Istanbul Bilgi University is a private university and a non-profit institution. With more than 30.000 students (50 % of whom are on scholarship) and a faculty of nearly 900, BİLGİ offers undergraduate and graduateprograms in social sciences, economics, business, communications, arts, law, engineering and architecture.İstanbul Bilgi University has several research centres specialized in youth studies, children studies, civil society studies, migration studies, sociology and education studies, and human rights studies. Istanbul Bilgi University is a renowned institution with several different social outreach projects ranging from combating poverty to teaching European integration. There is a MA Programme on European Studies since 1998; a BA Programme on European Studies since 2005; a MA Program on European Studies with a Double Degree together with the European University Viadrina in Germany since 2010; an MA Programme on Turkish- Greek Relations since 2005. Furthermore, BİLGİ, in collaboration with the Greek institution ELIAMEP runs a Centre for Migration Research (established in 2003), a Youth Studies Centre (2008), and a Sociology and Educational Studies Centre (2011), among several other research centres.

Istanbul Bilgi University hosts a European Institute since 2007, to which the Turkish team of RESPOND will be affiliated. BILGI will take lead in WP 4 “Mapping and assessing reception policies, practices and humanitarian responses” (together with participant no 3, UGOE). BILGI will also take part in several other WPs, e.g. WP 2: “Border management and migration controls”, and WP 9: “Dissemination, exploitation andimpact management”. The Institute is directed by Prof. Ayhan Kaya, and has three main pillars of interest; EU politics, EU economics and EU law. The Institute aspires to provide substantial support to EU-oriented academic programs offered at BİLGİ. The Institute has been involved in several EU projects from the Framework Programmes. It hosted several Marie Sklodowska Curie fellowships and DAAD fellows (which is a German Academic Exchange Program). Besides many other EU funded (numerous FP7 projects)  and international projects, the Institute has been awarded a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence Award (2013), two Jean Monnet Chairs, and several other Jean Monnet modules and  two Jean Monnet Learning EU at School Projects. Furthermore, it was part of a consortium providing official advice to the European Parliament during the years 2009-2014. Recently, Prof. Ayhan Kaya has been awarded an “Advanced Grant” by the European Research Council (ERC), for his project entitled “Nativism, Islamophobism and Islamism in the Age of Populism: Culturalisation and Religionisation of what is Social, Economic and Political in Europe” which starts in January 2019 and ends in December 2023. There are two other ongoing Horizon 2020 projects at the European Institute: Cultural Heritage (CoHERE) (2016-2019), Future of EU-Turkey Relations (FEUTURE, 2016-2019).

Ayhan Kaya | Principal Investigator

Ayhan Kaya is Professor of Politics and Jean Monnet Chair of European Politics of Interculturalism at the Department of International Relations, Istanbul Bilgi University; Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence; and a member of the Science Academy, Turkey. He received his PhD and MA degrees at the University of Warwick, England. Kaya was previously a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Florence, Italy, and adjunct lecturer at the New York University, Florence in 2016-2017. He previously worked and taught at the European University Viadrina as Aziz Nesin Chair in 2013, and at Malmö University, Sweden as the Willy Brandt Chair in 2011. He is specialised on European identities, Euro-Turks in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, Circassian diaspora in Turkey, the construction and articulation of modern transnational identities, refugee studies in Turkey, conventional and nonconventional forms of political participation in Turkey, and the rise of populist movements in the EU. Kaya is recently working on a manuscript about the populist political style in Europe. Some of his books are Turkish Origin Migrants and their Descendants: Hyphenated Identities in Transnational Space (Palgrave, 2018), Europeanization and Tolerance in Turkey (London: Palgrave, 2013); Islam, Migration and Integration: The Age of Securitization (London: Palgrave, 2012); Contemporary Migrations in Turkey: Integration or Return (Istanbul Bilgi University Press, 2015, in Turkish, co-edited with Murat Erdoğan), Belgian-Turks, Brussels: King Baudouin Foundation, 2008, co-written with Ferhat Kentel), Euro-Turks: A Bridge or a Breach between Turkey and the EU (Brussels: CEPS Publications, 2005, co-written with Ferhat Kentel, Turkish version by Bilgi University); wrote another book titled Sicher in Kreuzberg: Constructing Diasporas, published in two languages, English (Bielefeld: Transkript verlag, 2001) and Turkish (Istanbul: Büke Yayınları, 2000). He also translated Ethnic Groups and Boundaries by Fredrik Barth and Citizenship and Social Classes by T. H. Marshall and Tom Bottomore to Turkish language. He also edited several books on migration, integration, citizenship, and diasporas. Kaya’s publications have been translated to several languages such as French, German, Japanese, Italian, Arabic and Dutch. Kaya was actively participated involved in FP7 projects, and now he is involved in two different Horizon 2020 research projects on populism and Turkey-EU relations. Kaya received Turkish Social Science Association Prize in 2003; Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA-GEBİP) Prize in 2005; Sedat Simavi Research Prize in 2005; Euroactiv-Turkey European Prize in 2008, the Prize for the best Text Book given by TÜBA; and also the Prize for excellence in teaching at the Department of International Relations, Istanbul Bilgi University in 2013 and 2017.



Graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University with a BA degree in Media and Communication Systems and received her MA degree at Bilgi’s European Studies programme. She currently works at the European Institute of Istanbul Bilgi University as the Project Manager and Institutional Coordinator and she is responsible for academic and administrative event planning, and management of EU funded project. Her academic interests include EU-Turkey relations, migration, asylum politics and communication systems.


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