‘WELCOMING CULTURE’ IN EUROPE AND BEYOND
ORGANISERS | Ayhan Kaya, Istanbul Bilgi University and Alexander K. Nagel, University of Göttingen
Reception policies, practices and humanitarian responses to the migration of refugees in contemporary Europe and beyond are of great concern for state actors, European Union institutions, private individual actors and refugees. Despite efforts to achieve harmonization, many differences exist in this field in the countries that are the object of research including Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Sweden, UK, Turkey and Lebanon.
In the age of right-wing populism, reception policies have become even a greater debate in many countries. In 2015, most Europeans welcomed thousands of refugees. The media covered the exodus as well as the arrival of the refugees. An exceptional number of volunteers began to assist, and local governments, state actors, European institutions and international institutions provided accommodation and assistance. Despite the fears of terrorism, economic problems and financial problems, there was a strong consensus about accepting refugees in need. This consensus still continues, even if there is a growing stream of resistance against refugees from right-wing populist circles.
We will explore how reception policies and practices in the European Union and beyond have changed since 2011 and especially since 2015, and how citizens and refugees responded. Some papers address the role of the European Commission, relevant EU agencies, the role of Member State governments and local governments, the UNHCR, and NGOs. Others contribute with country-specific case studies covering the above mentioned actors, or focus on one particular actor to help us develop a typology of these policies, practices and responses.
Abstracts & bios
Panel 4A – “Reception: Local Modalities”
Boosting esigenze (human requirements): improving the quality of migrant life in reception centers
Sara Forcella, University of Rome, La Sapienza
“Reception time” is the period in which migrants stay in camps during the asylum-seeking process. Rarely scrutinized, and unexplainable by analyses that do not take into account a-specific factors beyond objective data, the quality of life and the well-being people experience within the reception system strongly influence their choices, opportunities and forthcoming projects.
From 2011 till now, Italy has adopted various measure for migrants’ reception, from states of emergency to more organized interventions, and boosting integration. However, especially in first-level reception camps, migrants’ lives often become a “stand-by” due to the prolonged period of stagnation in which only bare minimum treatments are generally provided. As a result, the more proactive attitude which asylum seekers may have when entering the reception system is reduced by exasperatingly long waits. Focusing on esigenze (human requirements; Fagioli 2019), namely the total of aspirations, interests, human relationships and personal prospects which enrich and complete every individual’s life experience, is crucial. Cultural and artistic activities, aimed at soliciting the individual’s sensitivity, critical reflection and interest through an alternative knowledge of the new territory and its social and artistic texture, enable people to keep touch with reality and the ability to bear multiple uncertainties, which they may lose in reception time.
After a brief recap of the evolution of “reception time” in the first and second tier of camps in Italy, this contribution will present some theoretical considerations on esigenze (human requirements) and their importance in order to improve the quality time of people in the reception system. Lastly, I will provide a case-study: a grassroots project undertaken with a group of asylum seekers in the province of Rome that used cultural-artistic activities to boost esigenze (human requirements), as well as personal resistance. By going beyond “places of need” and bringing people into spaces of beauty and art, these activities also shorten the distance between life in camps and the outside.
Sara Forcella is an Arabist and cultural mediator. Graduated with a Master in Arabic Language and literature, she has worked with refugees and asylum seekers as a cultural mediator and Italian language teacher since 2012. She has dealt with cultural mediation in different contexts, including legal, medical, psychological mediation and job orientation. She also teaches literacy in Italian. Over the last years, she has undertaken a project of (inter)cultural-artistic activities with migrants to promote cultural and social engagement in the new country or residence.
The fragmented and incoherent reception systems for asylum seekers in Italy: an ethnographic study of the Autonomous Province of Trento
Elena Giacomelli, University of Bologna
The arrival of migrants has placed critical challenges on Italian society, as Italy perceived itself and was considered by most migrants as a transit country, a land to cross to reach other European destinations located further north (Hein, 2010).Therefore, Italy did not prioritize a consistent legislation on asylum or specific reception measures. The result is that each arrival is addressed as a specific and new emergency, putting institutional learning in poor focus. In 2002 Italy instated the ordinary national reception system, namely, the System for the Protection of Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR). However, after the the North-Africa crisis and the Mare-Nostrum operation, Italy was forced to adopt a new extraordinary reception system: the Temporary Reception Centers (CAS). The more than 62,000 migrants who landed largely in Lampedusa in 2011 represented, in terms of numbers, the first real refugee emergency for our country. The so-called North Africa Emergency dramatically unveiled the lack of preparation of the Italian refugee reception system, included professional figures and legal instruments. This unexpected situation was not taken as an opportunity, by the Italian government nor the European Commission, to bring out a vision of the wider phenomenon, despite the international scenario left foreshadowing that the "emergency" was not meant to be isolated (Campomori, 2016). In Italy, there is still no uniform reception system. In this confused scenario, where responsibilities are distributed at different levels from the European Union to municipalities, the possibility of adopting different if not contradictory strategies are high. The general lines of intervention in this field are established at national level, while, due to decentralization, the effective management of social policies for immigrants is delegated to local authorities. Consequently, the living conditions of immigrants can change from one area to another, depending on the local socio-economic situation and the importance attributed to immigration issues by each local administration. (Caponio and Pavolini 2007). This research focused on the implications of “local variations” of the reception system and of the street-level practices of social workers, in a country marked by historical, political and socio-economic differences (Pratt, 2006), focusing on the Autonomous Province of Trento. Social workers, moving their everyday actions inside this framework is developing a quite new form of street-level bureaucracy, where community-team practices (Wenger, 1998) may develop a more or less strong self-perception of “moral entrepreneur” role (Becher, 1963).
Elena Giacomelli is a doctoral candidate at the University of Bologna. During her undergraduate studies she focused on Political Science and International Relations, and she refined her interests finding out to be fascinated by the research and analysis of the roots and dynamics of migration and their impact on the stability and legitimacy of societies. She pursued her studies attending a Master in European and International Studies. She spent one semester in the Metropolitan University of Prague, where she took part in the research project "Current Migration to Europe: Research of Smart Population Dynamics”. As a result, she deep her interest in migration, providing questionnaires survey with migrants in two transit centers in Vienna. She then took an internship in the Australian Population and Migration Research Center, which provided her an insight on the actual work of research in the field of migration. She conducted her Master dissertation research in the Third World Studies Center, in The Philippines, focusing on environmental migration in the country. She is currently undertaking a PhD, conducting an ethnographic research on social works with asylum seekers. In order to anchor her research to practice, she worked for two years as a social worker with asylum seekers and refugees. She has been selected for a scholarship within the EUROSAprogram and she spent six months as a visitor researcher at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa). She participated to migration focused Summer Schools: in Forced Migration and Asylum (Bologna); in Sociology of Migration (Genoa) and in Urban Ethnography (Trento). Lastly, she participated as a speaker at the first annual CESSMIR Conference titled ‘Needs and Care Practices for Refugees and Migrants’ at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and at the 4thInternational Conference ‘Migrants and refugees in the Law’ at the Catholic University of Murcia (Spain).
Migration Governance in Turkey: The Case of Civil Society
Büke Boşnak, Istanbul Bilgi University
According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, the number of Syrian migrants has exponentially grown over the years, resulting in 3.5 million registered Syrians in Turkey alone, with an approximated additional 2 million in Iraq, Lebanon, and more Egypt, Jordan, and more than 33.000 in North Africa. The recent mass migration that has hit and spread the neighboring countries and the European Union (EU) is an illustration of how global migration processes cause problems and challenges to the affected counties and people (European Commission 2015; Garkisch et al. 2017). While the states and global actors struggle with the current crisis due to limited resources as well as diverging policies towards the reception of refugees/migrants, civil society, ranging from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to voluntary organizations have provided various services to refugees/migrants. Most of the research has focused on the role of civil society in providing basic services such as safety, humanitarian aid, health, wellbeing and social welfare. Scholarly debate on migration and civil society has also shown that civil society plays a “double and interconnected role” in provision of basic services as well as conduction of advocacy in migration governance. Yet, this double role and the interplay of civil society with governmental, corporate and international actors are understudied in the current literature. Drawing upon social movement theory and literature on migration governance, this paper examines civil society and its responses to reception policies within the so-called migration crisis in Turkey. I argue that civil society in Turkey responds with multiple strategies, (i) provision of services and formation of alliances with governmental actors, (ii) framing and legitimization of refugees as economic gains in relation to corporate actors and (iii) networking with transnational NGOs which all highlight importance of cooperation networks between different stakeholders and understanding of civil society as active agents.
Büke Boşnak is an assistant professor of international relations in the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University.She holds an MSc in European Politics and Governance from the London School of Economics and PhD in Political Science from University of Tübingen, Germany. Her research focuses on civil society, Europeanisation, gender studies, environmental politics and human rights within the EU and Turkey. She has also published on several aspects of civil society in Turkey.
Governance of Refugee Response regarding Syrian Children in Southeast Turkey
Dilek Karal, Children of One World in Turkey - Zeynep Sahin Mencütek, SRII & Global Cooperation Centre, University of Duisburg - Imran Altintop, Gaziantep Law Clinic | Turkey Bar Association and UNHCR Joint Project
Turkey's response to the Syrian refugee migration is mainly governed by Turkish state through partnering and collaborating with multiple UN agencies, international /local NGOs, CSOs and local governmental bodies on the basis of response sectors. The programs and initiatives addressing the needs and protection of Syrian refugee children necessitated growing attention, particularly in regions where Syrian refugees live in large numbers such as South East Turkey. In this region, South East Sub-Working Groups composed of international/local NGOs and co-led by UNHCR and UNICEF focus on the needs of refugee children. This paper aims to evaluate the services provided for Syrian children under the protection and education sectors in South East Turkey as a host region to more than half of the Syrians residing in Turkey. Drawing from interviews and focus group discussions held in Gaziantep with local government, international and local NGOs and Syrian NGOs, and Syrian refugees, the paper focuses on the evaluation of the prioritized topics by the South East Child Protection Sub-Working Group and their capacity and alignment with international standards on Child Protection. The paper demonstrates that despite increasing numbers of projects and initiatives launched by local and international actors, the refugee children protection field suffers from limited coordination among humanitarian actors, barriers related to the policy environment and bureaucratic resistance, earmarked donations, and short-term fundings. This situation undermines the capacity building of service providers, the development of a right based approach in conceiving and operationalizing the Syrian refugee children protection, accordingly reflect negatively on implementation of the standards set by UN Convention on Child Rights and the Child Protection Minimum Standards created by the International Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and UNHCR Guidelines on Refugee Children.
Dilek Karal is a sociologist and protection program coordinator at Children of One World in Turkey. Karal received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey, where she developed interests in social theory, migration studies, Turkish studies, sociology of nationalism and ethnicity. Karal authored Ethico-political Governmentality of Immigration and Asylum: The Case of Ethiopia in 2018 (Palgrave Macmillan).
İmran Altıntop is Psychologist in Gaziantep Law Clinic which is a joint project of Turkey Bar Association and UNHCR. Altıntop, received her Ph.D. in Social Work from Yalova University, in Yalova, Turkey. She will also finish Developmental Psychology MA degree in August from Ege University in İzmir, Ankara. She is interested in coping, trauma, resilience, migration studies, and kindergarten child social and emotional development issues.
Zeynep Şahin Mencütek holds a PhD degree in the Politics and International Relations from the University of Southern California, US. Previously, she worked as a teaching assistant, lecturer and assistant professor in the International Relations departments in Turkey and in the US. for Global Cooperation Research, University of Duisburg, Germany as an Associate Fellow. Currently, she serves as the Senior Research Fellow in the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul for the Horizon2020 project titled RESPOND: Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond. Her research expertise lies in comparative migration, diaspora politics, and international relations of the Middle East in which she has an extensive publication record. Her first monograph titled Refugee Governance, State and Politics in the Middle Eastpublished in December 2018 by the Routledge Global Cooperation Series. Since September 2016, she has been affiliated with the Kate Hamburger Kolleg/Center. In March 2019, she joined the Centre to study as part of the Global Cooperation and Polycentric Governance research group that investigates the working of governance around the global issues.
Panel 4B – Reception: Welcoming Refugees
Refugees Welcome: The Creation of Digital Communities, Social Media as a Tool of Self-Integration
Anisa Abeytia, East Los Angeles College
This country case-study focuses on real and digital social-spatiality as sites of social inclusion or exclusion and its impact on integration. The digital spaces Refugee Welcome and private/secret Facebook groups initially created were pivotal in providing refugees and locals in Norway a method to connect in the real world. The use of social media, particularly Facebook, acted as a conduit for the creation of digital communities that translated into the real-world interaction between locals, refugees, Non-profit organization (NGOs) and Norwegian institutes (NI).
Social media served a duel function: 1) augmenting Norwegian integration programs, and 2) as a tool for self-integration. The use of social media, particularly Facebook acted as a conduit for self-integration by connecting refugees with locals, information and resources, thus producing digital kommunars (communities) and jama’iya (networks). However, it was real world interaction between locals, refugees, NGOs and NIs that expanded refugees’ access to socio-spatiality and networks outside of immigrant communities.
The Norwegian social phenomena of dugnad (community service) provided a pre-existing mechanism for the formation of welcoming environments for majority and minority, refugee and local actors, to interact despite cultural, linguistic or religious differences. The model of integration observed in Norway highlights the effectiveness of active participation on the part of refugees, locals, NGOs, universities and the multiple layers of Norwegian society, in expanding real world and virtual socio-spatiality to achieve successful integration outcomes.
Anisa Abeytia is a writer and researcher with an interest in Syria, integration, Norway, identity and refugees. She presents her work internationally and writes regularly on the topics of Syrian refugees, the Middle East and the integration of Muslims and Arabs in Europe.
Stuck in Reception: Long-term reception constellations in Austria and Germany
Alexander-Kenneth Nagel, Göttingen University - Ursula Reeger, Austrian Academy of Sciences
The year 2015 was an exceptional one in terms of arrival of refugees both in Austria and Germany. About 600,000 persons crossed Austria on their way to Germany and other EU-destinations, about 90,000 filed an application for international protection in Austria and more than 476,000 asylum applications were made in Germany. In both states the regular accommodation system could not handle the high numbers of refugees and emergency camps were hastily put up, often aligned with an outstanding engagement of the civil society. More than three years later, most emergency shelters are closed down and the public mentality has turned from enthusiasm to scepticism. Many refugees have also made sobering experiences as they found themselves stuck in reception: While both Austria and Germany aim at quick decisions and seek to keep the liminal period of reception as short as possible, in practice administrative and legal procedures often take more time. Against this backdrop, the paper analyses the experiences of refugees whose asylum application has been pending for more than six months or who find themselves in a prolonged state of reception as they cannot return to their countries of origin. Departing from a comparative overview of the politics of dispersal as well as the multilevel systems of reception in Austria and Germany, the paper sets out to examine how refugees deal with their long-term reception constellation and the lack of capabilities that it entails. We draw on a qualitative content analysis of semi-structured interviews which were conducted in the RESPOND project, consisting of 60 in-depth interviews with refugees in Germany and 30 in Austria as well as interviews with administrative and policy experts in the domain of refugee reception.
Alexander-Kenneth Nagel is full professor for the social scientific study of religion at the Institute for Sociology in Göttingen.
Ursula Reeger is a senior researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Multi-level governance and sanctuary cities: the case of Liege (Belgium) and undocumented migrants
Elsa Mescoli, Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies, University of Liege
Debates on migration issues are spread at various levels of the contemporary society in Belgium, where a process of policy restriction is at place, as well as a federal discourse aiming at discouraging arrivals (in particular by the former ministry for asylum and migration). This climate affects not only newcomers, but also those people who have been residing in the country for years, without having managed to regularize their residence situation. In this overall framework, local initiatives develop to support migrants and their needs, as well as to put forward broader political claims. In this paper I will discuss these issues through analysing the case study of a group of undocumented migrants that occupied uninhabited buildings in Liège – with the help of a network of mobilized citizens and associations active in the territory – to start a process of claiming for regularization. The local government of the city tolerates and supports, to a certain extent, the initiatives of the group, thus emerging as a “sanctuary city”, i.e. both a secure space for migrants and a setting for resistance. In a country characterized by a multi-level governance, local initiatives involving citizens, associations and public institutions and government create the possibilities for undocumented migrants to challenge the federal policies that marginalize them. In this scenery, undocumented migrants exert their agency and claim human and civil rights through a set of concrete actions of mobilisation involving protests, sensitization initiatives and cultural and artistic practices. The aim of this paper is to show how these various levels of actions – those of the federal politics, the local politics and the civil society, including migrant organizations – interact within the process of migration governance in Belgium.
Elsa Mescoli is an anthropologist affiliated to the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Liege, where she is working as Lecturer assistant and post-doctoral researcher. she obtained a PhD degree in Anthropology of contemporaneity – Ethnography of diversities and of cultural convergences (University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy) and in Political and Social Sciences (University of Liege, Belgium, joint doctoral supervision) with a thesis on food as means to define subjectivity in context of migration. Her present research interests include the discrimination of Muslims and the public opinion on migrants, with a focus on asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented migrants. She is currently teaching the following Master courses: Anthropology of the contemporary world; Refugee and forced migration studies; Urban cultures and post-colonial minorities; Socio-anthropological approach to interculturality. The list of her publications and communications is available here: https://orbi.uliege.be/simple-search?query=mescoli.
Panel 4C – Reception and Global Governance of Migration
The global governance of migration: Hegemony making and the dilemmas of civic activism
Carl-Ulrik Schierup - Aleksandra Ålund, REMESO, Linköping University
The paper will discuss dilemmas of global civic activism from a neo-Gramscian perspective; incorporated as subordinated to, but also as potentially challenging a hegemonic neoliberal order. It discusses an ambiguous positionality of civic activism propagating rights based regional and global migration governance: between becoming a global activist counterhegemonic movement to a dominant neoliberal migration regime and being captured in a tokenist subordinated inclusion within a truncated ‘invited space’ for interchange between civil society, governments and international organisations.
Carl-Ulrik Schierup holds doctoral degrees in social anthropology and sociology. He has led a number of research projects and programmes. His major current focus is on race and class, social movement unionism, new social movements and civil society engagement for just governance of migration under conditions of neoliberal globalisation.
Aleksandra Ålund received her education at the University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Umeå University and Uppsala University, Sweden. She got her PhD in sociology at Umeå University. She is a professor at The Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society - REMESO - at Linköping University. Her research focus is on migration, especially gender, youth, ethnicity, social movements, social exclusion/inclusion, civic activism in the governance of migration, identity and cultural production.
What is the role of the Christian Churches in the Global Governance of Migration? A case study from the Catholic Church
Sara Silvestri, City University of London and University of Cambridge
This paper presents some highlights from work in progress analysing the contribution of the Christian churches, especially the Catholic, not only to the practical management of refugee challenges and migration flows but especially in terms of contributing to an in-depth ethical reflection on the responsibilities of individual states, citizens as well as of the international community in facing these challenges. While using examples from the European and US context the paper reflects on the global role of the Catholic church both in terms of institutional perspective and from the view point of the moral values and the political theology at the heart of the Christian tradition. Finally, it highlights the sui generis position of faith-based actors and especially the Catholic church vis a' vis policy and academic debates on the Global Governance of Migration.
Sara Silvestri is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at City, University of London, where she teaches courses on religion and politics and on the EU. She is also a bye fellow of St Edmund's College and an Affiliated Lecturer in the POLIS department at the University of Cambridge. She is an interdisciplinary social scientist whose research and publications focus on the role of religion (especially Islam and Christianity) in international relations. She has extensive experience as a policy advisor and commentator on issues pertaining to migration, terrorism, security, multiculturalism and religion.
Migrants Serving Migrants?
Katerina Glyniadaki, European Institute, London School of Economics
The existing research surrounding migration governance treats migrants and local actors at the front lines of policy implementation as two mutually exclusive categories. However, this view ignores the migrants who, over time, have become members of the local civil society and who also work to assist newcomers. Especially in today’s context of the so called ‘European Migration Crisis’, where public servants work alongside private employees, volunteers and activists, the role of street-level actors with migration background is especially important. Not only are they likely to constitute a connecting link between locals and new migrants, but they also contribute towards a more demographically representative civil society. Given that international migration is only projected to increase over time, the interactions between ‘old’ and ‘new’ migrants is also becoming increasingly relevant. Focusing on the capital cities of Athens and Berlin, and employing a qualitative research approach, this research examines the identity conflicts of those who work to assist migrants, while having migration background themselves. Borrowing insights from public administration and social psychology, this study finds four distinct profiles of such actors, depending on whether they see themselves as representatives of their migrant clients, or as representatives of the local society and system of governance. Apart from those who identify either with the one category or with the other, there are also those who see themselves as ‘peacemakers’ between the two sides, as well as those who struggle to find a position between these two worlds. This kind of positioning has implications for the ways these actors make use of their role discretion, and consequently for the outcomes of the migration policies at stake.
Katerina Glyniadaki is a PhD Candidate at the European Institute, London School of Economics. Her research focuses on the implementation of migration policies in Europe, and combines perspectives from Public Administration and Social Psychology.
The role of EU Agencies in Migration Governance and Neo-Kantian Hospitality Approach: Conceiving “no human is illegal” motto as a fundamental principle of the EU Law
Armando Aliu and Yücel Ogurlu, Istanbul Commerce University | Dorian ALIU, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University
The aim of this study is to synthesise K.O. Apel’s “transcendental philosophy approach” with “migration governance” in light of Kant’s transcendental idealism and neo-Kantian hospitality theory. The objective of this study is to highlight the determinants and driving forces behind the demonstrations, populist movements, ethnocentrism, racist rhetorical discourses, ideological contestations, mainstream reactions, discrimination and inequality that the European Union has been facing since the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. In this study, a transdisciplinary perspective, critical theory and content analysis were used in frame of qualitative methodology. The originality of this study is to link up rhetorical aspects of human rights approach and discourse analysis of security perspective to migration governance and refugees’ issues in the EU. “No Human is Illegal” motto is proposed to be conceived as a fundamental principal of EU law. Recent trends in “Global Compact on Refugees” and “Global Compact for Migration” were argued by taking into account the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the Lisbon Treaty. Likewise, the particular role of 12 EU agencies in enforcing migration governance mechanism, humanitarian responses, reception policies and stabilising civic-civil tensions were discussed by means of comparing the EU integration theories.
Armando Aliu is currently working in the Graduate School of Foreign Trade and Faculty of Law at Istanbul Commerce University. He holds an MA degree in European Studies from the University of Hamburg in Germany. He also holds a PhD degree in International Commerce and the European Union Law from Istanbul Commerce University in Turkey. Dr. Aliu was a DAAD Postgraduate Scholar at the University of Heidelberg (2011-2014) and a DAAD investigator at the Max-Planck-Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (2011-2013) in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2017, Dr. Aliu was a Visiting Study Fellow in the Department of International Development, IMI at the University of Oxford. Since 2019, Dr. Aliu has become an Associate Member in the Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement at the University of Cambridge. In the same year, he has started working for the Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange (CUSPE) as a fundraiser. As principal investigator, Dr. Aliu is currently conducting large-scale practical research projects at Istanbul Commerce University in Turkey. (ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3630-2516)
Yücel OGURLU, professor, Rector of the Istanbul Commerce University. He was the former Rector of International University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2013 – 2016). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in law from Istanbul University, an LLM and a PhD degree from Marmara University, Faculty of Law. His research interests comprise; administrative law, administrative prosecution, EU law, e-government, comparative constitutional and administrative law.
Dorian ALIU, (M.B.A., Ph.D. Fellow) has an affiliation with the Institute of Social Science at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Uludag University and an M.B.A. degree in Business Administration from Akdeniz University. Mr. Aliu is currently at the final stage of defending his PhD dissertation that is entitled “The Effectiveness of Interfaces within the Process of University – Industry Collaboration: A Qualitative Assessment.” He also works as a senior researcher and coordinator in several large-scale practical research projects that are conducted at Maltepe University and Istanbul Commerce University in Turkey. He is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) and serves as a peer and reviewer for several SSCI, SCI and ESCI indexed peer-reviewed journals.