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2017 Sakıp Sabancı International Award


Labor migration from Turkey to major European capitals began in the 1960s through bilateral agreements. This initial wave of labor migration was soon followed by family reunifications. The migrants and their families who arrived in European cities were initially referred as “guestworkers” signalling their temporary and foreigner status. A steady increase in the numbers of guestworkers and their families in Europe eventually led to the adoption of a shift from a temporary to a permanent discourse. Such a shift has nowhere been better expressed than in the words of Max Frisch who famously said: “We have summoned a work force, but it is people who are coming” (Man hat Arbeitskräfte gerufen, und es kommen Menschen). By the end of the twentieth century, the more widely used concepts were “Euro-Turks,” “Turkish Germans,” as well as “Euro-Muslims” who were increasingly second and third generation European borns with legacies from Turkey, fully imbedded and quite effective in their European settings but cognizant of strong family, cultural heritage, and religious ties in Turkey. These population flows have led to the questioning of the convergence between nationality and citizenship which had long been a distinguishing feature of modern politics. It has led to the creation of new lives, interactions, conflicts as well as different modes of coexistence. Daily encounters of cultural and religious differences, while enriching the everyday lives of ordinary people have simultaneously produced conflicts that shaped the contours of the main political cleavages in Europe today. Papers that highlight the multiple aspects of such encounters constitute the core of this year’s award theme.

Essays providing path-breaking theoretical analyses and innovative suggestions on this theme are welcome.

About The Award

In 2005, Sabancı University decided to announce and administer an international award in order to encourage research on all aspects of Turkish culture, society and politics, and to uphold distinguished examples of fresh research with a view to engaging intellectual attention on Turkey’s role in the contemporary world. The “Sakıp Sabancı International Research Award” has been endowed in honor of the late Sakıp Sabancı, Honorary Chairman of Sabancı University’s Board of Trustees, and covers fields such as Turkish and Islamic Art and the History, Economy and Sociology of Turkey.

The Prizes

The Sakıp Sabancı International Research Award entails a Jury Prize for 25,000 USD. The Jury Prize will be awarded to an individual who has made distinguished contributions in this theme. An independent and international jury will select this Awardee. A series of awards will also be given to researchers under 45 years of age. This category includes 10.000 USD for each of three award-winning essays selected by the same jury panel from among submissions made for the competition.


Campus Address: Sabancı Üniversitesi Tuzla Kampüsü, Orta Mahalle, Üniversite Caddesi No:27 Tuzla, 34956 İstanbul / Turkey
Phone: (90 216) 483 90 00, Fax: (90 216) 483 90 45, E-mail: