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Elif Çiğdem Artan
Elif Çiğdem Artan
2022/23 Mercator-IPC Fellow

Elif Çiğdem Artan is a sociologist with a professional and scholarly background in museology, urban studies, digital culture, migration, and gender. As a DFG-doctoral fellow of IGK—Center for Metropolitan Studies Berlin-New York-Toronto, she received her PhD in Humanities at TU Berlin in 2019. In her doctoral research project, titled “The Future of the Present: Autonomous Archiving of Activist Videos,” she examined the born-digital materials remaining from the Occupy movements in New York and Istanbul by applying the grounded theory and ethnographical research methodologies. 

Between May 2019 and September 2022, she worked as a researcher at DaMigra (Dachverband der Migrantinnen e.V.) in Berlin on racism and (hetero-)sexist gender-based violence. Her expertise at DaMigra lies in the intersectional analysis of a comprehensive implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Germany. She is the co-author of the DaMigra-GREVIO-Shadow Report and numerous political papers demanding equal human rights for all in all areas of life. 

She has been globally active in her research domains by conducting workshops, giving lectures, and publishing papers. Aside from her research projects, she is the coordinator and curator of the Federal German Migrant Women’s Association’s (Bundesverband der Migrantinnen e.V.) archival box in the Historical Museum Frankfurt. The participatory museum project encourages women to be the writer of their HERstory and hence the curator of their own collective voice.  

Project: “Documenting Turkey’s Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention and Discussing This Decision’s Potential for EU Member States 

Gender-based discrimination and violence does not differentiate geography. Today, in various lands around the world—including in EU countries such as Hungary, Poland, Italy, and Germany—several “anti-gender” movements have emerged out of conservative right-wing ideas. This has exposed transnational human rights violations against women and LGBTİ+ individuals regardless of religion, language, and race. Therefore, Turkey’s official withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention (IC) in July 2021 should not be read as an isolated case but rather as the tip of the iceberg exposing more extensive European gender politics promoting institutional and structural patriarchy. Such Europe-wide right-wing populist political discourses on gender equality have conceived the IC as a threat to family, along with a rising rate of racism against non-Western migrant and refugee communities. Due to (hetero-)sexism against the right to self-determination in certain European societies (e.g., failing to acknowledge reproductive rights, accept gender diversity, combat gender stereotypes, or grant the right to same-sex marriages or gender transitioning), the IC has still neither been ratified nor comprehensively implemented in numerous EU member states. 

This research project explores the ten years of the IC in force in Turkey, focusing on queer-feminist movements that have been active since 1990s, together with the state’s increasing emphasis on “conservative family” policies. Because Turkey’s withdrawal from the IC without having received any international political sanctions exposes, on the one hand, EU-Turkey relations within the framework of the so-called “EU-Turkey Refugee Deal”; on the other, the potential for implementing the IC comprehensively from an intersectional perspective in EU member states in the face of increasing “anti-gender” movements.

Law No. 6284 in Practice After Withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention

2022/23 Mercator-IPC Fellow Elif Çiğdem Artan's analysis "Law No. 6284 in Practice After Withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention" was published in April 2023.

Click here to download the document.

''Nasıl bir Dünya? Nasıl bir Türkiye'' with Elif Çiğdem Artan, Hilal Gençay and Gökhan Yıldırımkaya

Elif Çiğdem Artan, Hilal Gençay and Gökhan Yıldırımkaya were hosted at the 130th episode of "Nasıl Bir Dünya? Nasıl Bir Türkiye?" program titled "Fragile Groups in Earthquakes - Problems and Solutions'' organized by the IPC-Sabancı University-Stiftung Mercator Initiative in cooperation with Medyascope.

Please click here to watch the event.