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Turkey: Research in a precarious political environment

Scholars sometimes fall into situations that move beyond their control and fall to the whims of politics. Building professional networks, traversing a new culture, educational system and language can provide certain obstacles to how you approach and navigate your research. When compounded by a rapidly changing political environment, such as in the Turkish context, it presents a grave challenge to your work and personal safety.

The last several years in Turkey were perhaps the most turbulent in recent memory. In particular, during 2016, the country suffered countless terror attacks, an attempted coup, imposition of a state of emergency and democratic reversal. As foreign and junior researchers, how do we navigate our studies, research and life under politically precarious environments? Join Tezcan Gümüş and Iain MacGillivray who were based in Turkey from 2015-2017 as they discuss and answer questions on their experiences studying and researching during a time of political, economic and social upheaval.

This lunchtime talk will take place on July 11 from 12:00pm – 1:30pm on Level 2, Building BC, Deakin University Burwood. You can view a campus map here. Please leave plenty of time to find a carpark as this event will take place in the first week of trimester 2 – the best place to find parking is the CP6 Multilevel carpark.

Please RSVP to mesf@deakin.edu.au by July 6 for catering purposes.

Speaker bios

Iain MacGillivray is a Middle East researcher and analyst. He lived and researched in Turkey from 2015 to 2017 graduating with a Masters in Middle East Studies from Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara. Iain also has graduated with a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne in 2014. His current research is on Turkey-Iranian relations in the post-Arab Spring period specifically looking at relations during the Syrian Crisis and the Iranian nuclear issue.

Tezcan Gumus is a PhD candidate at Deakin University. His work and research interests lie in contemporary Turkish politics, democratic theory and contemporary politics of democratisation, specifically the role of elites in shaping the nature of democracy. His doctoral thesis examines leaders in Turkish political history to better understand reasons behind Turkey’s inability to consolidate democracy. He spent 2016 in Turkey to conduct his fieldwork.

Download the flyer here