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“Guests and Aliens”: Re-Configuring New Mobilities in the Eastern Mediterranean After 2011 - with a special focus on Syrian refugees

Opening Session

Welcome address: Elif Aksaz

Elif Aksaz

Texte intégral

1As you know, the conference has been organized thanks to the collaboration of two institutions: the French Institute for Anatolian Studies or IFEA, which is a French research centre, based in Turkey and directed by Jean-François Pérouse, and the Philipps University at Marburg (Germany), and more specifically the research network in this university called “Re-Configurations. History, Remembrance and Transformation Processes in the Middle East and North Africa,” coordinated by Achim Rohde. This French-German collaboration was supported by a well-known international organization, the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

2The conference is international not only because of the collaboration of these institutions and organizations. The conference exists thanks to the collaborating work of French, German, German-Syrian, Italian, Turkish, and Spanish researchers and students. I would like to thank all of them for their implication.

3Finally, this is an international conference because it brings together researchers and students on migration from different countries in Europe, in the United States and in the Middle East. It also brings together scholars and members of civil society, notably representatives of associations and NGOs located in Turkey and working closely on and with migrant populations.

4I would like to specify briefly the scientific and institutional context of this conference from the IFEA’s perspective. It takes place in the context of the redevelopment of a research unit within IFEA called “The Migration and Mobilities” (AMiMo for Axe Migrations et Mobilités) which brings together scholars working on migrations from Turkey to other countries, from other countries to Turkey, and on internal migrations within Turkey. IFEA has played an important role in the production of scientific knowledge on Turkish migration to France: specialists of this migration have all been researchers affiliated to IFEA at one stage of their scientific career or trajectory. IFEA has also contributed to the study of the internal migration flows within Turkey, especially from rural areas to urban areas, which is a well-documented subject in Turkey. However, French and Turkish Social Sciences have produced little research on migrations from other countries to Turkey, while these population movements, from the Balkans, from Africa or from Europe are not a new phenomenon for Turkish society. By co-organizing this conference, IFEA also aims to contribute to the development of this research area.

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