar two prominent scholars, Sinem Nas and Sinem Akgül Açikmese.

  • Çiğdem Nas from Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi, is an Associate Professor of International Relations and the Secretary-General of the Economic Development Foundation. She is a graduate of the Political Science Department of Boğaziçi University and received her Master’s degree on European Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She completed her PhD on Politics and International Relations of the EU at the Marmara University EU Institute and worked at the same Institute as a researcher and assistant professor between 1994 and 2007. She is a lecturer at the Yildiz Technical University since 2007 and has also been working since that date at the Economic Development Foundation which is an NGO dedicated to Turkey’s EU integration. Her research interests cover the European Union, European integration, European politics and Turkey and EU relations.
  • Sinem Akgül Açıkmeşe is a Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University (KHAS). She was a Jean Monnet fellow at LSE (2001-02), Turkish Academy of Sciences fellow (2002-08) and visiting PhD student at LSE (2005-06) in support of her research on EU foreign and neighborhood policies specifically from a security perspective, European integration, enlargement and Turkey-EU relations. Prof. Açıkmeşe has a teaching experience on EU studies of about 15 years, at various institutions including Ankara University and TOBB-University of Economics and Technology on a full-time capacity before she joined KHAS. She has expertise in running EU-funded projects and she is the academic coordinator at KHAS for overseeing the mobility under Erasmus+ and partnerships with various European universities. She is the academic coordinator of this module, responsible for providing perfection in teaching.

Interventions en anglais

Date de l'événement 10/02/2021 6:00 pm
Places: Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 0
Présentation d'ouvrage: " Le théâtre du patrimoine. L'artisan, le maire et le touriste à Istanbul "

Muriel Girard

Quel rapport entre un artisan, un touriste et son guide, et un maire ? Tous sont des acteurs de la scène patrimoniale, dont la péninsule historique d’Istanbul constitue ici le cadre. L’étude de ce qui s’y joue, entre tourisme, pratiques artisanales et patrimonialisation, éclaire d’un jour nouveau les logiques du changement social et des mutations urbaines.
Croisant entretiens, observations, cartographie et sources écrites, les enquêtes de terrain révèlent en effet les diverses manières, parfois contradictoires, de catégoriser l’artisanat, ainsi que les multiples recompositions sociales, spatiales et identitaires qui en résultent.
Invitant les artisans, d’ordinaire silencieux, à prendre la parole, ce livre leur donne une place comme acteurs de la cité, et offre ainsi une approche originale de la fabrique du patrimoine dans la ville.

Intervention en français


Date de l'événement 08/02/2021 6:00 pm
Places: Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 1

Conférences en ligne

Installé dans les locaux du drogmanat du Palais de France (ancienne Ambassade de France auprès de la Sublime Porte), l'Institut français d'études anatoliennes "Georges Dumézil" a succédé en 1975 à l'institut français d'archéologie d'Istanbul fondé en 1930. À l'origine orienté vers l'histoire ancienne et l'archéologie, il a ensuite étendu ses activités à la turcologie (linguistique et histoire ottomane en particulier). Il a commencé à s'ouvrir au contemporain à la fin des années 1980, notamment avec la mise en place d'un Observatoire Urbain d'Istanbul (OUI). En 1994, l'IFEA a créé un Centre d'études caucasiennes. En 2003, ce centre s'est délocalisé à Bakou où l'IFEA possède désormais une antenne, installée au sein de l'Ambassade de France en Azerbaïdjan. En 2005 a été mis sur pied un Observatoire de la vie politique turque (OVIPOT). L'IFEA fait partie du réseau des vingt-sept instituts de recherche en sciences humaines et sociales dépendant de la Sous-Direction de la coopération scientifique, universitaire et de la recherche du Ministère des Affaires étrangères. Les études y concernent un vaste territoire, qui s'étend des confins orientaux de l'Europe aux abords de l'Asie centrale. Elles s'inscrivent dans une chronologie longue, allant de la préhistoire aux grands Empires, et de la naissance des États-nations aux redéfinitions identitaires d'aujourd'hui.C'est dire que l'IFEA offre un profil très diversifié, propice aux échanges entre disciplines : les sciences humaines et sociales (anthropologie, démographie, géographie, histoire, sociologie, science politique et économique, voire musicologie) y voisinent avec les techniques de l'archéologie et du classement et de l'analyse des textes écrits. Établissement à compétence régionale, l'Institut développe des programmes couvrant le Caucase et les Balkans.L'IFEA est présent sur le portail Persée pour ses publications archéologiques : http://www.persee.fr/collection/anatvet diffuse ses collections contemporaines sur Open Edition : http://books.openedition.org/ifeagd/ Institut Français d'Études Anatoliennes Georges Dumézil