Programs by Country: Turkey + Dialogue of Civilizations


Turkey and Germany: Politics of Space: Islam, Gender, Sexuality in Istanbul and Berlin

Dialogue of Civilizations | Istanbul, Turkey

Faculty leader: Prof. Berna Turam (b.turam@neu.edu) and Prof. Kathrin Zippel (k.zippel@neu.edu)

Teaching Assistant: Behice Pehlivan (pehlivan.b@husky.neu.edu

Study Abroad Coordinator: Liz McClanahan (e.mcclanahan@neu.edu)

Information Session: October 29, 2014, 11am-12pm, 210B Renaissance Park

Term: Summer: II

Courses: SOCL3471 Social Conflict & Community Services Abroad:  Politics of Gender and Immigration: Homeland and Host land

INTL4944 Dialogue of Civilizations: Regional Engagement: Diaspora and Urban Studies in Europe and the Middle East

Description:

This dialogue will provide students with an interdisciplinary understanding of urban politics in Istanbul and Berlin. We will contrast issues facing the Turkish migrant population in Berlin, Germany, with the accommodation of religion in secular neighborhoods of  Istanbul.  After three successive victories of the pro-Islamic party in secular Turkey, we witness tension and power struggles between the long time secular and new pious residents of Istanbul. These deep fault lines between urbanites with different lifestyle will be the focus of our dialogue from Istanbul to Berlin. Throughout the dialogue and in interdisciplinary student’s research projects we will explore controversial issues of politics of the city, religion, gender, sexualities and immigration.

Shortly after the end of World War II, Turkish migrant workers were brought to Berlin to assist in the postwar reconstruction efforts.  These “Gastarbeiter” (guest workers) were settled in tenement-style buildings in what was intended to be temporary accommodations until they returned to their home country.  Over time it became apparent that these workers were not returning to their homeland and Turkish “ghettos” developed into the full-blown neighborhoods of Kreuzberg and Neukoelln.  These two neighborhoods will be the loci of our urban exposure and critical analysis. The former is a highly gentrified neighborhood of Berlin, which is known as the Turkish neighborhood, but in fact appeals to a large body of residents and visitors, who appreciate mixed multi-ethnic urban space. NeuKoelln is often associated largely with lower socio-economic migrant residents, who are mostly Arabs, Middle Easterners and Turks.

Through participant observation, informal conversations and /or group discussions with the faculty leaders and guest speakers including those from the Turkish-German, gender, LGBTQ and migration community organizations, we will explore the ways in which urban, religious, gender and migration politics are played out in Germany and Turkey as they accommodate Muslim politics with a stable secular democracy.

The courses are intended for students in the University Scholars program and other exceptionally motivated and qualified students, particularly in upper classes. We encourage students from all majors who are interested to bring a unique perspective to the politics of space, religion, gender and sexuality.