Academic Debate with Zeynep Kivilcim and Bediz Yilmaz

01.02.2017 at 18:00

Deconstructing public attitudes towards Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Prof. Zeynep Kivilcim, Ph.D. (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
Prof. Bediz Yilmaz, Ph.D. (Universität Osnabrück)

Turkey's current position within transnational migration is a paradoxical one: The European Union qualifies Turkey as a ‘safe country’ for refugees in the Agreement that it has concluded with Turkish government in March 2016. On the other hand Turkish government rules the country under the state of emergency justified by the serious deterioration of public security by widespread acts of violence. The state of emergency measures have subverted the rule of law making Turkey more “unsafe” from which the outmigration of its own nationals attained top-level within the last year.
In this talk, we will be offering a discussion about Turkish State‘s migration polices and the public perceptions of the Turkey’s society vis-a-vis the Syrian refugees as influenced by these policies. We will be discussing the issue around the concepts of “extra-legal dimensions of governmentality” and the “state of exception” (Agamben and Butler) as well as the “political utility” (Foucault) of the Syrian refugees for the Turkish State.
The acceptance of Syrian refugees into Turkey’s territory and their legal status are the issues highly politicized in Turkey along the lines of Turkey‘s actual strong political polarization deteriorating during the state of emergency. Aiming to deconstruct public attitudes towards Syrian refugees in Turkey, with this talk we aim to review how the temporary protection regime that governs the legal status of Syrian refugees in Turkey creates insecurity in all domains of life and that the legal ambiguous status produced by this regime is also shaping the public attitudes
towards them. The talk aims to discuss the impact of the EU-Turkey Agreement as well as the government’s attempts to use Syrian population as a demographic leverage in localities with dense Alevite or Kurdish population on public perceptions of Syrian refugees in Turkey. We will also focus on the Turkey’s capitalists' perceptions towards Syrian refugees as the most cheap and flexible labour-force of the country.

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