April 17, 2019 - 12:00 pm



SOS 143   View map

MiReKoc Seminar Series of Spring 2019 continues with Zeynep Balcıoğlu’s presentation on ‘All politics are Local: Mayor’s role in service provision for Syrian refugees in Istanbul, Turkey’. The presentation and discussion will take place on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019, at 12:00, in SOS143. Registration is required for participants not affiliated with Koç University.


All politics are Local: Mayor’s role in service provision for Syrian refugees in Istanbul, Turkey


Turkey is currently world’s largest host of refugees hosting around three and a half million Syrians (UNHCR). Despite the burden sharing efforts of international community, Turkish government is struggling to find methods and policies to effectively integrate this enormous population with its host community. More than ninety per cent of Turkey’s three million refugees live in non-camp settings. Although universal access to health care and education have been granted for refugees under temporary protection by the central government, the municipalities hold a vital responsibility in management of day-to-day life for the refugees. However, the patterns of social assistance for refugees highly vary from one municipality to another. Legally, municipalities must provide services only for the citizens. Providing or denying aid for refugees is at the initiative of the mayor. While some communities build community centres and perform administrative duties for refugees, other municipalities provide nothing.

Based on nearly 40 interviews with relevant actors, this study uses qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to illuminate the impact of conditions influencing municipal distributive behavior towards Syrian refugees in Istanbul, Turkey. Standard regression models have difficulty in distinguishing spurious correlation from causation when analyzing small to medium N cases. Therefore, to shed light on the distributional behavior of 39 municipalities of Istanbul, I use Ragin’s QCA, along with in depth qualitative case studies of two municipalities for further validation.

Brief bio:

Zeynep is a PhD Candidate at the Political Science Department, Northeastern University. She graduated from Bogazici University in 2012 and completed her MA at King’s College London. She specializes on comparative politics and public policy. Her research interests include: forced migration, social policy, and Middle East studies.