Award Topics

"Europeans with Legacies from Turkey in Everyday Life”

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 to 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.


Winners of Research Awards:
Defne Kadıoğlu Polat, Independent Scholar
Zeynep Selen Artan-Bayhan, City University of New York
Tolga Tezcan, University of Florida

Winner of the Special Jury Award: Nermin Abadan Unat


Senem Aydın Düzgit, Sabancı University – President of the Jury
Ayşe Kadıoğlu, Sabancı University
Fuat Keyman, Sabancı University - Istanbul Policy Center
Riva Kastoryano, CNRS SciencesPo
Lenore G.Martin, Harvard University
Michael Schwarz, Stiftung Mercator Foundation
Thomas Faist, Bielefeld University 

Winning Articles

“At least we have a home here”: Everyday Experiences of Turkish Immigrants in a Gentrifying Berlin Neighborhood by Defne Kadıoğlu Polat, Independent Scholar
“Praying God Abroad: Religious Boundary and the Experiences of Turkish Immigrants in Germany and the United States” by Zeynep Selen Artan-Bayhan, City University of New York
“Building or Burning the Bridges? The Determinants of Return Migration Intentions of German-Turk Generations” by Tolga Tezcan, University of Florida

Keynote Speeches

Nermin Abadan Unat: Population movements are as old as humanity
Sakıp Sabancı Jury Prize winner Nermin Abadan-Unat began her speech by remarking that population movements were as old as humanity. Abadan-Unat said that the movement of labor in Turkey started at the individual level in the 1950s, and later evolved into mass movements. Discussing Columbia University professor Daniel Lerner's survey of seven Middle Eastern nations titled "The Passing of Traditional Society", drawing attention to the fact that 49% of the Turkish respondents said that, if given no other choice, they would rather die than live somewhere other than Turkey.  Nermin Abadan-Unat continued, “60 years after this finding, we have 4.5 million Turkish nationals living across five continents of the world. More than three million of them live in Europe, and 80% of those living in Europe are in Germany." She said that the expansion of transnational areas and developments in communication and technology were the reasons behind this unexpected occurrence. Abadan-Unat added, "We must take a close look at the relationship between countries that sent migrant workers, and those that received them."