The present paper is an edited collection of manuscripts produced out of an online panel organized by the conveners on 1 December 2021 under the same title: Transnational conflicts, belongings, and social interactions. It was a part of the conference series promoting the 25th anniversary of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG) at Bielefeld University. Our call to bring together scientific knowledge from allied disciplines sharing the view that transnational bonds influence identity expressions, intergroup relations and the sense of belonging displayed by Turkish postmigrants has been echoed in the thoughts of our esteemed contributors. Their expertise helped us to better explicate the in-between position of Turkish postmigrants and their understanding of social cohesion in Germany and beyond. The preface written by Andreas Zick invites us to think of the new global trend of 'ethnocentric transnationalism' that demands the populations living abroad to become ‘diasporas of the nation-states' instead of feeling at home in their unique transnational space above and beyond a single nation-state. Deriving from the history of conflict and violence research, he postulates that increased networking capacities of humans and organizations also pose a threat to the spread of nationalist and exclusionary ideologies which are on the rise and conveyed across many extreme groups. Bahar Baser and Ahmet Erdi Ozturk provides a brief history of recent diaspora currents originating from Turkey as a result of the democratic backsliding of the government in Turkey which is exclusively run by Justice and Development Party (acronymized AKP in Turkish) since 2002. Based on their ongoing study on 'the new wave' of migration after the Gezi protests, they show that official records fall short to capture the reality of the new wave since both legal and illegal ways of fleeing have been heavily exercised by dissidents of the government for a better life in Europe, eventually taking the form of a full-scale brain drain. Aydın Bayad, Elif Sandal-Önal, and N. Ekrem Düzen aims to capture the reflection of the diaspora governance policy of Turkey across media outlets, seemingly taken as a straightforward strategy by the Turkish government to influence postmigrants' everyday political stand. They show that, independent from the language of the media that formerly used to keep a division between migrants and non-migrants, the pursuit of political alliance takes priority in categorizing media sources as the location, language, and stakeholders of the nation-state have grown to be multi-branded due to transnationality. They propose three orientations among media sources that fuel political divergence between home and host states and depict transnational space in line with their political agenda rather than informed by postmigrants’ solicitations. Finally, Besim Can Zırh presents a detailed analysis of voting behaviors of postmigrants as an outcome of the diaspora governance policies of Turkey. He showed that Turkey's political and institutional activity to reach postmigrants in Europe is not a fruitless attempt; on the contrary, have a significant effect evident by an ever increasing turnout rate. All contributions bringing this issue forth have been pointing out that there is a tension between official policies of the nation-states and transnationality of corporeal people whose experiences, demands, priority of belongings and expressions of identity are forming and formed by the transnational space. It seems that scholars had better focus on their agency, rather than on the nation-states, in order to understand the current and future conflicts as well as possible resolutions.
Baser, B., Sandal-Önal, E., Bayad, A., Can Zırh, B., Duzen, N. E., Zick, A., & Ozturk, A. E. (2022). Transnational conflicts, belongings, and social interactions. [No known commissioning body]