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The Future of Turkish Migration in Europe Explored in First-Ever Conference

Prestigious international partners of this premier event also included the Bogazici University, International Organisation for Migration, and the Migration Letters. The conference was the first of its kind to explore the future prospects of Turkish migration patterns in Europe with strong interest shown from a large number of academics, government representatives and third sector organisations. Approximately two-hundred scholarly proposals were submitted for presentation at the conference of which a hundred and thirty were accepted to the final programme, after the assessment of the conference committee comprising of forty-six established academics from major institutions across the world.

The event was attended by approximately two-hundred-and-fifty participants from all over the world including distinguished guests such as His Excellency the Turkish Ambassador Mr Unal Cevikoz and the Consul-General Mr Ahmet Demirok together with attendees from different ministries, young and experienced academics and members from the media. The principal of Regent’s College, Prof Aldwyn Cooper, had notably stated during the welcome speeches that “this International Conference on Turkish Migration in Europe: projecting the Next 50 Years is a timely one during a period where Europe is debating its own future and while Turkey’s EU membership is still pending”. Alongside Prof Cooper’s words, Prof Tariq Modood (Bristol University) had also given an interesting speech with regards to multiculturalism and integration and stated that “Turks are no longer primarily migrants in Western Europe but citizens as of course many are today”. Along with Prof Tariq Modood, the other keynote speakers during the conference were Prof Kemal Kirisci (Bogazici University), Prof Philip Martin (University of California - Davis), and Prof Jeffrey Cohen (Ohio State University). At the end of the 3 day conference, the awards for the best paper submissions were announced, with Dr. Isik Kulu-Glasgow and Gulseli Baysu being the recipients.

The conference was split into different sessions, including 26 panel sessions of oral presentations with presentations being given according to the topic of the parallel session alongside with poster presentations. There were also a caricature exhibition by Prof Murat Erdogan of Hacettepe University and a fashion presentation given by Neslihan Kapucu from Germany which depicted the evolution of Turkish fashion.

The response from the guests and participants after the conference was very positive, with some of them stating that it was “inspiring” and “fulfilling”. Most notably, the Turkish Ambassador to the UK Mr Unal Cevikoz tweeted after his attendance at the launch of the conference: “Turkish Migration in Europe conference puts a new vision for Europe for the next 50 years”.

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