Public Lecture with Dr. Özge Dilaver: “Between Here and Almost There: Places and Identities Across Greek-Turkish Border”, 19 November 2015, SOAS

Title: “Between Here and Almost There: Places and Identities Across Greek-Turkish Border”
Speaker: Dr. Özge Dilaver, University of Surrey, Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS)
Date: Thursday, 19 November 2015
Time: 19:00-20:30
Venue: Main College Buildings, Room G51A, SOAS, University of London, WC1H 0XG
Chair: Dr. Yorgos Dedes, Near and Middle East Department, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

We are pleased to announce Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey (Research Turkey)’s public lecture entitled “Between Here and Almost There: Places and Identities Across Greek-Turkish Border” in which Dr. Özge Dilaver of University of Surrey will give a talk. This event will take place on Thursday 19 November 2015 between 7:00p.m. and 8:30p.m. at Main College Buildings, Room G51A, SOAS, University of London, WC1H 0XG. Dr. Yorgos Dedes, of Near and Middle East Department, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) will chair the event.

You may find the the talk’s abstract and the short biographies of the speaker and the chair below.

This event is free and open to public but it is a ticketed event that requires pre-registration. A ticket does not guarantee a seat. Please click here for free registration and tickets.

Abstract of the Talk

Between Here and Almost There: Places and Identities Across Greek-Turkish Border

National borders are peculiar places that accommodate contradictory meanings, manifest power of state in diverse contexts and interact with the social and political reality around them in complex ways. In abstraction, borders can be regarded both as limits dividing an otherwise unitary entity, and as the edges where otherwise distinct entities meet (Kaplan and Hakli, 2002). The distinction between the two meanings is likely to depend on assumptions about what existed there before the border was constructed, what exists now at the two sides of the border, and how permeable the border is. Borders, as everyday entities, are complex, multidimensional, social constructs that are placed in environments that are social as well as physical. Thus, they cannot be fully understood outside these contexts. Borders, as mechanisms of power, rank people according to politically set criteria, and thus function as “filters”, “firewalls” (Popescu, 2012) or “political membranes” (Wilson and Donnan, 1998) that work for distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable flows into the body of the state. Although some national borders in Europe have become ambiguous, the Turkish-Greek border remains relatively less permeable. This study investigates the impact of this border through stories of five individuals who have strong ties at both sides of the Greek-Turkish border. Being born in different parts of Western Thrace, these five individuals first travelled to Turkey as young persons in 1970’s during the peak of the tension between Greece and Turkey. The border and its impermeability in that period forced these individuals to half their lives in one way or the other. By following how different individuals dealt with this problem and how their social, economic and political states affected the outcomes, the study reveals the significance and complexity of the border as it is experienced.

Short Biographies of the Speaker and the Chair

Dr. Özge Dilaver has completed her PhD at Lancaster University where she investigated diffusion of information and communication technologies. She is a research fellow at University of Surrey, Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS).  Her research interests predominantly relate to evolutionary economics and computational social science. While investigating issues like technology-induced social and institutional change, borders and boundaries, and economic geography of socio-technical systems, Özge aims to accommodate social construction of reality in the computational models of social complexity. She has led a series of workshops under the ESRC-funded networking projectConstructed Complexities that investigated links and gaps between social constructionism and complexity. In her own research, Özge employs a mixed-method research design combining grounded theory fieldwork with simulation models. She also held a Balkan Futures fellowship funded by the British Academy, hosted by British Institute at Ankara and British School at Athens. For her Balkan Futures research Özge investigated mobility between Greece and Turkey and is building simulation models of the economic geography of Thessaloniki and Istanbul.
 
Dr. Yorgos Dedes is Senior Lecturer in Turkish at the Department of the Languages and Cultures of Near and Middle East at SOAS.  His main research areas include Ottoman literature and Turkish culture with special reference to frontier epics and relations with Byzantium and Greece.  Another area of interest is the compulsory population exchange between Turkey and Greece and thealjamiado literature of the Greek-speaking Muslims.  His teaching includes courses on Ottoman and Modern Turkish language, literature and culture. For the last ten years he has also been teaching at the Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School in Cunda.  Dr. Dedes is a member of the London Middle East Institute (LMEI) and the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS).
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