Completed Projects


Fatoş Gökşen, Deniz Yükseker, Lemi Baruh

Project Title: Multi-Dimensional Youth Typologies in Turkey (TÜBİTAK-funded project, 2013- )

The objective of the research project is to study characteristics of Turkish youth between the ages of 15 and 29 along six dimensions and describe youth typologies based on this analysis. These six dimensions, based on a review of relevant national and international scholarship, are family and household characteristics, education, labor force participation, cultural consumption, values and social capital. The project aims not only to map youth along these dimensions but also to study the relationship between various components of this map.

Azer Kılıç

Proje Title: Civil Society Organizations in Conflict Situations: The Case of the Kurdish Conflict in Turkey (AXA Research Fund, Postdoctoral Research Grant , January 2014-January 2016)

This project concerns the research cluster of “socio-economic risks,” as identified by the AXA Scientific Board. It relates to the theme of collective behavior vis-à-vis uncertainty and risks in a context of intrastate conflict. Specifically, the project aims to explore how civil society organizations may act in conflict and resolution processes. It adopts a case study approach and investigates the associational environment in contemporary Turkey in relation with the Kurdish conflict and the recent period of negotiation for a peace deal. It examines interest associations organized at the national level (particularly business associations) for an understanding of the political behavior of organized actors in situations characterized by risk and uncertainty.

Deniz Yükseker

Project Title: Coming to Terms with Forced Migration: Rebuilding Citizenship in the Wake of Internal Displacement in Turkey (TESEV-funded research, 2004-2005)

Yükseker’s research study, whose field work was completed in Diyarbakır and İstanbul in 2005, investigated the social exclusion experienced by internally displaced Kurds. The study focused on the discrimination and exclusion encountered by Kurdish adults in their work life and daily life, and by Kurdish children in the schools where they have re-enrolled. The findings were based on in-depth interviews conducted with members of 50 households. [project report]



Deniz Yükseker, Kelly T. Brewer

Project Title: “A Demographic Survey of African Migrants in Istanbul” (MIREKOC-funded project, 2006)

This project aimed to draw a demographic profile of African migrants in Istanbul and locate their migration patterns within the framework of population flows between Africa and Western Europe. In order to achieve this, a survey with 133 men and women from different countries and ethnic groups was completed and in-depth interviews were conducted with 50 of them. For the purpose of contextualizing the problems faced by African migrants and asylum seekers in Istanbul, interviews were also completed with Turkish law enforcement authorities, UNHCR and IOM officials, and relevant NGO representatives. [project report] [article]




Deniz Yükseker, Dilek Kurban

Project Title: “Assessment of the Van Action Plan for Service to Internally Displaced People” (MATRAKAP funded Project, 2007)

This project evaluated the Action Plan for service delivery to Internally Displaced Persons   (IDPs) in Van province, which was initiated in 2007 with UNDP’s technical assistance by the Turkish government. The output of the project is a report: Permanent Solution to Internal Displacement in Turkey? An Assessment of the Van Action Plan for IDPs, May 2009, Istanbul: TESEV (Deniz Yükseker and Dilek Kurban) (also available in Turkish). The report draws attention to positive aspects of the implementation of the Action Plan as well as to its shortcomings.



Fatoş Gökşen, Ünal Zenginobuz, Fikret Adaman , Çağrı Savcı, Emre Tokgöz

Project Title: “Citizen Perceptions in Turkey On Taxation, Representation and Democracy” (research funded by Open Society Turkey and Boğaziçi University Research Fund, 2009)

The research study was carried out, between 2008-2009, by KÜ-SPM director Gökşen, in collaboration with Ünal Zenginobuz, Fikret Adaman, Çağrı Savcı and Emre Tokgöz from Boğaziçi University. It is the first comprehensive research project that measures the perceptions and level of knowledge of Turkish citizens on matters related to taxation. In the first phase of the study, a statistical analysis of who pays what amount of income tax was completed, using TURK-STAT’s Household Budget Survey data. Secondly, the study included a survey of 2.400 citizens (representative of the Turkish population) on taxation issues and the relation of those issues to citizenship and democracy. This way, the causes of paying and avoiding taxes, for the Turkish population, is analyzed.



Dikmen Bezmez, Sibel Yardımcı, Yıldırım Şentürk

Project Title: “The Rights of the Disabled and Urban Citizenship: Actors and Dynamics Shaping the Lives of People with Disabilities in Istanbul” (TÜBİTAK funded project, 2009-2011)

This project investigates the relations between people with disabilities and Istanbul urban space in the context of actors, power dynamics, rights claims, legal applications and other similar mechanisms. Disability policies of local governments and recent processes of institutionalization are analyzed from the perspective of charity and rights-based approaches. When the scale and timing of local reforms are scrutinized, it is significant that these reforms represent some tendencies in the urban citizenship literature, yet deeper analysis shows that these often promote charity- rather than rights-based approaches. This is explained by the fact that the push factors in the emergence of these reforms do not originate from the disability movement. Findings of the research study are based on 40 interviews conducted with the representatives of civil society organizations working on disability issues.



Murat Ergin, Bruce Rankin, Fatoş Gökşen

Project Title: “Construction of Cultural Boundaries: Relations Between Cultural, Socio-Economic and Moral Status Symbols in Turkey” (TUBITAK funded research, 2011-2012)

The research, encompassing 18 months, aims to identify meaningful clusters of cultural consumption, life style and moral values in Turkey. The relationships such clusters and sociological variables, such as social class, gender and age are also investigated. The study is one of the most systematic projects in Turkey in the field of culture. During the fieldwork, 49 in-depth interviews and a survey study with a nationally-representative sample of 2000 were completed.

Based on the analysis of the survey data, three main cultural clusters were identified. The first group, named “engaged omnivores”, represents people who embrace both the local and the global in terms of taste and choices of cultural participation. They tend to be younger, more educated, higher income, and more secular in orientation. The second group, dubbed “engaged localists”, is critical of global/Western culture. They tend to be older, more middle income and not as well educated as the omnivores. The last group we call the “disengaged”. They express a lack of knowledge of, or disinterest in, global/Western culture. Disengagement is more common among the lowest income, least educated and the more religious. Local cultural taste and participation forms rarely distinguish groups, attesting to the robustness of Turkish culture. Cultural boundaries seem to draw mainly in relation to global/Western cultural forms.



Fatoş Gökşen, Deniz Yükseker, Ayşe Alnıaçık

Project Title: “Comprehensive Evaluation Note on Girls’ Technical and Vocational Schools” (research funded by Education Reform Initiative, 2011)

In this research, Girls’ Technical and Vocational Schools (GTVS) are assessed in terms of increasing girls’ enrollment and women’s participation in the work force. The evaluation note, based on eight focus group studies conducted with GTVS graduates and students in Istanbul, Denizli, Mersin and Kayseri, discusses the issues of vocational training, training based on a single gender and transition from education to work life. Additionally, the report analyzes Turkish Statistical Institute household survey data on the employment of women who are GTVS graduates.



Lemi Baruh, Tarcan Kumkale

Project Title: “The Contributions of Cancer Risk Perceptions, Health Locus Of Control, and Spirituality on Likelihood of Engaging in Cancer Protective Behavior, Cancer Screening and Genetic Testing among Turkish Population” (TUBITAK funded research, 2011-2012)

In light of what needs to be done in terms of the elimination of cancer-causing risks and early detection of cancer, this study, in which Baruh and Kumkale are involved as researchers, aims to identify the psycho-social factors influencing behavior like not smoking, not consuming alcohol, exercising, eating healthy, getting regularly screened for cancer and getting genetic tests measuring proclivity to cancer. In the study, the effects of these factors on 3 types of cancer protective behavior, within the context of health locus of control, cancer risk perceptions and religious beliefs, are investigated: (1) health protective behaviors that can decrease cancer risk (not smoking, healthy diet, exercising and not consuming alcohol); (2) screening for cervical cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer; (3) genetic testing for susceptibility to cancer. Data for the study will be collected from a nationally representative sample of 2500 participants (women over 20 years and men over 50 years).



Zeynep Cemalcılar, Fatoş Gökşen, Çetin Çelik

Project Title: “Research on the Identification of Demographic, Social and Environmental Factors Causing Drop-out in Primary Education” (TUBITAK funded research, 2011-2012)

This project by Cemalcılar, Gökşen and Çelik investigates the individual, social, cultural, economic and ecological factors affecting dropping out from compulsory primary school education in Turkey. Qualitative data for the study was collected from 1210 4th-grade students and their mothers at their homes. Additionally, in-depth interviews were conducted with 13 participants. The findings of the research study increases our knowledge regarding factors and processes that explain dropping out from compulsory education. Moreover, it also provides a rich resource to design intervention programs and policies to increase school attainments.



Özlem Altan-Olcay

Project Title: “Working Gendered Citizenships in Turkey” (Middle East Research Competition-funded project 2011-2012)

This research has explored the everyday organization, implementation and results of two civil society initiatives, which target women’s empowerment and increased labor force participation, via programs facilitating small business ownership. The study aims to contribute to scholarly investigation in the fields of gender and development and women’s entrepreneurship by linking these to emerging practices of citizenship. It focuses on the relationship between gendered meanings of entrepreneurial work and consolidation of neo-liberal policies.  The research is based on periodic participant observation in the programs, over twelve months and twenty-five in-depth, structured interviews with program participants.



Özlem Altan-Olcay, Evren Balta-Paker

Project Title: “Citizenship Tourism: Approaching Transnational Citizenship Through Turkish Citizens Giving Birth in USA” (TUBITAK-funded research, 2012-2013)

This research investigates the changing meanings and experiences of citizenship, by focusing on the case of families in Turkey, who travel to the United States with the sole purpose of giving birth and acquiring US citizenship for their children. The project explores the ways in which citizenship becomes a product bought and sold in the market, contributing to class and cultural distinctions and to the flexibilization of acquisition of social rights. The research is based on in-depth interviews with forty such families and analysis of their web-based blogs and bulletins of companies who provide service to them.



Fatoş Gökşen, Deniz Yükseker, Ayşe Alnıaçık

Project Title” Construction of the Survey on Women’s Conditions in the Workplace and Good Practices” (Ministry of Family and Social Policy-funded project, 2013)

The survey, prepared to be filled out by leading Turkish firms under the purview of the Equality at Work Platform (a government-private sector initiative), aims to determine women’s conditions in the workplace, to specify good practices and to guide social policy for the promotion of women’s employment.



Fatoş Gökşen, Özlem Altan-Olcay, Ayşe Alnıaçık, Ceren Deniz

Project Title: “The Analysis of Public Programs Related to Women’s Access to Labor Markets and Entrepreneurship” (World Bank-funded project, 2013)

The report provided an inventory of the available public programs related to women’s employment and entrepreneurship in Turkey and an assessment of those programs within the framework of the national and international literature on the obstacles standing in the way of women’s access to labor markets.




Fatoş Gökşen, Deniz Yükseker, Lemi Baruh

Project Title: Multi-Dimensional Youth Typologies in Turkey (TÜBİTAK-funded project, 2013- )

The objective of the research project is to study characteristics of Turkish youth between the ages of 15 and 29 along six dimensions and describe youth typologies based on this analysis. These six dimensions, based on a review of relevant national and international scholarship, are family and household characteristics, education, labor force participation, cultural consumption, values and social capital. The project aims not only to map youth along these dimensions, but also to study the relationship between various components of this map.

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