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Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 17th Oct 2021, 02:42:07pm BST
Session Chair: Arantza Gomez Arana, University of Northumbria
The Gülen movement dialogue centres in the Visegrad countries
Palacky University, Czech Republic
The rising authoritarianism of the Turkish government and the deteriorating economic and security situation in the country resulting in strong domestic tensions have been reflected in the Turkish diaspora. The followers of the Gülen movement (GM) became a distinct group in the Turkish diaspora, which has recently faced persecution in Turkey. Their position differs from the other Turkish Islamic groups as the movement’s original foreign engagement in the West focused on the promotion of Turkish interests. Despite the disruption of the GM financial resources and persecution from the Turkish government, their activities towards the non-Turkish audiences in the European countries have continued. Their presence in Central Europe has received very little attention both before and after 2016 mostly caused by the observation that the GM carried a strong Turkish identity and the lack of interest in the group among the local scholars, media and the general public. This paper focuses on the GM activities in Central Europe analysing their evolvement in the pre- and post-2016 era testing the patterns observed elsewhere in the EU and the Balkan countries: their main focus in the pre-2013 era was on promoting Turkish Islam as compatible with liberal democracy and Turkey’s EU accession prospects, while in the post-2013 it shifted towards the criticism of the current Turkish government. It uses the method of combined analysis of available literature including the documents and events organised by the GM sponsored dialogue centres and data collected from interviews with representatives of the platforms. It promises to add to our knowledge of the complexity of the GM activities in Europe and to put them in the broader context of the Turkish European diaspora dynamics.
Pushing For Renewables? : The Leverage Effect of IPAs on Turkish Energy Sector
Ahmet Cemal Erturk, Seyyide Sena Turkdogan
Istanbul Kultur University, Turkey
In the last decade, Turkey-EU relations devolved from a bright membership perspective to an unforeseen future where the principle of conditionality is nearly lost and functional arrangements became the standing theme. Yet, the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistant (IPA) still stands as one of the few inherited financial instruments from the “reinforcement by rewards” era to fund various projects (energy, transport, and education) to boost reform and compliance in a candidate state. Between 2007 and 2021, IPA I-II programs heavily contributed to the energy sector and managed to introduce EU’s renewable energy aims to the local and regional stakeholders, interest groups and municipalities. Even though IPAs had the capacity to fulfill only a modest part of EU and Turkey’s overall goals in renewable energy, their roles are so much wider than anticipated. Rather than being a mere funding mechanism, we argue that the biggest sectoral contribution of the IPAs is its constructed “leverage effect” where the existence of the instrument attracts external credit, boosts investment, create learning through past experiences and adds to the administrative capacity of the actors. In order to validate this argument, we aimed to conduct series of semi-structured interviews with government officials, stakeholders, interest groups and selected municipalities that involved to an IPA-related project. Due to the growing politicized nature of Turkey-EU relations, the future of the IPAs is also in jeopardy. We also claim that a possible negative change in the regulation of IPAs in Turkey might cause a detrimental effect on the above-mentioned sector gains.