On the ground in Turkey: Repression Gets Personal, 28 November 2013. Interviewed by Facing Tear Gas/War Resisters League.

Presentations and Talks

After Gezi, After the Elections, After ISIS: Politics in Turkey Now: A Conversation, CUNY Graduate Center, 20 October 2014

I moderated this panel which presented a conversation about the current political context in Turkey, in the wake of popular protests (Gezi and its follow-ups), parliamentary and presidential elections (which have strengthened the hand of the ruling AK Party), and regional politics (particularly the horror of Syria and the rise of ISIS). This panel was organized by the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center at CUNY, and co-sponsored by the Committee for Globalization and Social Change; Center for Place, Culture, and Politics; Jadaliyya E-Zine; the Middle Eastern Studies Organization and the Postcolonial Studies Group at the CUNY Graduate Center. The panelists were Burcu Baykurt, Ayça Çubukçu, Duygu Parmaksizoglu, Aslı Iğsız and Emrah Yildiz.

 GEZI Resistance: A Blossomed Creativity in Revolutionary Potential, Art of Defiance, Collective Culture, Reorganisation and Urban Jargon

Panel Abstract:

May 31st marks the anniversary of the GEZI Resistance in Turkey. Occupying the streets of the largest metropolis in Turkey gave the activists ample and unique opportunity to modify them. We have been experiencing a dazzling change in the modes how the soul of the resistance is articulated on site. The street art brought about the walls of the city be as they had never been. Poems started to be inscribed on walls, graffitis symbolize the courage of the activists and the countenance of the city changed irreversibly. Songs were composed, millions started to sing them. The organisation on the street autopoietically generated a mechanism of solidarity and communion. Forums on major quarters of the city started a bottom-to-top intervention to local governance. Houses started to be occupied and used as student dormitories. The words that had been condemned as outlaw started to be routinely and widely used. Thus, the confrontation came in various ways and in this panel we will discuss the positive assets Gezi resistance added to our collective culture.

Panelists: Cihan Tekay, Burak Arikan, Fulya Peker, Esra Akcan; moderated by Ceren Erdem.

“Resistance Everywhere”: The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey: A Panel Discussion, CUNY Graduate Center, 14 March 2014

the panel2

This panel took as its starting point a discussion of the Gezi Park protests, which erupted in Istanbul in late May 2013 and led to ongoing resistance throughout Turkey against the government. Panelists explored the aftermath of the protests, accounting for the events that followed the summer’s protests. My presentation reflected on the death of 15-year old protester Berkin Elvan, analyzing the reconfiguration of life and death as a tactic of governance in neoliberal Turkey. My fellow panelists were Elizabeth Angell, Emrah Yildiz, Asli Igsiz, Jay Cassano, Elif Sari and Louis Fishman. This panel was moderated by Anthony Alessandrini and co-sponsored by the Committee on Globalization and Social Change; Center for Place, Culture and Politics, Jadaliyya E-Zine; the Narrating Change Seminar; and Tadween Publishing.

A Roundtable Discussion: The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey, Harvard University, 3 March 2014


Talk Title: “Engendering Biographies & Bibliographies: Women’s Movement, Critical Media Practice, and Gezi” 

This roundtable took place on March 3, 2014 at the Center for Government and International Studies at Harvard University. The event coincided with the launch of the JadMag volume, “Resistance Everywhere”: The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey, published by Jadaliyya, where I am a co-editor of the Turkey page, and Tadween Publishing. My presentation traced the history of feminist and women’s movements in Turkey, reflecting on the role of the body as a site of resistance in the Gezi protests. My fellow panelists were Bassam Haddad, Elizabeth Angell, Ceyhun Arslan and Emrah Yildiz. The panel was moderated by Cemal Kafadar, Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies, Department of History, Harvard University.

Regimes of Labor, Columbia University, 28 February 2014

2014-02-28 13.31.16

Talk Title: “The State, Global Capital, and Women Workers in Turkey: A Case Study of the 2006-2007 Novamed Strike”

I presented this paper which builds on my MA thesis work on an all-women strike in a Turkish Free Trade Zone at the Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies (MESAAS) Graduate Conference, 27-28 February 2014. My fellow panelists were Claudie Fioroni, Matan Kaminer and Li Xiaoyue, and our discussant was Timothy Mitchell, Professor and Chair of MESAAS at Columbia University.

The War Here and Abroad: CUNY and U.S. Empire, CUNY Graduate Center, 4 December 2013

This panel took place on December 4, 2013 at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center. I helped organize this panel which sought to explore the relationship between the higher education system and militarization in the U.S. and globally, and ended up filling for one of the speakers who could not make it. My talk explored the history of the political and military relationship between the U.S. and Turkey. My fellow panelists were David Harvey, Ashley DawsonFaris Al-Ahmad Zwiran and Ali Issa.

Emergence and Transformation: From Social Problems to Social Movements, 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, 24 November 2013


Talk Title: “Between Global Capital and Patriarchal Unionism: Women, Labor and Collective Memory in Turkey”


The labor movement in Turkey had a defining moment in 2007 when a 15-month long strike by workers employed in Novamed, a subsidiary of an international medical device giant in Antalya Free Trade Zone (FTZ) was victorious. In Turkey as in other developing countries, FTZs symbolize neoliberalization of the economy and the feminization of labor. Thus, the Novamed strikers’ resistance was framed in the dual context of a global uprising against global capital and of women against patriarchy, and the strike’s glory signified a major breakthrough for unions and women workers in Turkey. However, these same workers found themselves without union recognition and without a contract three years later. Undertaken with feminist priorities, this research seeks to shed light on the gendered limits of Turkish unionism through probing the collective memory of women workers and solidarity activists in light of the failure to renew the strike contract. To do so, I draw on the collective memory of the strikers and solidarity activists to ask: What was the extent and limits of the Novamed strike’s challenge to patriarchal unionism at a moment when women workers emerged as the agents of resistance within the Turkish labor movement? How do the workers remember the strike, an event which has become part of a larger history, of which they were the main agents/actors? What can the competing meanings of the strike tell us of the differences in perspective between the women workers, unionists and feminist solidarity activists?

Rethinking Gezi Through Feminist and LGBT Perspectives, The New School for Social Research, 5 October 2013

Talk Title: “A Short History of Feminism in Turkey and Feminist Resistance in Gezi”

I co-organized this panel at the Talk Turkey Conference: Rethinking Life Since Gezi which took place at The New School for Social Research on 4-5 October 2013 and was moderated by Nil Uzun. I participated in the panel as a co-presenter with Zeyno Ustun. A transcript of this talk has been published by Jadaliyya.

16th Sociology Student Conference, Yüzüncü Yıl University, Van, Turkey, 5-7 May 2010

Talk Title: “Passive Revolution: Islamist Movements in Turkey From 1970s to Present”

Co-presented with Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun and Fatih Tatari.

Download audio (Türkçe)

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, 2008-2009