Report on a seminar devoted to the Gezi events

The volume In the Aftermath of Gezi: From Social Movement to Social Change?, with contributors from a multidisciplinary array of anthropologists, political scientists and historians, was launched at a seminar on 8 December, 2017, at the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History, Boğaziçi University. The book was introduced by the former director of the Swedish Research Institute at Istanbul, Professor Birgit Schlyter, under whose auspices a workshop had been organized on this topic in May, 2015.

In the midst of a cadre of academics, activists and students, Dipak Malik, professor emeritus of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India and currently affiliated with the Stockholm-Istanbul Program for Central Asian and Turkic Studies, made the initial comments on the volume. He discerned four perspectives that the articles deal with: (1) Gezi and its historical trappings, (2) the city as a site of political and civic manifestation, (3) the overbearing state and its interventions, and (4) the role of social media and cyber connectivity. The first portion discusses the historical antecedents – Gezi as a product of basic contradictions between environmentalists, modernists and minorities versus state intervention. It dwells on the lingering Kurdish question, white versus black Turk polarization, the moment as a goal-oriented activity or transformative agency of consciousness. The editors Oscar Hemer and Hans-Åke Persson as well as Asu Aksoy and Ayhan Kaya contribute to the discourse.

The city as a site of political and civic manifestation along with the right to city space is dealt with by Spyros Sofos and a few others discussing issues such as encroachment by the private sector permitted under the neo-liberal economic initiatives of the municipal park and other public spaces and commons, environmental concerns, demolition of settlements of minority and queer communities, and direct intervention of the state without wide public consultations. The state comes under heavy scrutiny of almost all the papers except for two contributions (Hikmet Kırık and Anita Sengupta), where the authors instead explain the evolution of the AKP concurring that the new polity should be seen differently than the cacophony of voices in Gezi.

The instrumentality of the movement was a novelty in the form of social media-led connectivity. Surprisingly, it was spontaneous, leaderless and egalitarian. Gezi was a movement by tweets, whereas televised versions and the print media had a subdued role.

In addition to the book launch, Professor Asım Karaömerlioğlu, Director of the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History, gave a talk calling Gezi a new moment of the millennial generation of Turkey with echos on the global scale. He argued that Gezi had been essentially a feminist upsurge comparing it to the 1968 student revolts in Europe and USA, which had been patriarchal in nature.

The seminar concluded in a lively discussion and insightful comments from the audience.


Visiting Scholars at SIPCATS/Istanbul November – December 2017

Miriya Malik

Dr Miriya Malik, Academic Director of Centre for the Study of Indian Languages and Society (INLANSO), Varanasi; Part-time fixed term lecturer of Hindi at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Current project at SIPCATS/Istanbul: Early Turkic influences on South Asian languages and calligraphy




Dipak Malik

Dr Dipak Malik, Professor emeritus of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, as well as Director emeritus of Gandhian Institute of Studies, Varanasi; currently associated with Centre for the Study of Indian Languages and Society (INLANSO), Varanasi.

Current project at SIPCATS/Istanbul: Secularism and religion in nation-building in the 20th and 21st centuries in Turkey and India: Atatürk/Nehru – Erdoğan/Modi

Public Space Mobilization and its Consequencies from the point of view of the Gezi events

Welcome to a joint seminar organized by SIPCATS/SRII and the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History at Boğaziçi University.

Public Space Mobilization and its Consequences

Book Launch and Seminar
organized by

The Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History, Boğaziçi University
Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul

Friday, 8 December, 2017
2.30 pm

Boğaziçi University, The Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History
(South Campus, next to Aşiyan Müzesi)

Presentation of the book
In the Aftermath of Gezi: From Social Movement to Social Change?
Birgit Schlyter, Professor, Stockholm, University
Dipak Malik, Professor, Centre for the Study of Indian Languages and Society

The Peculiarities of New Social Movements in the Age of “Internet Revolution”:
Theses from the Turkish Experiment
Asım Karaömerlioğlu, Professor, Director of the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History


Registration is mandatory for persons who are not students or faculty members at
Boğaziçi University

New contributions to Silk Road History from a Japanese perspective

Welcome to a SIPCATS book launch with the editor, Professor Selçuk Esenbel, Boğaziçi University.

Japan on the Silk Road: Encounters and Perspectives of Politics and Culture in Eurasia edited by Professor Selçuk Esenbel, Boğaziçi University, Brill

This book provides for the first time the historical background indispensable for understanding Japan’s current perspectives and policies in the vast area of Eurasia across the Middle East and Central Asia. Japanese diplomats, military officers, archaeologists, and linguists traversed the Silk Road, involving Japan in the Great Game and exploring ancient civilizations. The book exposes the entanglements of pre-war Japanese Pan-Asianism with Pan-Islamism, Turkic nationalism and Mongolian independence as a global history of imperialism. Japanese connections to Ottoman Turkey, India, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, and China at the same time reveal a discrete global narrative of cosmopolitanism and transnationality.

Introductions by
Johan Mårtelius, Professor, Director of SRII
Birgit Schlyter, Professor, Stockholm University
Selçuk Esenbel, Professor, Boğaziçi University


Tuesday, 5 December, 2017, 17:30

Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, Istiklal caddesi 247, Tünel – Beyoğlu
RSVP: (Registration is mandatory)