Best Student Research Papers of 2017-2018

INSITER is proud to publish the best student research papers written during 2017-2018 for the four lectures/seminars  that are components of the INSITER project. The following papers have been chosen as the best ones to be published given their overall academic quality and the grades the students received for them:

AVU 114, Halil İbrahim Kısacık, “The Role of Internal and External Factors in EU-Turkey Relations: Remapping Turning Points”, read here.

AVU 101, Florian Gontek, “Was the European Parliament election 2014 second-order and how significant is the Spitzenkandidaten Procedure?”, read here.

AVU 107, Sevde Nur Gürakın, “How Does Refugee Crisis Promote Turkey’s Position in the Triangle “Turkey, Germany and the European Union”?”, read here.

AVU 106, Ece Mutlu (book presentation), “Deterrence, the spiral model and intentions of the adversary”, read here.


Guest Lecture on EU-Turkey Relations

On 19 June 2018 INSITER Coordinator Ebru Turhan hold a guest lecture titled “EU-Turkey Relations: State of Play, Future Prospects and Germany’s Role” at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) with the participation of more than 100 students. The interactive lecture that took more than two hours was convened and moderated by Prof. Dr. Johannes Varwick.

June 2018 INSITER Study Trip Concluded


On June 14, 2017, the annual study and research trip of INSITER with the group of MA students of “European and International Affairs” of the Turkish-German University Istanbul was concluded. This year the students visited, Brussels (May 31- June 8) and Berlin (June 9-14). The journey served the purpose to experience real life politics first-hand and to take teaching inside the Turkey-EU relations by enabling the students to step into the everyday work of European, Turkish and International Organizations. By getting into direct contact with decisions makers of leading political, economic and administrative institutions students were able to study the complex interaction between the EU, national and subnational level of decision-making in the ‘multi-level’ political system of the European Union and to get a hands-on perspective on how Turkey-EU relations are shaped in practice.

The program was partly carried out in cooperation with other international partner institutions such as the University of Cologne, Science Po and the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE). Alongside the joint visits to institutions the internationally composed group of students could engage in a simulation exercise that dealt with the post 2020 EU budget negotiations and democratic norm violations in Europe. The visit was also supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Visit to German Bundestag, German Chancellery and Further Institutions in Berlin

In the second week of the INSITER study trip the group of MEIA students of the Turkish German University visited a number of political institutions in Berlin, Germany. The meetings were held inter alia with Edgar Lenski, European Law Department of the German Chancellery, Axel Schäfer, Vice-President of SPD group at the German Bundestag and member of the  BundestagWolfgang Merz, German Ministry of Finance and Kim-Mailin Weinrich, German Foreign Office.

In addition to the visits to official  institutions the stay in the German capital also served the purpose to exchange views with researchers and practitioners from Berlin-based think tanks and interest representations, notably the Institute for European Politics (IEP)Polis 180 and the German Banking Industry Committee. Finally, in order to grasp the history of Germany and Berlin, the group also went on a city tour which is guided by Prof. Dr. Hartmut Marhold (CIFE/TDU) and  focused on the political architecture of the city. Students and organisers are extremely grateful for the precious time and the valuable input from the different hosts and institutions.

European Council Simulation Game Completed

On June 7 and 8, 2018, as an integral part of the study trip week in Brussels, the INSITER students participated in an international simulation exercise with students from Cologne, Paris and Prague. The overarching idea of the exercise was to discuss the post 2020 EU budget negotiations and adherence to democratic norms in the form of a two day-European Council summit.

Students had started to prepare for the simulation exercise in April already in online interdisciplinary and international teams in order to defend their position at the negotiations. The best teams received an award for their performance. The simulation game was  realized in close cooperation with partner universities, the University of Cologne and Sciences Po.

The European Council conclusions prepared by the students can be found here

INSITER Visit to European Parliament and European Policy Center

The annual INSITER study trip of the Turkish-German University’s MA programme “European and International Affairs” (MEIA) continued with various interesting meetings in Brussels, inter-alia with talks with Dr. Ingeborg Gräßle, Member of the European Parliament and Janis Emmanouilidis, Director of Studies at the European Policy Center (EPC). The Brussels visit was realized in close cooperation with partner universities, the University of Cologne and Sciences Po, and included students from University of Cologne, Sciences Po, and Charles University Prague.

Visitors group Ingeborg GRAESSLE

The exchange with Janis Emmanouilidis at the EPC focused on the effects of the Brexit process on the political atmosphere in the EU, possible collateral damages of the process in terms of unity in the EU and the threat of populism. The students and the INSITER team are thankful for the warm welcome and the enlightening exchanges.

Conference on New Political Challenges for Germany, Turkey and the EU – 2018

INSITER realized in cooperation with the Center for Turkey and EU Studies (CETEUS), Turkish-German University Political Science and International Relations Department, Center for Migration and Integration at the Turkish-German University (TAGU) and German Academic Exchange Service DAAD an international symposium titled “New political challenges for Germany, Turkey and the EU – 2018″ with the participation of more than hundred guests including academicians, representatives of non governmental organizations and students from different universities on 18 May 2018 at the Beykoz campus of the Turkish-German University.

The opening speeches of the symposium were given by the Rector of the Turkish-German University, Prof. Dr. Halil AKKANAT, faculty member of the University of Cologne and Vice-President of the German Consortium responsible for the foundation of the Turkish-German University Prof. Dr. Wolfgang WESSELS and Head of the Political Science and International Relations Department Prof. Dr. M. Murat ERDOĞAN. Following the opening speeches, the keynote speakers, Head of EU Delegation to Turkey Ambassador Christian BERGER and Deputy Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Mehmet Kemal BOZBAY, gave their speeches during which they elaborated on the recent developments in relations between EU, Germany and Turkey.

Following the keynote speeches, the symposium has continued with the opening panel entitled “Introductory Panel: Present and Future of EU-Turkey Relations”. At the panel chaired by Prof. Dr. Hartmut MARHOLD (CIFE- Centre International de Formation Européenne), the present and future of EU-Turkey relations have been discussed by Prof. Dr. Sinem Akgül AÇIKMEŞE (Kadir Has University), Prof. Dr. Mathias JOPP (IEP- Institute for European Politics), Prof. Dr. Atila ERALP (METU, Istanbul Policy Center) and INSITER Coordinator Asst. Prof. Dr. Ebru TURHAN (Turkish-German University). At the panel, it was emphasized that even though EU-Turkey relations periodically pursued a course of ups and downs, EU and Turkey needed each other mutually in view of joint interests and challenges. The panel also touched upon the future prospective institutional architecture of EU-Turkey relations.

In the second session moderated by Prof. Dr. Kai OPPERMANN (University of Sussex), the refugee crisis was discussed in view of the triangle “EU, Turkey and Germany”. In this session entitled “EU, Turkey, Germany Triangle in view of the Refugee Crisis”, Dr. Günter SEUFERT (SWP- German Institute for International and Security Affairs), Assoc. Prof. Deniz Şenol SERT (Özyeğin University) and Prof. Dr. M. Murat ERDOĞAN (Turkish-German University) made their presentations. At the panel, the effects of the existing refugee crisis on the EU member states, the challenges that Turkey faces with the Syrian refugee population and lastly the role of the readmission agreement between the EU and Turkey in solving the refugee crisis and its deficiencies were discussed.

At the last session of the symposium entitled “German-Turkish Diaspora Policies: Latest Trends and Impact on Bilateral Dialogue”, German-Turkish diaspora policies have been discussed. At this session chaired by Assoc. Prof. Thomas KRUMM (Turkish-German University), Prof. Dr. Ayhan KAYA (Bilgi University), Dr. Yaşar AYDIN (Evangelische Hochschule Hamburg) and Asst. Prof. Dr. Enes BAYRAKLI (Turkish-German University)  made their presentations. The policies of the governments of Turkey and Germany concerning Turkish immigrants in Germany have been discussed and the incompatible policies of the parties have been criticized. Furthermore, the impact of Islamophobia on the integration of Tukish immigrants has been examined.

Following the keynote speech of Mithat RENDE, member of the board of TSKB and retired former ambassador, about recent developments in energy policies within the scope of the relations between Turkey and EU, the symposium was finalised by closing remarks of  INSITER Coordinator Asst. Prof. Dr. Ebru TURHAN, faculty member Asst. Prof. Dr. Deniz KURU and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang WESSELS. Please click here for the programme.

Kick-Off of the 2018 INSITER Study Visit to Brussels and Berlin

On May 31, the annual INSITER study trip of the Turkish-German University’s MA program “European and International Affairs” has officially started. The program which takes place in the framework of the INSITER project, is also supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In the next two weeks, it will take the students to Brussels and Berlin to gather first-hand insights in European decision-making and EU-Turkey affairs. A draft of the full program can be found here.

On June 1, 2018, the program was launched with a meeting with Tobias Grothe, Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the EU in Brussels. Mr. Grothe talked to the MEIA students about the institutional structure, mission and tasks of the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany. The students also had the opportunity to discuss EU-Turkish and German-Turkish relations with Mr. Grothe.

The study visit continued with various interesting meetings in Brussels, inter-alia with visits to the Permanent Delegation of Turkey to the European Union and Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the NATO. Students met with Felix Kroll, expert at the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO. The exchange focused on the main tasks of the Permanent Representation, Common Security and Defense Policy of the EU, Turkey-NATO dialogue and  NATO’s core tasks in crisis management and collective security. On the same day the students also met with Burak Erdemir, Deputy Permanent Delegate at the Permanent Delegation of Turkey to the European Union.