2015: “Turkey, the EU & the Middle-East: Political Transformations and Challenges for Future Cooperation”

IAPSS Winter School 2015

“Turkey, the EU & the Middle East: Political Transformation & Challenges for Future Cooperation”

Organized by the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) & hosted by The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Sakarya University

in Sakarya & Istanbul, Turkey

February 1st – February 7th, 2015
(Arrival Day: January 31st, Departure Day: February 8th)

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The Theme

Over the course of the last decades, Turkey has undergone an intensive political, societal and economic transformation. Situated in both Europe and Asia, Turkey is embedded in a highly dynamic and conflict-dominated region. Long-lasting internal and cross-border conflicts incl. the Kurdish separatist movement, Turkey’s democratisation and the division of Cyprus, as well as recent ones, with the emergence of IS till to Turkish borders and Turkey’s role as disputed emerging energy transit corridor have been defining both its internal and foreign policy.

Granted with candidate status for the European Union in 1999, the country has been since in a challenging negotiation process. Throughout the last decade, civil society in the country has become more visible and active in political debate, with the Gezi Park protests gaining international attention in 2013. Rapid economic growth has put Turkey on the first place of the fastest growing economies in Europe and Western Asia since 2011, also resulting in a greater regional economic integration and socio-economic vulnerability.

How did it happen? What are the determining factors and transitional processes? What are the leading actors and institutions? And what are the consequences on the short- and long-term?

During the IAPSS Winter School 2015, participants researched, examined and discussed on a large variety of crucial topics in political science regarding Turkey, the Middle East and its interconnection with Europe, in order to understand its domestic and foreign policy, the country’s economic development, Turkish civil society as well as its role in regional conflicts, trade and integration.

Application Process

Individuals interested in participating in the IAPSS Winter School 2015 were requested to submit a written application containing:

  1. A short CV (max. two pages, without photograph),
  2. A letter of motivation (max. two pages) and
  3. An abstract (of max. 300 words, incl. a title and five key words) summarising the idea for a short paper (8-10 pages) about a preferred topic from the provided range of topics, to be written before during the event and to be completed within a month from the School (deadline: February 28th)

The topics addressed were as follows:

  1. Turkish Politics in Transformation
  2. Development and Challenges of the Turkish Economy
  3. Turkey and the European Union
  4. The Turkish Civil Society
  5. Turkey’s Foreign Policy (with special regards towards the greater Middle East)
  6. The Arab Spring and Regional Repercussions

Based on the participants’ preferred choice of the topic, a division into six teams was made. During the IAPSS Winter School 2015 all participants worked further on their topics individually as well as in their teams. Every topic was covered by at least one lecture and in discussions with experts from the academia. Next to lectures and discussion sessions, daily workshops dealing with the methodology of academic research and writing aimed at enhancing social science research methods in order to strengthen the research design and paper draft of each attendee.

Key Dates & Deadlines:

Call for Applications: December 15th / January 15th (for students residing in Turkey only)

Arrival: Saturday, January 31st – to Sakarya University, throughout the day

Academic Program: Sunday, February 1st – Saturday, February 7th

Departure: Sunday, February 8th– from Sakarya University, throughout the day

What Could Participants Expect?

  • Meeting with more than 3 dozens of students, both international and from Turkey, interested in a multi-perspective examination of the topics addressed
  • Preparing a short paper (8-10 pages) before, during and after the IAPSS Winter School 2015, which attendees outlined in a short presentation during the last day of the event to fellow participants (max. 10-15min, each)
  • Discussing and debating with a range of experts in the field of Turkish, Middle East and EU politics and getting first-hand insights on their current research and teaching
  • Daily workshops on academic writing and research, methodology, debating and presentation to enhance the participants’ academic skills
  • Enjoying a fantastic day in Istanbul, one of the most vibrant metropolises on the planet, with a full-day guided tour included
  • Social evening events incl. documentary screenings, an afternoon at nearby Lake Sapanca and informal get togethers

Participation Fee (2015)

Category A: 150,00 EUR (ca. 420,00 TRY) – only for students from Sakarya University

This includes lunch, a one-day excursion to Istanbul, all IAPSS Winter School 2015 reading and research materials, a personal IAPSS Winter School 2015 participation kit, access to all program components and social events in the evening as well as an official certificate of participation.

Category B: 280,00 EUR (ca. 785,00 TRY) – for other Turkish students & students residing in Turkey

This includes accommodation in Sakarya (8 nights), all meals (breakfasts, lunches, dinners), a one-day excursion to Istanbul, all IAPSS Winter School 2015 reading and research materials, a personal IAPSS Winter School 2015 participation kit, access to all program components and social events in the evening as well as an official certificate of participation.

Category C: 370,00 EUR – for international students

This includes accommodation in Sakarya (8 nights), all meals (breakfasts, lunches, dinners), a one-day excursion to Istanbul, all IAPSS Winter School 2015 reading and research materials, a personal IAPSS Winter School 2015 participation kit, access to all program components and social events in the evening as well as an official certificate of participation.

Further Remarks:  Transportation to Sakarya had to be arranged by the attendees. IAPSS did not cover travel expenses to/from Sakarya. We recommended to consult with the participants’ university / academic institution for individual financial support for participation and travel costs. Also, a range of foundations and academic institutions offer grants and scholarships for seasonal schools. If selected, attendees were offered to receive a personal visa invitation letter / letter of confirmation, if needed.

The Organizers

The International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) is the worldwide representation and platform for political science students and related studies. IAPSS – politically independent, non-profit, entirely student-run and embracing more than 1.100 individual and 11.000 collective members from more than 90 countries – generates and promotes political science opportunities for active engagement, career development and academic proficiency for students of political science and related disciplines throughout a variety of events, publications and services throughout the year.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (SAMEC) is a body of Sakarya University in Sakarya, Turkey. It is one of the largest clusters of Middle Eastern scholars in Turkey. Founded in 2013 to strengthen the systematic study of the Middle East region, SAMEC is responsible for both teaching and research. With its more than 25 staff, SAMEC organizes different postgraduate programs. More information are available here.

Requirements

Please note that IAPSS Membership was required in order to participate in the IAPSS Winter School 2015. IAPSS Membership comes at only 15 EUR (for citizens of Europe incl. Russia and Turkey, the United States, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia) or 10 EUR (for all other countries) per year (discounted rates for two-year membership are available for 25 and 15EUR respectively) and offers you a wide range of benefits, including priority access to IAPSS Conferences, IAPSS Delegations, and IAPSS Study Trips as well as the opportunity to participate in IAPSS’ political science journals POLITIKON and ENCUENTRO LATINO AMERICA, and the IAPSS’ IR blog A Different View. Also, members receive the biweekly IAPSS News & Opportunities condensing political science opportunities such as internships, jobs, conference calls and more. Find all information on the services we provide and how to apply here.

Contact

You attended the IAPSS Winter School 2015 and need further documentation of your participation or support regarding your paper? Do you have questions or inquiries regarding the IAPSS Winter School 2016? Then do not hesitate to contact us at: winterschool@iapss.org.