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Şimsek Doğuş

Period of stay: August – September 2021

Evaluation sheet for departing Fellows

  1. What would you consider to be the major benefits of your stay at IWM?

I had a very productive two months at the IWM. One of the major benefits of my stay at the IWM is getting to know new people, their interesting projects, and exchanging ideas for future collaborations. The other benefit is, of course, having access to the IWM library and other libraries in Vienna. The events organised at the IWM are another benefit.

  1. Was the event programme of the IWM attractive and interesting for you?

Yes, I’ve found all events organised by the IWM very attractive and interesting. I tried to attend all events at the IWM during my stay and I’ve learned a lot.

  1. Do you have any criticisms of any aspect of the Institute’s program and operations?
    Please include any suggestions for improvement.

I wish I could get a chance to present my work to the fellows at the IWM during my stay. It would be good if all fellows get a chance to present their works in the future. It is good to see that the IWM is now extending its focus by including countries in the Global South. It would have been good to listen to talks focusing on other regions/countries in the world. I really like the event about Afghanistan. Similar events can be organised in the future.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to let us know regarding your stay at the IWM?

No. Thank you for everything 🙂 I hope to be back in the future.

Final Report sheet for departing Fellows

As mentioned in the “Terms of Award” agreement, we would kindly ask you to submit your final report on your activities, travels, talks and accomplishments during your research stay. Please be as specific and concise as possible!

In particular, we may ask you to list books or essays that have been written or worked on at the IWM, that have either been published or accepted for publication or that you wish to submit for publication. Describe briefly the nature of the work and give names of publishers or publications, dates and other relevant facts.

We would be very grateful if you could provide us with a copy of your publication(s) for our library or, if this is not possible, contact our librarian with the publication details. We would also like to ask you to list any prizes or awards you have received or will receive, as well as any scholarships and grants you have received or will receive.


First of all, I would like to thank IWM for supporting my research. I would like to contribute to the IWM newsletter or the IWM post, if needed. Below, I list my publications and other research activities.

Publications (accepted for publication)

  • Journal article: ‘Forced displacement and access to the labour market: The case of Gaziantep’ will be published in Refugee Watch on November 2021.

Focusing on the city of Gaziantep, bordering Syria, is an economic centre for Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, and thus is ideally located to become a local industrial and commercial centre, in this article, I take into account the relationship between migration and capitalism, more specifically the role of neoliberal migration policies on DP’s access to the labour market. Taking cities as the units of analysis to look at forced displacement, I focus on class as an analytical concept in exploring DP’s experiences in accessing the labour market in Gaziantep. Drawing on in-depth interviews with internally displaced Kurds and internationally displaced Syrians, the article aims to answer the questions of how different forms of displaced people are located in the labour market?; in what terms and conditions do DP become part of the labour? how are different discursive and institutional sources, including the presence of European institutions, pulled in? I focus on the experiences of DP’s access to the labour market in Gaziantep and argue that a neoliberal approach of Gaziantep to DP’s access to the labour market reshapes class and power dynamics between DP. The data shows that displaced Syrians experience more vulnerability compared to displaced Kurds due to being employed informally as a result of visible barriers to full participation in the formal economy. It also indicates that class dynamics have become more predominant than ethnic cleavages.

  • Book chapter: ‘What makes a place a home? Syrian refugees’ narratives on belonging in Turkey’ in Displacement, Belonging, and Migrant Agency in the Face of Power Tamar Mayer and Trinh Tran, will be published by Routledge on July 2022.

In this chapter, I explore the conception of home and a sense of belonging in the case of Syrian refugees in Turkey. Recognizing the importance of the agency of refugees, I focus on the everyday lives of Syrian refugees in Turkey; how a sense of home emerges and how the role of migration policies shapes refugees’ sense of belonging and feelings of home. Drawing on a narrative methodology, I share the stories of four Syrian refugees who reside in urban areas; each comes from a different class, ethnic, gender, and religious background in Istanbul and were asked about their conception of “home” and sense of belonging in the context of forced migration. I argue that the meaning of home among Syrian refugees and their sense of belonging to the receiving society are articulated by the hierarchies of belonging that are intimately connected to class, and which have not received much attention in the literature on forced migrants and belonging.

  • Book: “Am I less British?”: Identity, Belonging and the Second-Generation Youth in North London, will be published by UCL Press in 2022.

“Am I less British?” is a study of hierarchies of belonging, citizenship and transnational experiences of the children of immigrants and refugees, the second-generation youth, predominantly from Turkey. It combines the lenses of migratory background with a more explicit emphasis on racialised, classed and gendered dynamics of belonging within the political spectrum of Britain and Turkey, and the complexities of their intersection when exploring the young people’s relationships with London, North London and Turkey. In light of this, the book focuses on four main approaches including the role of the social and political circumstances of Britain and Turkey, transnational experiences, places in which the young people interact, and racialised, classed and gendered dynamics of belonging on how the young people make sense of their sense of belonging and identities. By delving into the role of the social and political circumstances of the second generation in a transnational context in order to explore their sense of belonging, this book offers insights into the experiences of the children of immigrants and refugees from Turkey in North London. It aims to understand how the children of immigrants position themselves within a range of locations (London, North London and Turkey) where they face racial and class hierarchy, racism and discrimination; how they make sense of their sense of belonging within the contemporary political context in Britain and Turkey.

During my stay at the IWM, I contributed to the workshop “Sites of Statelessness: Laws, Cities, Seas” organized jointly with the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG) as part of the Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration as a discussant.

I also gave two interviews on refugees in Turkey to Medyascope, a Turkish independent media platform. One of these interviews were in English- see the below: