The activities of the “Contemporary Turkey” team revolve around several central research themes. One concerns the state, techniques of public action and the political space. It is mainly structured around the ANR-funded Transfaire project co-ordinated by Marc Aymes — itself a follow-up to the ANR-funded “Order and Compromise” research project. Among those involved are two postdoctoral fellows, Anouck Gabriela Côrte-Real Pinto and Sümbül Kaya. Meanwhile, many PhD students are also working on state and political transformations in contemporary Turkey: Tuğba Yıldırım on the institutionalization of the “Republic Day” under the Kemalist regime; Esra Elmas on Kurdish political figures; Lucie Drechselova on municipal reconfigurations under the Justice and Development Party (co-supervision with Charles University of Prague); İlknur Kurşunlugil on the way public and private sectors are interlinked economically and politically within the Istanbul metropolis; and Lorenzo Posocco on local museum policies in present-day Turkey. Since 2014 Sedat Ulugana has been working on both formal and informal local authorities and their relations with the central bureaucracy in early 20th-century Bitlis while Julien Boucly focuses on world heritage policies in provinces of Eastern Turkey.
A second field of research coalesces around the theme of violence in the 20th century. Within the framework of the “Margins” workshop, co-ordinated by Hamit Bozarslan, Nathalie Clayer, Benjamin Gourisse, Hans-Lukas Kieser, Bayram Şen, Matthieu Rey and Peter Sluglett aim to study the role of the margins — mainly but not exclusively understood as a space of radical dissidence — in the Ottoman Empire and in the post-Ottoman space. These works will lead to a publication in 2016. Two PhD students are also working within this framework: Adnan Çelik (under H. Bozarslan and Michel Naepels’ joint supervision) on violence in three Kurdish locations (Kulp, Lice, Silvan) in the 1990s; and Barış Tuğrul (in co-supervision with the University of the Basque Country) on Basque and Kurdish radical militancy from the 1970s onwards. Also working on the Kurdish space are PhD candidates Mélisande Genat, on Baathist developmental policies in Iraqi Kurdistan in the 1960s and 1970s, and Dimitri Deschamps, on the Lebanese business communities in the same region from the 2000s onwards.
The team’s third central research theme is nationalism in the broader sense of the term. As well as N. Clayer and B. Şen, who work on the Balkans and Balkan diasporas in Turkey, Emmanuel Szurek is conducting a study of the links between nationalism and linguistic issues. Five PhD students are also involved in studies on Turkish nationalism. Aurélie Stern is studying the impact of Azeri intellectuals and politicians on Turkish nationalism of the 1990s; Zeynep Bursa is carrying out a qualitative study of the Intellectuals’ Hearths (Aydınlar Ocağı) fellows in the 1970s; Béatrice Garapon (Sciences Po Bordeaux), jointly supervised by H. Bozarslan and Yves Deloye, is working on religious conservatism under the Democrat Party in the 1950s; Elif Becan focuses on the notion of the foreigner through the case study of Albanians in contemporary Turkey; Serdar Ay is interested in Kurdish periodicals; Lydia Zeghmar (Paris Ouest University), jointly supervised by Michael Houseman and M. Aymes, presently AMI fellow at Ifea, is studying dance and musical transmission activities in the provinces of Izmir and Aydın with a view to questioning the supposed national folklore tradition in Turkey.
The team’s fourth research theme pertains to social and religious history. Current works in this field are mainly carried out within the framework of the “Neoreligitur” ANR-DFG-funded project on new forms of religiosity in Turkey, in collaboration with the Orient-Institut in Istanbul. This project is co-ordinated by N. Clayer and Alexandre Toumarkine. Meanwhile François Georgeon is carrying out a study of Ramadan in Turkey while Gabrielle Angey focuses on Fethullah Gülen’s transnational movement in Africa.
Finally, three PhD students are currently working on non-Muslim minorities in Turkey: Hira Kaynar on the formation of a historical consciousness amongst the Armenians in Turkey and abroad; Anna Théodoridès on memory issues amongst the 1955 pogrom victims; and Duygu Tasalp (Inalco), under H. Bozarslan and Taline Ter Minassian’s joint supervision, on the Armenian genocide in the memoirs of the Committee of Union and Progress leaders.
Every year, the team hosts five to ten M.A. students working on Turkey. Furthermore, its members supervise about a dozen of Erasmus exchange students from Turkish universities visiting EHESS. The team also participates in training students from other French universities, such as Işıl Erdinç (Paris I), Marie Bossaert (École pratique des hautes études) or Sarah Guillemet (Sciences Po Bordeaux).
In 2015, the team will submit a joint research project in collaboration with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Galatasaray University.
The European Journal of Turkish Studies, supported by CETOBaC, publishes contributions by researchers from France, Europe and Turkey. Similarly, many of the team members maintain close relationships with Turkish, American or European universities working on contemporary Turkey.
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