“Istanbul, a new political center for the Arab World ?” Nouran Gad

Thursday May 26, 2022 at 18.00 Online

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Over the past decade, migration from all over MENA to Turkey has intensified.Migrations from Syria are the most important, and are the most studied in Turkey today. However, other migratory spaces are being created at the intersection of several MENA communities. Such migration has greatly expanded since 2011, and the major changes in political and social spaces across the region. Stalemated wars, unstable economies, and authoritarian regimes are leading to the migration of larger segments of the population. For some communities, they are supported by a welcoming and hospitable speech from the AKP government.

The country is quickly turning into a destination for business investment and settlement. Istanbul in particular is becoming a hub of business for the entire region. Meanwhile, investments in the media, education and research sectors are also important. It is the presence of so many populations simultaneously evolving in the same sectors of the economy, and the same identity and linguistic space, which raises questions. Is this meeting in exile creating something? How does it impact the host society?

In light of these considerations, it is the political scope of this migration that is the focus of this doctoral thesis. These are populations that have been strongly impacted by the Arab Spring and its consequences in their countries. This presentation will allow me to talk about this Arab political representation in Istanbul. It materializes through groups which reconstitute themselves in exile, but also through the desire to continue to think about the current political situation in the countries of departure. The media, think-tanks and dedicated social spaces are ways of politicizing and creating a political vision in exile.

Nouran Gad is a PhD candidate in political science at Science Po Aix, in MESHOPOLIS laboratory. She also is an associate researcher at the IFEA and a member of the aMiMo (Migrations & Mobilités) axis. She is working on migration from MENA (Middle East and North Africa) to Istanbul since the Arab Spring.


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