Volume 14, Number 23
April 8, 2008

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This Week


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A Conference on “Identities in Turkey,
and Clash of Identities”

baskın oranLast week, Bilkent University's Siyaset Platformu Kulübü organized "Identities in Turkey, and Clash of Identities." Baskın Oran, professor of International Relations in the Faculty of Political Science at Ankara University, a well-known politician, and writer on minorities and Turkish foreign policy, was the guest lecturer. He discussed current issues facing minorities to help offer reasons for these identity clashes, and talked about individual/ government relations in Turkey. While answering questions, he made it clear that the identity crisis is the most urgent issue facing Turkey nowadays. He commented that this problem must be solved, and then the country can move on.

Another key point brought up by Prof. Oran was the fact that modernization has occurred at a very fast pace. The concern was presented that this may be exasperating the identity problem, and that maybe Turkey is not able to deal with the speed of change. He felt that the country is handling the modernization process well; it is just confused when it comes to identity. Emre Bingüler (POLS/ IV) commented from a students point of view, stating, "Everyone is speaking about this issue in Turkey now, but few people..have the full understanding of the problem and its reasons. ..Turkey has fallen behind in the race of modernization. Turkish people have been provided with some kind of packed and fast modernization... so people have had a hard time adapting. During this process we need to improve ourselves and analyze our problems through an intellectual approach."

Burcu Kamarlı (MIAPP)

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