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Archive for the ‘CHANGING TURKEY IN MEDIA’ Category

Date: 13 July 2016 (Wednesday)

Venue: Istanbul Kemerburgaz University (Mahmutbey campus)

We invite doctoral  students to present their research in International Relations, Political Science and Public Administration in a friendly and motivating atmosphere. At the end of the presentations, there will be a roundtable organized by Assoc. Prof. Alper Kaliber, Assist. Prof. Tolga Demiryol, Assist. Prof. Aslı Yılmaz Uçar, Assist. Prof. Tuba Turan and Assist. Prof. Didem Buhari Gulmez, which will give the opportunity to discuss several key issues such as (1) publishing in internationally recognized journals and book series; (2) preparing national and international research projects; and (3) pursuing academic research abroad as doctoral or postdoctoral fellows.

All PhD students  in International Relations, Political Science and Public Administration at Turkish Universities are welcome. Presentations can be made in either Turkish or English. There is no participation fee. Participants are responsible of their own expenses. There will be refreshments.

Please send your short abstract proposals (max. 200 words) to didem.buhari@kemerburgaz.edu.tr by 1st July.

The call in Turkish is available here: Kolokyum İKBU

200px-İstanbul_Kemerburgaz_Üniversitesi_logosu

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Dr. Deniz Karaoglan got her B.A and M.A degrees from Bilkent University Economics Department in 2007 and 2009 respectively. She got her Ph.d degree from Middle East Technical University in September 2015. She worked as teaching and research assistant in Bilkent University,karaoglan Yasar University, Hacettepe University and Middle East Technical University between 2007 and 2015. Now, she is working as part-time instructor in Middle East Technical University, Economics Department. She is expected to work as post-doctoral research associate in the University of York, UK, beginning from March 2016. Her main interests are health economics, education economics, microeconometrics, labor economics, applied microeconomic theory, time series and international economics. Dr. Karaoglan has publications on female labor force participation and international economics in SSCI journals.

The relationship between health and education has been examined widely in the literature. The association between health and education is simply called  “education gradient of health”. Grossman (1972) is one of the earliest papers that provide formal explanations of the observed differences in health outcomes by education. Recent studies which examine the validity of education gradient of health include Eide and Showalter (2011), Brunello et al. (2015), Kemptner et al. (2011), Fonseca and Zheng (2011), Silles (2009), Cutler and Llearas Muney (2010), Grossman(2008), Conti et al. (2010), Arendt (2005), Llears-Muney (2005) and Adams (2002). All of these studies find positive association between the individual’s health outcome and education level. The possible mechanisms for the positive relationship between health and education can be listed as follows: First, education results in greater access to health care. Second, since educated people have better jobs they work in safer environments, they are provided with better health insurance. Third, education offers better futures, thus, the individuals are more likely to invest in their health to protect that future. Finally, more educated people are better informed, hence, they make use of new health related information first.  (Cutler and Llears Muney, 2010). The relationship between individual’s health outcome and education level is examined widely for developed countries. However, there is less evidence on this issue for developing countries. The aim of this study is to examine the causal relationship between health and education in Turkey which is a middle-income, developing country.

In this study, a descriptive analysis is provided in order to test the validity of the education gradient of health in Turkey for the individuals who are above 25 years of age since approximately at age 25 individuals complete their schooling in Turkey.  By restricting the sample to individuals who are 25 or over it is expected to circumvent the problem of individuals who have not yet completed their education. For the analysis,  the Turkish Health Survey (THS) is pooled for the years 2008, 2010 and 2012 prepared by Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT).  THS is a rich micro data set which consists of 46,473 observations for the three years for individuals 25 and over. The pooled sample consists of 21,015 observations for men and 25,458 observations for women. Individual’s Self-Assessed Health Status (SAH), smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity and the usage of preventative health care services are used as the health outcomes throughout the analysis.

Figure 1. How do the individuals above 25 feel themselves in Turkey?

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Figure 2. SAH and Education Level in Turkey

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Figure 1 reflects that 59.28 per cent of the individuals who are 25 years old or older report that their health statuses are good or very good in Turkey. Figure 2 suggests that in Turkey the prevalence of reporting very good and good health is highest among the individuals who have university or higher degree. It is observed that observe that the frequency of reporting very poor and poor health is highest among the illiterate individuals. The figure clearly reflects the fact that higher levels of education lead to increase in the frequency of reporting very good and good health and they lead to decrease in the occurrence of reporting very poor and poor health. Therefore, the descriptive statistics indicate the positive association between SAH and education level in Turkey.

Smoking is one of the most harmful health behaviors. Regular smokers are in great risk for cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease and several types of cancer (Stewart et al., 2009; Chalupka and Warner, 2000). In THS data set smoking does not imply tobacco consumption only. It also includes other types of tobacco products such as cigars. An individual is defined as smoker if he/she reports that he/she has been a regular smoker and he/she currently smokes.

Figure 3. Prevalence of Smoking by Education Level in Turkey

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Figure 3 reveals that probability of being smoker rises with education levels at the bottom education degrees and the prevalence of smoking is the highest among middle school graduates. However, the ratio of smoking decreases if the individual has higher degrees than middle school. It is observed that the ratio of the individuals who report that they are regular smokers decreases to 30.42 per cent among the university graduates. Therefore, it is possible to state that the awareness of dangers of smoking increases with higher education levels.

According the OECD (2014) Health Data set, only 1.4 per cent of adult population in Turkey consumes alcohol. This amount is very low compared to other OECD countries. The low percentage of alcohol consumption in Turkey is most probably due to religious traditions which prohibit alcohol consumption. Similarly, in THS the proportion of daily alcohol drinkers is very low, less than one percent  (0.5 per cent, 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent in 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively). In order to capture the variation in alcohol consumption, the daily and occasional alcohol drinkers are combined and call them as “alcohol drinkers” in our analysis. In other words, an individual is referred as alcohol drinker if the individual states that he/she currently consumes alcohol regularly or occasionally.

Figure 4. Prevalence of Alcohol Consumption by Education Level in Turkey

karaoglan_4

Figure 4 reveals that the occurrence of alcohol consumption   increases as level of education increases and it is highest among the university or higher graduates. This interesting result can be explained by three facts: First, people who have higher degrees are more involved in social networking activities, and they can drink more in these kinds of activities. Second, the people who have higher degrees of education can be more comfortable to state that they are regular or occasional alcohol consumers. Third, as Kenkel (1991) suggests, more educated people may know that some drink is good for health, hence they drink more than the others.

Obesity is an increasing health problem in Turkey. It is important to analyze the determinants of obesity as it is a major source of certain diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and joint problems (Stewart et al., 2009).  OECD (2012) Health Data indicate that 17.2 percent of working age population in Turkey is considered to be obese. BMI is used as a tool for determining if an individual is overweight or obese. An individual is considered as obese if his/her BMI is greater than 30, overweight if his/her BMI is greater than 25 and underweight if his/her BMI is under 18.5 according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. The BMI in our study is computed from the self-reported height (in centimeters) and weight (in kilograms) in the THS.  An individual’s BMI is calculated by dividing the self-reported weight of respondent (in kilograms) to the square of the self-reported height in meters.

Figure 5. Prevalence of Obesity by Education Level in Turkeykaraoglan_5

Figure 6 reveals that the prevalence of obesity decreases by education level and it is higher among illiterate and non-graduate individuals. The figure shows that the occurrence of obesity is lowest among the university graduates. Hence, it is possible to say that the awareness of dangers of obesity increases with higher education levels. Of course, one should note that people with lower education levels generally have lower earnings. Therefore, they cannot purchase foods with protein easily, instead they have to buy foods with high glycemic indices such as bread, sugar, patato, etc…These kinds of foods  cause them to gain weight. In addition, those people do not have enough chance to exercise, which can fasten their metabolism.

Cutler and Llears-Muney (2010) claim that people with higher education are more careful about the usage of preventative services. They prove their claim by using the US data set. The same result is expected for Turkey also, since it is widely acceptable that higher educated individuals are making more investments to their health, so take care of themselves more than the others. In this study measuring the blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar as well as having regular controls of prostate (for males) and mammography and smear (for females) are considered as preventative health care services.

Figure 6. The Usage of Preventative Health Care Services by Education Level in Turkey (Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Cholesterol)

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Figure 7. The Usage of Preventative Health Care Services by Education Level in Turkey (Prostate (Males), Mammography and Smear (Females))

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Figure 6 reveals that the prevalence of measuring the blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol is highest among the individuals with lowest degrees of education and it decreases by education level. However, the ratio of using these services increases if the individual has higher than middle school degree. In fact, the investigation of the correlation between the usage of these services and SAH indicates that it is negative, which implies, people who are already ill make use of preventative health care services. It is not surprising that people who have lower levels of education (thus, most probably lower earnings) have worse health conditions. Nevertheless, the increase in usage of these services among higher educated individuals reflects the increase in awareness.

Regarding the other controls, it is observed that the awareness of the importance of having regular mammography and smear controls increases as the education level increases among females. Related to males, it is observed that having prostate control is higher among the males who are illiterate or do not have degree. However, the prevalence of  prostate control increases if the male has university or higher degree. Similar to the other controls, a negative association between having the genital controls and SAH is observed. Therefore, having higher levels of prostate controls among lower educated groups can be attributed to the having health problems. Therefore, in Turkey it is possible to conclude that people prefer to use preventative health care services when they are ill, however higher individuals are more likely to use these services due to higher awareness.

As a conclusion, the frequency of reporting very good and good SAH increases by education level in Turkey. It is also observed that having higher levels of education has preventative effects on reducing the risky behaviors such as smoking and having high levels of BMI. However, it is concluded that alcohol consumption increases by education level in Turkey. Lastly, it is possible to state that the awareness of using the preventative health care services is highest among the individuals who have university or higher degrees.

 

References

Adams, S.J. (2002) “Educational Attainment and Health: Evidence from A Sample of Older Adults.” Education Economics 10 (1): 97-109.

Arendt, J. N. (2005) “Does Education Cause Better Health? A Panel Data Analysis Using School Reforms for Identification.” Economics of Education Review 24(2): 149-160.

Brunello, G., M. Fort, N. Schneeweis and R. Winter-Ebmer (2015). “The Causal Effect of Education on Health: What is the Role of Health Behaviors?.” Health Economics. (Published online DOI: 10.1002/hec.3141)

Chaloupka, F. J., and K. E. Warner “The Economics of Smoking.” Handbook of Health Economics Vol.1. Ed. A.J. Culyer and J.P.Newhouse. Amsterdam: Elsevier. 2000. 1539-1627.

Conti, G., J. Heckman and S. Urzua (2010) “The Education-Health Gradient.” American Economic Review 100 (2): 234-238.

Cutler, D. M. and A. Lleras-Muney  (2010) “Understanding Differences in Health Behaviors by Education”, Journal of Health Economics 29(1):1-28.

Eide, E.R. and M.H. Showalter (2011) “Estimating the Relation between Health and Education: What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Know?” Economics of Education Review 30 (5):778-791.

Fonseca, R. and Y. Zheng. (2011) “The Effect of Education on Health Cross-Country Evidence,” RAND Labor and Population Working Paper WR-864. Santa Monica.

Grossman, M. (1972) “On the Concept of Health Capital and The Demand for Health,” Journal of Political Economy 80 (2): 223-255.

Grossman, M. (2008) “The Relationship between Health and Schooling”, Eastern Economic Journal  34 (3): 281-292.

Kemptner,D., H. Jürges and S. Reinhold (2011) “Changes in Compulsory Schooling and the Causal Effect of Education on Health: Evidence from Germany”, Journal of Health Economics 30 (2): 340-354.

Kenkel, D. S. (1991) “Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, and Schooling,” Journal of Political Economy 99(2): 287-305.

Lleras-Muney, A., (2005) “The Relationship between Education and Adult Mortality in the U.S.” Review of Economic Studies 72 (1): 189-221.

OECD Health Data Set from: http:// stats.oecd.org. (Accessed on December 2015).

Silles, M. A. (2009) “The Causal Effect of Education on Health: Evidence from the United Kingdom,” Economics of Education Review 28 (1):122-128.

Stewart, S. T., D. M. Cutler, and A. B. Rosen (2009) “Forecasting the Effects of Obesity and Smoking on US Life Expectancy.” New England Journal of Medicine 361 (23): 2252-2260.

 

 

 

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Spyridon N. Litsas and Aristotle Tziampiris (eds.), The Eastern Mediterranean in Transition: Multipolarity, Politics and Power, Ashgate, Farnham, 2015

Reviewed by Nikos Christofis (Fatih University)

Following the end of the Cold War there was a constant fluctuation in the global status quo that had yet to crystallize. The events of 9/11, which triggered the American decision to invade Iraq and eventually led to the outbreak of the Arab uprisings, together with the most recent terrorist attacks in France and other chains of events such as the militarization and securitization of France and other countries aGeneric series 1146nd the former’s alliance with Russia to fight ISIS, are just some of the most important events representing the global political landscape which is directly linked to the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean. It is this geographical region which is addressed in the present study, The Eastern Mediterranean in Transition, compiled by Spyridon Litsas and Aristotle Tziampiris.

As the title of the books states, the entire region is in transition. All the contributions in the volume with the exception of two that deal with more of a theoretical framework take up a specific country of the region, and some of them offer up solutions or suggest ways to diffuse the explosive environments apparent in their case studies. Also, some of the chapters explicitly or implicitly adopt a multipolar approach or acknowledge that such an approach is perhaps the best possible way to sustain peace in the region. As Spyridon Litsas argues in the first chapter of the book, in a multipolar system the outbreak of war is less likely as “multipolarity is a rather hostile environment for the flourishing of total war phenomena” (p. 14).

The following chapter, written by Panayiotis Ifestos, outlines the fundamental trends in international politics that have influenced the transitory stage evident in the post-Cold War era. Through the identification of four main hypotheses, Ifestos argues that, in comparison with the international system of the nineteenth century, the twenty-first century international system will give rise to a much more complex international environment which, if the current system follows a similar path as the one that existed before (a system in which the main actors were vast empires), will be even more pervasive because “a multipolar world in an international system of almost 200 sovereign states and some rising regional powers is inevitably more unpredictable and unstable” (p. 23). Ifestos then goes on to argue that a new status quo is thus likely to emerge in the Eastern Mediterranean.

From chapter three onwards, each contribution deals with a case study. Russian foreign policy in the Eastern Mediterranean since the end of the Cold War is taken up in chapter three, which was written by Pavel Shlykov. The author identifies three distinct periods distinguished by both the presence and activity of Russia in the region: the stage of retreat (the 1990s), the phase of recovery (first decade of the 2000s), and the years of global destabilization after the Arab uprisings. This major contribution to the field brings into the picture Russia’s relations with Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Greece and Israel, and also issues such as energy and military security, which, along with the changing environment of the region, have influenced Russia’s role in the region. Chapters four and six, written by Akis Kalaitzidis and Nikolaos Zahariadis respectively, focus on American influence in the region. Both contributions focus on American foreign policy under the Obama administration give the reader a well-informed picture of US involvement. At the same time they are both critical of the Obama administration in the sense that, as Kalaitzidis very eloquently points out, “[the Obama administration] embraced a middle of the road centrist approach which failed to produce any result leaving most commentators wondering if the US really has a plan” (p. 59). Christina Lin’s chapter examines the rise of China and its willingness to play a greater role in the region. As military tensions in the entire region have increased, especially in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings, China’s role has also been influenced by American interests. Furthermore, Lin offers an interesting account of how China’s active role in a NATO-dominated region poses challenges for traditional regional powers, such as the US and Europe and even NATO itself.

Chapters seven and twelve bring Cyprus into the picture. Ilias Kouskouvelis focuses on “smart” leadership in Cyprus to demonstrate that apart from their size, small states can play an important role in the international system (the qualification “small” being applied to “leadership” and not to the “state,” as the author highlights). He acquaints readers with the theory of small states and their leadership and shows that although they lack hard power, small states may possess “other means through which they can increase their power” (p. 94). In the Cyprus case, through consecutive cases of “smart” leadership (Glafkos Clerides, Tassos Papadopoulos and Dimitris Christofias) this was achieved by the exploitation of Cyprus’ energy resources. As a result, there is space for institutional preparation and hostility management, and at the same time Cyprus has brought into the picture powerful actors such as the US and Russia while also bringing into being alliances and the establishment of cooperative efforts (such as with Israel). The chapter by Constantinos Adamides and Odysseas Christou also deals with Cyprus but applies a Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT) methodology to energy securitization and how that has led to the emergence of new regional security complexes. The authors present three possible scenarios as the regional balance of power undergoes a transformation: 1. Israel excludes Turkey and Cyprus, 2. Israel works with the Republic of Cyprus, and 3. Israel and Turkey cooperate; in the last scenario, Israel plays a pivotal role. Unlike with the case of Kouskouvelis, who emphasizes “smart” leadership and therefore the idea that the state can play an important role in the emerging regional system, it seems that Adamides and Christou focus on the powerful players in an attempt to predict the possible outcomes of alliances.

The Arab Uprisings and the Middle East are the focus of several chapters in the book. Raymond Hinnebusch’s account of the general environment in the region produced by the Arab uprisings shows how new dynamics emerged such as street politics and sectarian conflicts that weakened states; indeed, the uprisings marked the most powerful attempts in decades to transform regional politics and they eventually provoked a “New Cold War” among global powers. However, according to Hinnebusch although these dynamics failed to produce sweeping changes as a deep structure due to power balancing—“mutual checkmating” as the author calls it (p. 129)—state apparatuses became entrenched and increasing fragmentation occurred, and in the process agency was defeated. Stacey Gutkowski’s chapter takes up the cases of Egypt and Jordan in terms of danger and safety and how these issues were conceived and negotiated by citizens. The author rightly argues that such studies which focus on people’s perceptions are seriously lacking in the literature. In this informative and engaging chapter, Gutkowski concludes that the Egyptian and Jordanian cases “suggest that feelings of citizen safety may overlap with but are by no means congruent with regime security measures or state stability” (italics per the original; p. 157). Thanks to its approach, Amikam Nachmani’s chapter is also quite captivating. Nachmani focuses on the vicious weapon of the rape of girls and women in times of war and civil strife, as well as throughout history. Taking up the act of rape as a weapon in daily life and in times of war, as well as its cultural aspects in diverse cases from the Yugoslav war to the civil war in Syria to Libya, Nachmani notably associates rape with genocide, as women are seen as being in charge of the demography of a given ethnic group (p. 199) and as being closely connected to issues such as ethnicity and nationalism. The last chapter, which deals specifically with a Middle Eastern country, was written by Ghoncheh Tazmini. Focusing on Iran’s foreign policy, Tazmini describes the broader subterranean shifts that have taken place in Iran’s modern history and he shows how “the historical baggage Iran carries with itself” (p. 217) reflects the transformations Iran has undergone. The author argues that Iran has faced a historical “moment” as the new leadership of the state is taking up a more integrative approach to development, one that is more “normal”—that is, adaptive—as regards present-day conditions. Tazmini argues that Rouhani’s policy and attempts to consolidate a new model of normality that combines Western-inspired reforms with Iran’s distinctive culture, history and place in the world should be explained through such a prism.

The remaining four chapters of the book deal with Turkey and Israel. Ilter Turan’s chapter about Turkish foreign policy under the AKP administration asks whether the foreign policy of the AKP is undergoing major shifts, and if so, in what direction and why. Starting with a round of electoral wins in 2002 and since then dominating the political landscape of the country, the AKP has adopted a foreign policy that can be divided into three stages, each one of them roughly corresponding to a victory at the ballot box. While the AKP initially remained loyal to the previous governments’ foreign policy agenda, since 2007 there has been a clear emphasis on trying to take on the role of regional leader by acting as a mediator in conflicts taking place in the region. In this way, the AKP has tried to make itself indispensable for both Middle Eastern countries and Western ones, most notably Europe and the US. As the author rightly argues, although initially successful in promoting itself as regional power, Turkey exaggerated its ability to shape outcomes alone due to overconfidence and stubbornness, leading to a continuing state of “loneliness” in 2011. In chapter eleven, Aslı Tunç takes an interesting approach to the Gezi Park protests which took place in Istanbul in the summer of 2013 by examining social media. Central to her approach is the concept of Generation Y or the Millennial Generation, the first generation to have spent their entire lives with social media, which Turkey increasingly became familiar with during the Gezi Park protests. This chapter looks at the general profiles of Generation Y in Turkey and their internet use patterns, providing valuable data on the Gezi Park protesters such as age and education levels, two factors that also explain why Turkish youth, apart from the distrust and opposition they feel towards the government, do not trust the media, which lacks objectivity. A survey revealed that 69% of the participants said they look to social media and not national television to get informed (p. 165). It should not come as a surprise then that the Gezi protesters were informed about the initial police attacks and other events through social media, which led the Turkish government to censor the internet. According to a recent survey, Turkey is the top-ranking country in terms of Twitter censorship.[i] Tunç demonstrates how Generation Y practiced a new kind of politics during the protests in a new era of protest and political activism that Turkish youth desired.

The last two chapters of the book examine Israel and its role in the Eastern Mediterranean. The first of these, written by Aharon Klieman, focuses on the strategic opportunities and challenges Israel faces in the region as maritime rivalry for strategic assets is on the rise again, while the final chapter of the book—written by one of the editors, Aristotle Tziampiris—focuses on Israeli-Greek rapprochement. Although for decades the Greek government has viewed the state of Israel with suspicion, a new era in relations between the two countries emerged, albeit slowly, in 1990. It was only after 2009 that a multifaceted approach to rapprochement eventually took place, and this was also affected by the deterioration of Israeli-Turkish relations and the fact that Ankara was trying to become a regional power. Tziampiris presents a number of correct observations and hypotheses, such as the rise of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, which came third in the last elections. Although the party has a strong anti-Semitic agenda, it is unlikely that the party will bring about any shifts in the country’s foreign policy; anti-Semitic attitudes are common in Greece, and it is the most anti-Semitic Europe (p. 248). The author correctly predicted that the left-wing Syriza party would win, as well as the fact that this victory would not affect Israeli-Greek relations, at least for the time being; however, it is highly unlikely that, despite the fact that such a rapprochement is favored also by the EU and the US, this will happen in the near future.

In conclusion, this volume is a welcome addition to the literature on the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region and international relations. The multipolar approach used by the authors should be seriously taken into account as it provides, regardless of any objections that may be raised about it, valuable approaches and insights concerning the current state of the international system as it undergoes changes. Indeed, the Russian jet shot down by Turkish forces just a few days ago provides a case in point to see whether the arguments made by the authors of the book are valid or not. All of the chapters—some being stronger than others—are well-written and informed, and present the reader with a very good overall picture of the current system and status quo in the region.

[i] http://www.statista.com/chart/3727/share-of-all-twitter-content-removal-requests/

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We would like to extend a warm welcome to Prof. Haldun N. Gülalp who kindly joined our advisory board. Please find below his short biography.

Prof. Haldun Gülalp  is Professor of Political Science since 2005. He is the Director of the Center for Global Studies at Yıldız Technical University, gulalpIstanbul. Prof. Gulalp previously taught at Bogazici University, Hamilton College, University of California at Los Angeles, Northwestern University, University of Washington at Seattle, St Antony’s College University of Oxford, and George Washington University. His books include among others:

2013      (Edited, with Günter Seufert) Religion, Identity and Politics: Germany and Turkey in Interaction, London: Routledge.

2010      (Edited, with Cengiz Çağla) Avrupa Birliği, Demokrasi ve Laiklik: Semih Vaner Anısına (The European Union, Democracy and Secularism: In Memory of Semih Vaner), Istanbul: Metis Yayınları.

2006      (Edited) Citizenship and Ethnic Conflict: Challenging the Nation-State, London: Routledge.

(Turkish edition: Vatandaşlık ve Etnik Çatışma: Ulus-Devletin Sorgulanması, Istanbul: Metis Yayınları.)

2003      Kimlikler Siyaseti:Türkiye’de Siyasal İslamın Temelleri (Politics of Identities: Foundations of Political Islam in Turkey) , Istanbul: Metis Yayınları.

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'The Borders of Global Theory: Views from within and without' at Oxford Brookes University

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Winners of the ABTA 2012 Doctoral Researcher Awards competition have received their awards before an audience of academics, postgraduate students and parents at UCL’s Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre on Saturday, 12th of May. Chosen from more than 120 applications after a rigorous judging process, finalists had to demonstrate their presentation skills for the selection of 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the categories of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Biological & Medical Sciences, and Management & Social Sciences.

The award ceremony started with ABTA 2012 Doctoral Researcher Awards programme chair, Dr Ozgur Yazaydin’s welcome speech. This was followed by a presentation given by Dr Mehdi Barghchi, Postgraduate Training Co-ordinator at University of Leicester, on the importance choosing the right topic for PhD. Then the finalists in each category gave their presentations which were evaluated by a panel of judges.The presentations were followed by a break for refreshments while the judges came together and finalized their evaluations. Before the announcement of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each category, Professor Alp Ozerdem, Chair in Peace building at University of Coventry, delivered a keynote address on the mission of ABTA and the importance of its activities.

The moment, which an anxious audience of more than 130 people and finalists had been waiting for, finally arrived and results from the judges were delivered to programme chair, Dr Yazaydin, who then announced the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each category with all receiving a huge applause from the audience. The winners were presented their cheques, General Mobile Tablets, and their certificates. Dr Bilal Gokpinar, ABTA Executive Committee member, delivered the closing remarks and finally the audience gave a standing ovation to all winners and organizers of the ABTA 2012 Doctoral Researcher Awards competition. The programme ended with a reception in Roof Garden at UCL.

WINNERS

1st in Biological & Medical Sciences
MOLLY FOX
University of Cambridge
Research Topic:
The Evolution of Human Longevity
2nd in Biological & Medical Sciences
GARRON DODD
University of Manchester
Research Topic:
Genetic dissection of neuronal populations controlling appetite, thermogenesis and glucose uptake
3rd in Biological & Medical Sciences
MICHAELA RUHMANN
Imperial College London
Research Topic:
Tenascin-C drives IL-17 synthesis in arthritic joint disease
1st in Engineering & Physical Sciences
MARK AINSLIE
University of Cambridge
Research Topic:
Transport AC Loss in High Temperature Superconducting Coils
2nd in Engineering & Physical Sciences
AYSE NACI KORTUN
Queen’s University of Belfast
Research Topic:
Spectrum Sensing Techniques in Cognitive Radio Networks
3rd in Engineering & Physical Sciences
RECEP ZAN
University of Manchester
Research Topic:
Graphene: Atomic-scale Landscapes
1st in Management & Social Sciences
TURKAY SALIM NEFES
University of Oxford
Research Topic:
Towards a Sociology of Conspiracy Theories: An Investigation into Conspiratorial Thinking on Dönmes
2nd in Management & Social Sciences
DIDEM BUHARI GULMEZ
Royal Holloway
Research Topic:
Turkey, European Union, and Global Standards
3rd in Management & Social Sciences
PESSI HONKASALO
University of Surrey
Research Topic:
Software Linking and Its Implications Under the Law of Copyright

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US-based news portal ‘SETimes.com‘ published the comments on illegal immigration in Turkey by Seckin Baris Gulmez, co-editor of ChangingTurkey.com in the article entitled “Turkey struggles with growing illegal immigration” written by Alakbar Raufoglu.=

Find the article following the link below:

Turkey struggles with growing illegal immigration

The full commentary by Gulmez:

” Currently, there are two main issues Turkey has been struggling as regards the illegal immigration. First, Turkey cannot prevent infiltrations from its long and mountainous border with Iraq. This not only creates a crucial impediment for Turkey to prevent illegal immigration from its Middle Eastern neighbours but also weakens its position in its fight against the pkk terrorism. Nevertheless, the current talks between Turkish and Iraqi officials have become fruitful as both governments agreed on working in close cooperation to tighten the border controls. Besides, in addition to border police, Turkey has also been training ‘border troops’ which will amount to 5000 as early as January 2012 to secure the Iraqi border only. Turkey’s fight against terrorism will also prove useful for preventing illegal immigration from its Southern border.

Second, the failure to prevent the infiltrations to Greece from Turkey constitutes another key problem. Actually, the long lasting bilateral issues between the two neighbours proved effective in their reluctance to jointly solve this border-crossing problem. While Greece accuses Turkey of using this as a political card against them; Turkey blames Greece of leaving those people in the middle of the Aegean sea to drown on the Turkish territorial waters. However, I believe the main problem behind this stalemate stems from the uncertainty of Turkey’s EU membership bid and the EU’s perceived reluctance or indecisiveness towards Turkey’s accession. Especially concerning the visa liberalisations, Turkey remains the only candidate country not to enjoy such a privilege. Correspondingly, Turkey has long been refusing to sign the protocol with the EU which ensures that Turkey will take back immigrants who have crossed the EU (Greek) borders from its territory. Although the EU has been working on visa facilitation with Turkey to reignite the dormant relations, the extant uncertainty over Turkey’s membership perspective renders Turkey further reluctant to make a move for the Greek border”.

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