Dr. Düzgün-Öncel is an assistant professor at Marmara University, Department of Economics.  She worked as research bdassistant at the same department between 2011 and 2015. Dr. Öncel-Dereli received her Bachelor’s (2006), MA (2008) and PhD (2014) degrees from Marmara University, Department of Economics as well. She was a visiting researcher at Universitat Pompeu Fabra during the summer 2007 and at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam during the 2013-2014 academic year. She also spent two years at Bonn Graduate School of Economics between 2008-2010 during her doctoral studies. Her PhD thesis was selected the best thesis of the year by Turkish Economic Association in 2014. Her research areas are health economics, labor economics, and female labor supply in a household context.

Huge literature on socio-economic inequalities reveals a persistent phenomenon of social  inequality in health in many countries, and people at low socio-economic status suffer a heavier burden of poor health than their better-off counterparts. In other words, many aspects of health determinants such as how health differs by socio-economic status (SES) over life cycle have been studied by this literature. Does the distribution of health change across generations? Do socio-economic disparities narrow or widen as people age? What dimensions of SES matter- financial aspects like income or wealth or non-financial aspects such as education? All of these questions address the strong relationship between health and socio-economic conditions in which individuals live and work both in rich and poor countries (Kunst and Mackenbach, 1994; Smith, 2004; Case and Deaton, 2005; Smith, 2007; Van Doorslear et al., 2008; Van Kippersluis et al., 2009; Willson et al., 2007). However analyzing socio-economic differences only at certain ages would lead to incomplete impression of the extent of health differences over the life course. Life cycle component to the SES gradient in health should be taken into account in order to reflect the  speed of decline of health by age groups.

Turkey has undergone substantial changes in health policy and retirement schemes in the last decades and debate goes on the age limit in retirement and pension systems. Two retirement reforms were passed in 1999 and 2008 that aim to regulate the retirement and work patterns and to increase retirement age. Additionally, three social security systems have been merged under one system which covers the whole population. These changes offer the importance of understanding fundamental structure of socio-economic status (SES) gradient in health in order to form an efficient public policy concerning retirement, pensions, health financing, health and social care.

This study aims to analyze the life cycle behavior of SES-health gradient in Turkey by using cross section data from 2010. The aim here is not to determine the causality from SES to health but to form a context that puts forward the magnitude and nature of SES gradient in health. The data used come from the wave of Turkstat Income and Living Conditions Survey (SILC) of Turkey for  2010. Since the analysis  focuses on adults, people under 25 are excluded.  Self-reported health, categorized as good and bad health, status is used as a health indicator. In this section, evolution of SES gradient in health is depicted by using income quartiles, education quartiles, work status and work type as indicators of SES.

Literature is divided between three approaches on the evolution of socio-economic gradient in health over life cycle. According to cumulative advantage hypothesis the differences in health by SES are established in life and subsequently widen as the economic and health disadvantages of less privileged interact and accumulate (Willson et al., 2007). On the other hand, age-as-leveler hypothesis suggests that deterioration in health is an inevitable part of the process of aging, with the result that SES-health gradient narrows at older ages (Beckett, 2000). A compromise scenario, is that cumulative advantage operates though middle age, with the SES-health gradient widening until around retirement age, before it narrows in old age as the biological determinants kick in (Van Doorsler et al., 2008).

There are important points remarkable in the process of analysis conducted here. One limitation of cross section data is that cohort effects may confound life cycle patterns. The strength of the relationship between SES and health may increase across cohorts (Van Doorslaer et al., 2008). Another limitation would be due to selective mortality. At older ages the most robust of the lower socioeconomic groups survive given that mortality is correlated with SES.

Income is attributed as the first indicator of socio-economic status (SES). Income is the household income per capita adjusted by OECD equivalence scale in which 1 is assigned for the head of household, 0.5 for each other person if he/she is older than 14 and 0.3 if he/she is younger than 14. First income quartile represents the lowest quartile (lowest income group), whereas the fourth income quartile represents the highest quartile (highest income group). Figure 1 shows self-reported good health according to income quartiles. One can regard percentages in the Figure 1 as: Probability (good health/1st quartile & age & gender). Although the income gradient is obvious, we observe different patterns for men and women. Despite the fact that starting points of first (bottom) and fourth (top) income quartiles are very close to each other; the rate of deterioration, which is given by the slope of the curves, is greater for women. For men, income gradient stays almost the same in young ages and income differences in health diverges at the beginning of the middle ages before it starts to converge after age of 64. On the other hand, the divergence in health starts immediately at young ages but convergence begin to occur at around age 45 for women. The immediate divergence for women would be due to justification bias and/or social roles.

Figure 1: Self-Reported Good Health by Age According to Income Quartiles and Gender


Figure 2: Self-Reported Good Health by Age According to Education Quartiles and Gender


Another important component of socio-economic status is education. Figure 2 presents self-reported good health according to education quartiles. First quartile includes illiterate individuals, second quartile includes primary education, third quartile refers to secondary education and fourth quartile involves individuals who have completed high school and university or higher education. As in the income gradient, men always report better health in every education and age category. For men, immediate widening of education gradient from young ages up to late middle age is apparent. The magnitude of education gradient is biggest at the age group 30-34. About 50% of men aged 40-44 report good health in the first (bottom) education quartile whereas this ratio is reached at the age of  65+ for men in fourth (top) education quartile. Similar structure is also valid for women; about 40% of women aged 40-44 in the bottom education quartile report good health while this proportion is attained after age 60-64 for the top education quartile.

Figure 3: Self-Reported Good Health  by Age According to Work Status


The theory predicts that individuals with physically demanding jobs will result in higher depreciation rates and will have a higher relative health decline over the life cycle (Grossman, 1972). Occupation is less predetermined than education, but is more so than income, offering another opportunity to examine whether the widening of income gradient until old ages may be influenced by the impact of health on work activity (Van Doorslaer, et al., 2008). In this respect the evolution of self-reported health through life cycle according work status, and work type are presented in Figure 3 and Figure 4 respectively. Figure 3 shows the percentages in good health according to work status. Working category includes individuals who are employed full-time, non-working category refers to the individuals who are both unemployed and out of labor force. The most remarkable observation is the widening of the gradient at younger ages and narrowing of it after age group 45-49 for men. Narrowing of the gradient would be due to selective mortality that leaves more robust survivors in the sample. Moreover it is observed that almost stable gradient for women implying that women’s health is not responsive to work status. Figure 4 presents the share of good health according to work type. Slightly widening of occupational gradient in health until late middle ages and narrowing of the gradient in old ages is observed. In  young ages, differences in health between blue and white collar workers are evident but not marked. However health trajectories experienced by blue collar workers are steeper.

Figure 4: Self-Reported Good Health  by Age According to Work Type


These results indicate that relatively wide SES gradient in health in middle ages and narrowing of it in old ages is a sign of cumulative-advantage hypothesis operating in middle ages before age of leveler hypothesis begins to play the major role in old ages. Although we cannot explicitly observe justification bias, selective mortality and cohort effects, the evolution of gradients reveals many important features. Education, work and income gradients imply that both of them are important for the production of adult health. Furthermore we observe significant difference between men and women over life cycle. Women’s health status is always worse than men in every SES group in any age category. However health of women shows greater response to education men. We can argue that policies directed at increasing female education would help to increase labor force participation and thus health status of women.


Beckett, M. (2000) ‘Converging Health Inequalities in Later Life: An Artificant of Mortality Selections’, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol.41,No.1,   pp.106-119.

Case, A. and Deaton, A. (2005) ‘Broken Down by Work and Sex: How Our Health Declines’, David A. Wise (ed.), Analyses in the Economics of Aging, Chicago, Chicago University Press, for NBER.

Grossman, M. (1972) ‘On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health’, Journal of Political Economy, Vol.80, No.2, pp.223-255.

Kunst, A. E. and Mackenbach, J.P. (1994) ‘Mortality Differences Associated with Educational Level in Nine Industrialized Countries’, American Journal of Public Health, Vol.84, No.6, pp.932-93

Smith, J.P. 2004.’Unraveling The SES-Health Connection’, Population and Development Review, Vol.30, pp.108-132.

Smith, J. P. (2007) ‘The Impact of SES on Health Over the Life Course’, Journal of Human Resources, Vol.42, No.4, pp.739-764.

Van Doorslaer, E., Van Kippersluis, H., O’Donell, O. and Van Ourti, T. (2008) ‘Socioeconomic Differences in Health Over the Life Cycle:Evidence and Explanations’, NETSPAR Panel Paper, No.12.

Van Kipperluis, H., Van Ourti, T., O’Donnel, O. and Van Doorslaer, E. (2009) ‘Health and income across the life cycle and generations in Europe’, Journal of Health Economics, Vol.28, No.4, pp.818-830.

Willson, A., Shuey, K. and Elder, G.  (2007) ‘Cumulative Advantage Processes As Mechanisms of Inequality in Life Course Health’, American Journal of Sociology, Vol.112, No.6, pp.1886-1924.

Kyris, George. The Europeanisation of Contested Statehood: The EU in Northern Cyprus. Surrey: Ashgate, 2015. pp. xiv+ 154. ISBN: 9781472421593


Reviewed by Dr. C. Akça ATAÇ (Çankaya University, Turkey)


Although advised otherwise, disclaimers in fine print are rarely read. The terms and conditions of using a product 9781472421593could go so lengthy and wieldy that no consumer would take the trouble or time to read them through and grasp them fully. The instructions and prerequisites provided legally for the user sometimes tend to be so extremely irrelevant and boring that Apple Inc., at the launch of their Ipod Shuffle, has approached the situation ironically by including the warning “Do not eat it.” Unfortunately, the introductions of books that are the later versions of PhD dissertations increasingly resemble the unexciting and dull, implicit and explicit terms and conditions accompanied by legal and technical disclaimers. When the narrow margin of movement in the discipline in question is cluttered with too many similar theoretical, analytical, methodological and empirical studies, introductions of new contributions to the field risk becoming dry and repetitive approaches that struggle to justify their existence.

Since Peter Gourevitch’s call to focus on the international sources of domestic politics in 1978, an inordinate number of studies of the sort have been published.[1] Similarly, Europeanisation, which seeks to pin down the impact of the EU on the domestic dynamics of member/candidate/partner states, has become one of the most widely adapted, faddy theoretical approaches to understanding the EU. On this account, newcomers to the overcrowded Europeanisation studies now have to communicate their works to the editors, publishers or PhD-juries through detailed disclaimers in the form of introductions that are dreary and uninteresting for the non-scholar -and sometimes even for the scholar- reader. The delicate reason why one study is different from many other similar ones with which it shares the same theoretical framework and empirical case requires extensive explanation and this takes its toll on readability.

The introduction of the book under review also suffers from this urge of self-explanation in the field of Europeanisation, too jammed with too many publications. The book partakes of the Europeanisation studies, but “without aiming to conceptually challenge or build on the Europeanisation debate.” [p.4] Within this framework, it also seeks to delve into the EU-Cyprus relations, but since this topic is also overcrowded with studies pinning down the EU impact on the Cyprus problem or the Republic of Cyprus’s international acceptance and legitimacy, it only concentrates on “the EU’s relevance to the Turkish Cypriots” as “a missing empirical account.” [p.3] Of course, because the impact of the EU on the domestic affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has been studied before, the book approaches the topic by placing it within the context of contested states that are “self-declared states which are not recognized internationally.” [p.ix] And among other contested situation of sovereignty such as Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Kosovo and the Ukraine crisis, the author, George Kyris, picks TRNC to be examined as a “single case study linked to the Europeanisation debate.” [p.6]

Although the current suspension of acquis communautaire in TRNC diminishes the urgency for a full-fledged investigation of Europeanisation in terms of “institutional compliance,” “change of domestic opportunity structures” and “change of beliefs and expectations,” the EU impact on institutions, political parties and civil society could still be adequately traced through the Financial Aid Regulation and the Green Line Regulation [pp.22-3, 10, 5]. Also, even though TRNC, as a contested state, is a non-EU member, the possibility that the Cyprus problem would be solved by a unitary federation allows this study to make “references to the literature on enlargement-driven Europeanisation.” [p.22] However, the “six main parameters of contested statehood” [p.23], which are “lack of recognition,” “international isolation,” “influence of a ‘patron’ state,” “lack of effective state structures,” “lack of effective control of the declared territory by the contested state,” and “importance of the regional dispute for domestic affairs,” continue to be valid altogether for TRNC, and the Turkish-controlled part of Cyprus remains a territory outside the EU jurisdiction. [pp.20, 22] And after all such disclaimers, terms and conditions and self-explanations are provided, the focus of research manifests itself as the question that appears on page 5 as “What is the impact of the EU on the Turkish Cypriot contested state?”

Kyris’s book consists of 7 chapters. They cover the contested statehood literature with reference to Europeanization, a political and historical overview of TRNC’s contested statehood, and the EU effect on Turkish Cypriot civil society, political parties and institutions. The author uses policy papers and media reports as well as interviews with EU elites and Turkish Cypriots, who are involved in the EU-related processes, as primary sources. The qualitative analysis of these sources results in revealing how the EU has affected the institutions, power structures, and political practices and ideas in TRNC; and how the contested statehood has mediated this impact through the six parameters mentioned above. Within these parameters, it is challenging that Turkey as the patron state engages with the Turkish Cypriot institutions, political parties and civil society in an “easier and longer” manner than does the EU; and this situation definitely puts Ankara forward as a tough “contender for influence.” [p.115] Naturally, such competition between Turkey and the EU at times deepens the rift between Europeanisation and Euroscepticism. Nevertheless, as long as the EU maintains its relevance to TRNC through “integration prospects” and the “solution to the ‘Cyprus’ problem,” Europeanization seemingly scores a better chance in its competition with Euroscepticism. [p.117] To claim, however, within this context that the UN’s EU supported Annan Plan had “triggered a strong pro-solution/EU trend amongst Turkish Cypriots” in the name of Europeanisation [p.117] is problematic, because the way the EU disowned the plan after it was rejected actually unleashed an equally visible flow of Euroscepticism. This point seems to be left out rather under-elaborated.

In fact, once the reader reaches beyond the ‘terms and conditions in fine print,’ Kyris’s book is a coherent attempt to tackle the Republic of Cyprus’s accession to the EU as “the accession of a separated country.” [p.118] and TRNC’s position as a contested state experiencing Europeanisation and Euroscepticism at once. In the course of the restarted negotiations between the two parts of the island, it could be a good read to sharpen one’s focus on TRNC’s contested statehood and the EU impact on its domestic dynamics of change.

[1] Peter Gourevitch, ‘The Second Image Reversed: The International Sources of Domestic Politics,’ International Organization, 32(04), 1978, pp. 881-912.

Dr. Evren Altınkaş graduated from the International Relations Department of Dokuz Eylül University. Healtınkas received postgraduate degrees from King’s College London in 2000 and Dokuz Eylül University in 2003 where he studied on the issue of Cyprus. He obtained his doctoral degree from Dokuz Eylül University in 2011 based on his dissertation comparing the development of the concept of intellectuals in Europe and in Turkey. He worked as an Assistant Professor in Avrasya University (2012-2013), Artvin Coruh University (2013-2014) and Girne American University (2014-2015). Altınkaş has several published articles in academic journals and book chapters. His research areas are Middle Eastern History, Turkish Politics, Comparative History, International Law, Cyprus problem and Intellectual History. He is currently continuing his academic research as an independent scholar.

CHANGINGTURKEY: Could you inform our readers about your recent and forthcoming publications? What are the main arguments that you defend in your recent works?

My recent work concentrates on the role of social media in the development of new politics. One of the objectives of this study is to develop a theory of “social media as a fifth force in politics”, by focusing on the concept of social media with an emphasis on “the sphere where public meet and organize”. The traditional conceptualization of the forces in politics is counted as “legislative, executive and judiciary”, with a popular addition of “media” as the fourth force, since it serves mainly as a mediator between the government and the people. Etymologically, it is easier to describe televisions, newspapers and radios as “mediators” between the people and the government as they transmit messages from one to the other. People use media as a channel to reach out to the government and express their demands, views and comments about governmental policies. Also, the government uses media to inform people about its new policies, regulations and actions. But, with the intensification of social media and Internet, we are witnessing the emergence of a new sphere where people from different parts of the country and the world can interact and even develop a general and shared attitude. This is something completely different from “public sphere” or “public opinion” in its nature. New media, social media and online networking services like Twitter and Facebook for instance have allowed a big number of individuals to organize and discuss social change completely outside the borders of a nation. Just like Gutenberg’s Bible first brought literacy to the masses, social media has brought the power of self-organization to people on a transnational basis.

I discussed the main tenets of social media emerging as a new force in domestic and international politics in my opinion paper published by the 21st Century Turkey Institute. For instance, the Immigration Law issued in France and in some other EU countries have gradually caused a decrease in the amount of skilled migrants from North Africa to EU countries, and those skilled university graduates who have organized through social media were actually the main dynamics behind the Arab Spring.

The Occupy movement is another example. What began in New York City has spread to cities across the United States and to the rest of the world. While protests against monetary policy spring up from time to time, the fact that these spread out movements have all decided to unite under the banner of the “Occupy” movement speaks volumes for the effects of social media and the Internet. In fact, many in the Occupy movement point to Egypt as their inspiration, which is even more astonishing for a number of reasons. One is the massive income disparity among protestors in Cairo and those in New York. While relative income in these nations is vastly different, citizens in both Egypt and the United States similarly protest their national elites in their respective nations. Another obvious reason that such a connection is astounding is because of the very nature of having protests in countries that are so far away from each other. It can easily be said that this is not the first time citizens in one locale, having heard of protests in another land, have been inspired to do the same, but in no other time in history, can such communication of revolution be accessed instantly by both parties.  Now, as Embassies across the world are monitoring Twitter accounts and informing one another of various calls for protest, the power (at least the power of first-access to information) has shifted in favor of the people. The important distinctive character of social media from public sphere and public opinion is the possibility of participation in social media from all parts of a society, including even the government officials. A very recent example in Turkey, the Gezi Park Protests showed us that social media was able to cause a lot of problems for national government. Turkish Prime Minister named social media as a “trouble” while criticizing its role in the organization of protests. But, interestingly, the Turkish Prime Minister, the Mayor of the Istanbul, the Mayor of Ankara and many officials from the government have all used social media as a tool to eradicate the effects of Gezi Park protests on public opinion.

It is very important to analyze the role of social media as a political force in society, which helps to improve the democracy. As Aristotle put it thousands of years ago, “democracy” is the corrupt form of the “polity”. Aristotle said that people who cannot rule themselves directly consider “democracy” as the only viable form of governance, which in turn leads to corrupt forms of leadership and government. In our modern world, direct democracy is almost impossible with some exceptions in certain Swiss cantons. Yet, with the help of social media and its role in letting people express their ideas directly to their peers and to officials who are also members of this huge network; it may be possible for people to have a chance to rule themselves directly. This process may start with criticizing some negative aspects about parliamentarian democracy and end with criticizing the “elected” parliamentarians who content themselves by voting for the Bills according to the will of their party leaders instead of the people.

Overall, my research aims to underline the importance of “people” in politics, with a specific reference to the rising role of social media both in society and in political life. The project has two dimensions: One is a comparison among Egypt, Turkey and other parts of the world where social media was used as a very effective tool to organize social movements, and the second dimension of my research is a historical comparison between the rise of “public sphere” as an area of social involvement – and inclusion into the political system with a chance of directly affecting the decision-makers – and the current role of social media which has the same effect in a direct or indirect manner.

CHANGINGTURKEY: What are the potential limitations of the existing analyses on Turkish politics and society, in your opinion? Could you suggest any gaps in the literature or any potential pitfalls?

In my opinion, one of the most important limitations we face while studying Turkish politics and society is a lack of objectivity. Competing tendencies that either accept or reject the Ottoman tradition in Turkish politics and history bring a huge problem. Turkish academia is highly polarized. For instance, in one of my publications, namely, “Intellectuals in the Early Republican Era: Elites of the Founding Ideology” (Article published at the refereed journal of CTAD, Year 7, Issue 14, Fall 2011) I used the term of “Kemalism” to define the ideology which predominated the early Republican era. Because of this, I have received criticisms from some prominent academics that using that term was too ideological. On the other hand, when I published another article on Ottoman intellectuals claiming that the intellectual tradition of the Ottoman era had huge impacts on Turkish intellectuals, a new set of criticisms I received was mainly about my emphasis on Ottoman intellectuals, which was seen by some other prominent academics as a praise to Ottomans and therefore unacceptable. When we look at the literature, the gap can be summarized as the combination of such disagreements I have tried to explain above. A detailed research on the sociological structure of Turkey needs to be conducted as we generally do not have much idea about sociology, traditions, family relations of Turkish “gemeinschaft” –following the conceptualization of Tönnies.

CHANGINGTURKEY: What is the best manuscript(s) you’ve read on Turkish politics and society so far? Could you suggest our readers any Turkey-focused research you have found valuable?

As a scholar of Turkish politics and history, I consider two manuscripts as particularly important. These may sound very familiar to your readers: Feroz Ahmad’s “The Making of Modern Turkey”, and Erik J. Zürcher’s “Turkey: A Modern History”.

Following the ‘Changing Turkey in a Changing World’ initiative of sharing historical documents with our readers, we are delighted to publish below a confidential correspondence authored by the British ambassador to the Ottoman empire (Sir Gerard Lowther) in 1908 about the latest developments in Anatolia with a special emphasis on the rise of tensions among Kurds, Armenians and Turks in various cities, including, Van, Bitlis, Konya, Kayseri, Adana.

The tensions were particularly linked to the municipal elections in Kayseri which resulted in the election of eight Armenians to two Turks. “This happened by the massing of the Armenian vote, given through the council of the church, for certain particular people, while the Turks, who have 400 votes to 180, spread their votes over a greater number of candidates and, as an absolute majority elects, were largely defeated”.

The report was sent to the British Foreign Secretary of the time, Sir Edward Grey. 

Source:  British National Archives

Document Reference: CAB-37-96-146





Excerpt from Mehmet Ozkan & Serhat Orakci (2015) ‘Viewpoint: Turkey as a “political” actor in Africa – an assessment of Turkish involvement in Somalia’, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 9:2, 343-352, DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2015.1042629

The crisis of food security in Somalia in 2011 prompted an increase in Turkish involvement in Eastern AfricanRJEA_I_09_02_COVER_RJEA_I_09_02 politics. Initially started as a humanitarian response, Ankara’s policy has evolved into a fully fledged Somalia policy with political and social dimensions. This article discusses the role and influence of Turkey in efforts bringing stability to Somalia. It is argued that Turkey’s Somalia policy, as far as it has succeeded in short term, has not only located Turkey as a “political” actor in Africa but also expanded Turkey’s Africa policy into a more complex and multifaceted one. As such, Turkey’s experience in Somalia will have significant implications for its broader African agenda.

Between 2002 and 2014, Turkey increased the number of Turkish embassies on the continent from 12 to 39. Turkey’s official aid for Africa’s regional development surpassed increased from $3.8 million in 2004 to nearly $250 million in 2012.12 The growing presence of Turkish NGOs contributed to these improvements and has paved the way for Turkey’s future commitment to the continent. However, some view Turkey as concerned mostly with its own economy and industries, and many associate Turkey with a selfinterested approach to trade.13 For this reason, many African countries have been suspicious of Ankara’s maneuvers over the past decade.14 However, developments in recent years have signaled a new phase in the Turkish–African relationship, characterized by enhanced collaboration not only in Africa but also in the global arena.15 For example, South Africa and Turkey recently developed a relationship of close cooperation and introduced new dialogue mechanisms.16

The following recent developments further illustrate the depth of Turkish involvement in Africa. Turkey–Africa trade volume increased sixfold, from $3 billion dollars in 2000 to almost $23 billion dollars in 2012.17 The Turkish state organization Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) opened offices in Ethiopia, Sudan, Senegal, Somalia, Kenya, and Tunisia. Turkish Airlines introduced new flights to destinations in Africa, including Accra, Darussalam, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Lagos, and Mogadishu. Official Turkish delegations continue to visit Africa, and Turkey has hosted a variety of African delegations. Business unions have visited African countries and established new trade links. The Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) invites Muslim religious leaders from Africa to Istanbul for consultation every four years, and recently many Turkish universities have launched African research departments. It seems likely that Turkey’s involvement in Somalia will bolster its cooperation with other African countries and institutions…

Turkey has delivered around $500 million in aid to Somalia through its developmental and humanitarian projects.35 About 500 Turks are estimated to be based in Somalia. Turkey has reconstructed the Mogadishu airport, built schools, and constructed a 200-bed hospital in the capital. The Turkish General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) has been digging wells, while TIKA renovated the old parliament building and constructed a road between the Mogadishu Airport and the city center. Turkey has also donated garbage trucks for Somalia’s waste management project. The Turkish Red Crescent (KIZILAY) has been supporting a refugee camp for 15,000 people. Some 1600 Somali students of different ages have received scholarships to attend Turkish schools.36

Diyanet is distributing copies of the Quran, sending local Imams to Turkey for training, and repairing ruined Somali mosques. In the capital, the Turkish Ministry of Health in cooperation with TIKA now runs the biggest hospital complex of Somalia, and Turkish health professionals and surgeons visit Mogadishu on rotation to train the Somalis in medical practice. Turkish Airlines (THY) has introduced direct flights from Istanbul to Mogadishu, in an effort to connect Somalia more closely with Turkey and the rest of the world. The Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) coordinates transportation of construction and humanitarian materials between Istanbul and Mogadishu.

Many Turkish NGOs have been active in the country, especially in central and southern Somalia. Turkish NGOs have circumvented restrictions on foreign organizations by working with local Somalia NGOs to deliver aid and implement their projects in distressed areas, or in some cases coordinated their projects from their headquarters in Turkey. Doctors Worldwide took over operations at a new, advanced hospital in Mogadishu.37 The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation is in the process of building the biggest orphanage complex on the Horn of Africa. The IHH has taken up the cause of Somali agriculture, and it has built wells and constructed irrigation channels to provide clean drinking water and increase agricultural capacity.38 Yardım Eli is building a 100-bed children’s hospital39 in Mogadishu, while Deniz Feneri runs another 10-bed hospital40 in the capital and is constructing an education center for women. Cansuyu offers projects for orphaned Somalis and is constructing a school.41 The Islamic identity of Turkish NGOs was essential to their ability to deliver humanitarian aid in 2011. On several occasions, Imams affiliated with al-Shabaab have criticized Turks as Western invaders in disguise, and the group has attacked Turkish interests multiple times since 2011.42 However, Turks have only rarely been targeted in violence by other Somali groups.43 Moreover, while al-Shabaab forbids foreign groups entry into its domains under militia control, it did permit Turkish NGOs to provide humanitarian relief through their local Somali partners. This privilege enhanced the status of Turkish NGOs in Somalia and may have indicated improvement in al-Shabaab’s attitude toward Turkey.44 As a result, Turkey was able to coordinate humanitarian projects with greater success than other countries.


  1. See Hasimi, “Turkey’s Humanitarian Diplomacy and Development Cooperation”.
  2. See Farrell, “Understanding Turkish involvement in Somalia”.
  3. See Ozkan, “A Post-2014 Vision for Turkey-Africa Relations”.
  4. Especially development of relations between Turkey and South Africa can be considered as this sort since 2010.
  1. “Güney Afrika vizesi kalkıyor”, Al-Jazeera Turk, 20 September 2011.
  2. See the Turkish Ministry of Economy website for trade figures.

  1. See Abukar Arman, “Erdogan: The Hero of Somalia”, 21 January 2015, Al-Jazeera, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/01/visit-erdogan-somalia-2015121124331818818.html
  1. See Aynte, “Turkey’s Increasing Role in Somalia”.
  2. See Richard Lough, “Turkey tries out soft power in Somalia”, Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/03/somalia-turkey-idUSL5E8GP2LP20120603 (accessed 15 December 2012).
  1. See “Somali halkına nitelikli tarım öğretiliyor”, İHH website, 6 June 2014, http://www.ihh.org.tr/tr/main/news/0/somali-halkina-nitelikli-tarim-ogretiliyor/2362 (accessed 6 April 2015).
  1. See “Somali hastanemizin kolonları bağlandı”, 26 February 2013, Yardımeli Derneği, http://www.yardimeli.org.tr/h=18601?somali-hastanemizin-kolonlari-baglandi#.VSOhdNysXQQ (accessed 6 April 2015).
  1. See “Deniz Feneri Somali’de kalıcı işler yapıyor”, Deniz Feneri Derneği, http://www.denizfeneri.org.tr/bagisci/afrika_137/somali_58/ (accessed 6 April 2015).
  1. See “Cansuyu Derneği Somali’ye okul yaptıracak”, 30 July 2012, Haberler.com, http://www.haberler.com/cansuyu-dernegi-somali-ye-okul-yaptiracak-3824336-haberi/ (accessed 6 April 2015).
  1. See Farrell, “Understanding Turkish Involvement in Somalia”.
  2. See “Somali’de bir Türk yaralandı”, Sabah, http://www.sabah.com.tr/Dunya/2012/10/03/somalide-bir-turk-yaralandi (accessed 09 April 2015).
  1. See Orakçı, “Somali’nin geleceği ve 2015 hedefleri”.

logoIPSA 24th World Congress of Political Science: “Politics in a World of Inequality”

Date and Place: 23-26 July 2016 Istanbul

Proposed Panel theme: “Politics of International Migration”

We now know that large-scale mobility of people across international borders is not only a one-time movement from country A to country B. It is a phenomenon that creates different levels of transnational spaces, where not only the people, but also the sending and receiving societies and governments are largely involved and affected. Thus, the panel is looking for those papers that are integrating different perspectives of the wide variety of fields that are interested in the study of migration, such as political science, sociology, economics, and anthropology. We welcome studies on human migration with different indications, and mainly research that focus on comparative findings with significance beyond a single case study; novel methodological techniques; and innovative theoretical contributions on the various dimensions and effects of international migration. We argue that migration molds not only societies, but also has important policy consequences, all of which largely fit the special focus of the 2016 conference Politics in a World of Inequality. Accordingly, we are interested in papers exploring –but not limited to– the following main themes:

  • Policy responses to international migration on different levels, i.e., international, national, local
  • Debates on diversity and citizenship
  • Migration and mobility nexus

Language: English

Chairs: Dr. Deniz Sert & Derya Ozkul

Discussant: Dr. Dogus Simsek

Deadline for paper submission: 7 OCT 2015

You will find all the details about the congress and guidelines for submissions on the conference website https://istanbul2016.ipsa.org/events/congress/istanbul2016/home


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 993 other followers

%d bloggers like this: