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  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: As one of Syria’s neighbors, Turkey has become a refuge for more than 3.5 million forced Syrian migrants. Though many of them are living in Turkey’s border cities, in or around the refugee camps, many others have already dispersed to other cities. Among these cities, Istanbul has the largest Syrian community. Drawing on a qualitative field work in Istanbul’s neighborhoods, this study explores the Syrian migration to Istanbul and reports the attitudes towards this movement of the local neighborhood and village headmen, known as muhtars in the Turkish local administrative system. As the study shows, their attitudes towards forced Syrian migrants are paradoxical, marked both by feelings of disturbance, worry and uneasiness, and at the same time welcome and support. The study concludes by discussing historical and cultural reasons for these paradoxical attitudes by relating them to the understanding of hospitality in Turkish society to show how socio-psychological explanations of attitude formation towards Syria’s forced migrants seem more appropriate.
  • Topic: Migration, Regional Cooperation, United Nations, Diaspora, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Istanbul, Syria, Ankara
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: In 2015 the forced displacement of Syrians entered a new phase with the sharp rise in the numbers of refugees arriving at Europe’s shores mainly through the Eastern Mediterranean route. Grabbing widespread media and public attention, this unprecedent refugee influx and its surrounding events are commonly dubbed as ‘Europe’s refugee crisis’, which as some scholars highlight, is a ‘re-contextualised’ version of already existing processes of politicisation and mediatisation of immigration. This paper intends to contribute to the debate on ‘mediatisation of refugee crisis’ by giving an insight on the role of Turkish media in telling its readers what to think about the ‘refugee crisis’ during this period of particular significance. The paper relies on a content analysis of front-page articles from three Turkish newspapers (Birgün, Hürriyet and Yeni Akit) between July and November 2015. By limiting our analysis to ‘small data’, we look closely how these newspapers on different sides of the political spectrum react to the spread of the refugee crisis to Europe and its implications on Turkey. We highlight the type of coverage and the definition of issues in this particular media content. Overall, we find that the highly mediatised coverage of the Aylan Kurdi incident triggered a significant discursive shift as it has in other national contexts. While all the three newspapers –regardless of ideological stance– were responsive to the spread of the refugee crisis into Europe, news coverage about topics such as socio-economic vulnerabilities of refugees, issues of legal status and social integration in the domestic context was minimal within our period of analysis. We also assert that the way the three newspapers frame the ‘refugee crisis’ especially in relation to domestic or foreign politics shows significant variation. While we find that issues related to border security and border violations received the most intense coverage during the analysis period, we highlight that the coverage is embedded in a humanitarian narrative rather than a security narrative.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Mass Media, Diaspora, European Union, Media, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Zeynep Gonca GİRGİN
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: The category of world music is a new genre-title created by that latest embodiment of globalization, the glocal (global-local) market in the music industry. The increase in the power of the world music market in late 1980's and the popularization of the Romani musician as an identity in that regard plays an important role in the popularization of the 9/8 Romani dance tune both in Turkey and in the Balkans sound. The Gypsy-Romani themed films in the last quarter century by Emir Kusturica and Tony Gatlif, the Gypsy-Romani music festivals held in Europe and North America, and the increase in the Romani instrumentalist and performer productions in the Balkans popular music market; also, the rise in the scientific and artistic interest in the academia show the emphasis on both the distinctive and the European identity of the Gypsies, while supporting the new political economic conditions. This article critically reviews the popularization process of Turkish Roma musicians and musics in the world music industry via correlation with Balkan territories.
  • Topic: Globalization, Culture, Music
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia, Balkans
  • Author: Farkhad Alimukhamedov, Laurent A. Lambert, Hisham Bin Hashim
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: The international migrant crisis made headlines during summer 2015 and challenged the national asylum systems of many countries worldwide. Going beyond academic circles, hot debates on migrants and the role of asylum highlighted the gap and paradoxes that exist between claimed values of solidarity on the one hand, and the restrictive policies and regulations towards asylum seekers on the other hand. This paper documents this tension in oil and gas exporting states, particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Central Asian Republics (CAR). It questions the claimed regional, ethnic and/or religious ties and the borders that have been closed to most asylum seekers from Syria and Afghanistan, who are presently living in poorer (oil and gas deprived) neighboring countries. This paper argues that in a time of low oil revenues and fiscal difficulties, rentier states give priority to the Raison d’Etat over any form of transnational solidarity and commitment to international human rights agreements and charters. New and creative institutional arrangements are needed to deal with the global refugee crisis, as traditional solidarities are, in both regions as well as in other rentier countries, victims of the modernization of politics and its uncaring redefinition of state interest in times of low oil revenues.
  • Topic: Migration, Oil, United Nations, Refugees, Gas, transnationalism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Rakibe Külcür
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the gendered organisational practices of Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations (ENGOs) in the United Kingdom (UK) and Turkey and the possible outcomes of these practices on gender compositions in senior roles. Since gender is an important element in organisations, it is expected to have implications for policies of ENGOs. The research on which this paper is based was undertaken as part of a Ph.D. which examined the gendered nature of ENGOs in Turkey and the UK. The research revealed how and why ENGOs are gendered especially in positions of power and influence. This is an important question because of pressure groups’ influence on environmental decision-making, and yet it has largely been neglected until now. This research revealed that while the ENGO sector is dominated by young single middle-class female employees, white, middle class men are in charge of the decision-making. It showed that the ENGOs reflect the rest of the society and its dominant patriarchal values. The research concluded that gender-biased working practices such as culture of long working hours, lack of formal recruitment and promotion procedures and short-term contract work relations limit career progression of women. This is due to the gendered roles and the traditional division of work in society (the gender division of labour), where triple workload of women remains invisible as a result of patriarchal and capitalist relations existing in both societies.
  • Topic: Environment, Gender Issues, Women, Feminism, NGOs
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: H. Işıl Alkan
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: In line with the recognition of the significance of women in the path to development, various countries have sought to increase female labor market participation over the past decades. While many European countries have been successful, numerous Asian countries have failed. The purpose of this study is to compare the patterns of female employment in three Asian countries since the 1990s including India, South Korea, and Turkey and to discover the main determinants of the issue. Female employment is a multidimensional concept that should be evaluated from cultural, economic and political perspectives. The study thus adopts a broad perspective containing cultural, economic and political factors in different nations.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Culture, Women, Employment, Economic structure, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, India, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Sevgi BALKAN-ŞAHİN
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: The Doha Ministerial Declaration on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and Public Health adopted in November 2001 clarified the right to use the TRIPS flexibilities to promote public health. Examining the hegemonic struggle of opposing social forces from a neo-Gramscian perspective, the paper attributes this outcome to the strategy of trasformismo used by market-oriented social forces to legitimize the policies of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and prevent resistance against the market-driven TRIPS Agreement. It argues that although non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, Third World Network, and Oxfam worked as a counter-hegemonic force to ensure the access of least developed countries to generic versions of patented drugs, flexibilities confirmed by the Doha Declaration can be seen more as a strategy of trasformismo to absorb counter-hegemonic ideas than the counter-hegemonic groups’ successful incorporation of the right to ensure public health into the TRIPS Agreement.
  • Topic: Health, World Trade Organization, Hegemony, Health Care Policy, NGOs, Public Health
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Gül ARIKAN AKDAĞ
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: Since its first incumbency after the 2002 general elections Turkish politics has witnessed considerable changes in the policies of the AKP in economic and political realms. Academics have tried to understand the nature and possible causes of these policy changes mostly focusing on the electoral concerns. This study provides a different dimension to the debate by focusing on the party organization as a possible dynamic preventing / enabling this kind of a policy change. As such, it relates the policy changes of the AKP to the changes in the inner structure of the party organization. This kind of change is tracked through the analysis of the social and political backgrounds of the members of the party's main decision organ-the Central Decision and Administrative Committee.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Political structure, State Building
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia, Ankara
  • Author: Laura Navarro
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: This article tries to contribute to one of the most relevant debates within the framework of current Gender Studies and feminist activism: the debate dealing with feminism and religions. The aim is to provide these reflexions with some theoretical elements that help us to better understand some of the complex issues of this field, such as the meaning of considering secular feminism as the only acceptable feminist model, and the possibilities of building one feminist movement that takes into account all the diversity of women's needs, wishes and oppressions. The author goes in depth these questions through the analysis of the "Islamic feminism", which takes an element as the religion (historically discarded by the European hegemonic feminism) as its starting point. Firstly, the article puts it in context by analysing "new feminist currents from the margins" that, in the eighties, started to question the ethnocentric and classist visions of an hegemonic feminism that concentrated their struggles on the concerns and interests of western, white, secular and middle class women, leaving aside the specific claims of other women's profiles. Afterwards, the article goes deep into the characteristics shared by the different Islamic feminist movements, its areas of work as well as its main purposes. Finally, it highlights some of the most important Muslim feminist thinkers and activists emerged in recent decades in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Religion, Discrimination, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: David Hunter
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: This paper presents an overview of the current state of global environmental governance with an eye toward highlighting the challenges that are presented by the scale and speed of environmental change that we are now witnessing. The scale of anthropogenic environmental change has led to what many now dub the Anthropocene - reflecting that humanity is changing our natural planetary systems in ways that have fundamental implications on a geologic scale. It also harkens in an era when humanity will be called on to consciously manage on a planetary level massive environmental change and the economic and social impacts that arise from this change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America