The Einstein Fellows Research Group at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, funded by the programme "Wissenschaftsfreiheit" by Einstein Foundation Berlin, is composed of eight scholars with a background in critical academia in Turkey. The research focus of the group is twofold: Four researchers are affiliated with the Berlin Institute for Empirical Research on Migration and Integration (BIM) and work on forced migration and diasporas. Rising authoritarianism in Turkey is the main research focus of the four scholars who are affiliated to the Institute of Social Sciences (ISW) and the Integrative Research Institute for Law and Society (IRI).

With their research focusing on Turkey the Einstein Fellows Research Group is a valuable contribution to the already established network of the programme "Blickwechsel: Contemporary Turkey Studies" at the Institute of Social Sciences. Within the framework of this cooperation jointly organized events and collaboration on many different levels are taking place.

Past and Future Events

Coordinator of Einstein research group

Anne Berger

Research Group Coordinator
Humboldt University of Berlin, Department of Social Sciences
Contact: +49 30 2093 66678
Languages: German, English, Turkish, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Nepalese, Arabic

Liana Harutyunyan

Research Assistant
Humboldt University of Berlin, Department of Social Sciences/ FU Berlin, Institute of Turkology
Languages: German, English, Turkish, Russian, Armenian

Einstein Fellows

Sinem Adar

CV: Sinem Adar has received her PhD degree in Sociology from Brown University and MSc degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. Dr. Adar's research examines struggles over the parameters of inclusion into and exclusion from the political community, and how these struggles shape and are shaped by identification processes. Long CV

"City as a gaze into inclusion and exclusion: Turkish-origin inhabitants of/in Berlin"
In her new project, Sinem Adar explores the material and emotional conditions of belonging as experienced by Turkish-origin inhabitants of/in Berlin. This research is a follow-up to the qualitative research she conducted last year to explore how and to which ends migrants from Turkey and their Germany born children engage with increasingly authoritarian and conservative Turkish politics.



Gülçin Balamir Coşkun

CV: Gülçin Balamir Coşkun obtained her PhD degree from the International Relations Program at Istanbul University. She received her undergraduate degree from Galatasaray University and MA degree from University Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne. Her research focuses on authoritarianism of the Turkish political system, democratic theory, political violence, and refugees.

"Analysis of Media Control as a Symptom of Democratic Backsliding in the AKP Era"
This project aims to analyse the role of media control to hamper opposition forces to challenge AKP's dominance. It also seeks to understand how polarization is used as a way of legitimation for antidemocratic policies and practices.



Begüm Başdaş

CV: Begüm received her PhD in Geography from the University of California Los Angeles (2007) and her MA in Art History from the University of California Riverside (2001). Her BA was in Sociology at Boğaziçi University, Turkey. She also has a background as a human rights defender at Amnesty International Turkey. Long CV

"Masculinities on the Move: Spatial Politics of Solidarity and Care Among Refugees in Germany and Greece"
Begüm's current research is on human rights, gender, sexuality, and migration. She focuses on the re-construction of masculinities of refugee men as they move across European borders. She explores how Afghan refugee men through their everyday spatial practices build relations of care and solidarity in Berlin and Lesvos island.



Özgür Çiçek

CV: She received her PhD from Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture programme at Binghamton University (SUNY) in 2016. She was a visiting scholar at Brandenburg Centre for Media studies (ZeM), and Luigi Einaudi Chair Scholar at Cornell University. Her research interests include national/transnational cinemas, 'minor' cinemas, memory studies, and documentary filmmaking.

"Turning memories into Films: Kurdish filmmaking in Germany"
This project examines the motivations and dynamics behind Kurdish filmmaking in Germany, through interrogating how the film as a form functions for releasing and representing the undocumented memories of Kurdish people who have been migrating to Germany since the 1960s.



Tuba İnal-Çekiç

CV: She got her PhD degree by the Urban and Regional Planning Department of Yıldız Technical University. She worked at HafenCity University Hamburg from Sept. 2017 to Nov. 2108 as part of a ERC Horizon 2020 team on participation in mobility related projects. Her research interests are focused on urban movements and urban commons from a participatory governance perspective. Long CV

"Brutal Urban Policy for/of an Authoritarian Regime: Centralization of the Urban Governance and Struggles Against the State Hegemony"
The study analyses the neo-liberal and brutal shift in urban restructuring of Turkey departing from most prominent spatial interventions in Istanbul. The proposed research aims to introduce the urban resistance movements in a repressive environment and the solidarity amongst the organizations that wage struggles against the brutal urban change.



Ayşegül Kars Kaynar

CV: She got her PhD degree from the Political Science Department of Middle East Technical University. She has been a researcher at New School for Social Research, and visiting fellow in Hamburg University, TürkeiEuropaZentrum. Her research interests involve contemporary Turkish politics, legal studies, securitization policies, and civil-military relations.

"The End of the Peace Process and Turkey's New Political Regime"
The project examines transformation of parliamentary democracy in Turkey between June 2015 and April 2017. It pays particular attention to how legitimacy principle of the regime shifted away from majoritarianism, and argues that the state of emergency regime since July 2016 is a consequence, rather than the cause of this transformation.



Zeynep Kıvılcım

CV: She is an associate professor of public international law. She got her MA and PhD degrees from Université Paris II. In Germany, she taught at Göttingen University, Osnabrück University, and Humboldt University and was fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Long CV

"The Politics of Legality of the Authoritarian Regime in Turkey"
The research will investigate the role of law and courts in the construction of Turkey's authoritarian regime. It will critically discuss the politics of legality in Turkey's judiciary between 2014-2019. It will also investigate the possibilities to make use of law, both substantially and instrumentally, for resisting the establishment of the authoritarian rule of law.



Özlem Savaş

CV: She received her Dr. phil. degree from the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She worked as Assistant Professor at Bilkent University and held research fellowships at The Brandenburg Center for Media Studies (ZeM) and the University of Konstanz. Her research focuses on migration studies and media studies, with a particular attention to everyday life.

"Digital Spaces of New Migrants from Turkey: Collectivities, Affinities, and Affective Politics"
This engaged ethnographic research focuses on affective digital media environments and practices that accompany the recent migration from Turkey. It aims to explore how forms of collectivity, solidarity, and affective politics are shaped and reshaped by translocal flows and repertoires of collective, public, and political feelings.