Kristen Biehl is an anthropologist specializing in migration and urban studies. She is currently working as an assistant professor at Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and a researcher at Sabancı University Gender and Women’s Studies Center of Excellence (SU Gender). For close to 15 years Kristen has been involved both academically and professionally in intensive research within the migration and asylum field in Turkey. She has worked closely with a great range of international, national, and local actors working with different migrant and refugee communities in Turkey (UN and EU agencies, humanitarian organizations, ministries and other public institutions, municipalities, a vast range of civil society organizations and civic initiatives).
Her research interests range from ethnographically examining processes of change and practices of coexistence in urban contexts of migration, to exploring the impact of different social integration and cohesion policies and programs for refugees in Turkey. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals, including Ethnic and Racial Studies and Social Analysis, as well as numerous edited volumes, including Istanbul: Living with Difference in a Global City and Contested Spaces in Turkey: Politics of the Urban, Secular, Legal and Environmental.
Project: “Examining policy formations and everyday realities of refugee integration in Turkey”
Today, Turkey has become the world’s leading country hosting the largest number of refugees, including over 3 million people primarily from Syria, as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. With numbers soaring, there is growing pressure on Turkey to look beyond the emergency needs of refugees, who have largely been conceived as temporary guests, and to develop comprehensive and longer-term models for integration. This pressure is being exerted on multiple fronts. At one end is the EU, which has re-emerged as a powerful actor aiming to shape Turkey’s migration affairs. At the other end are different urban polities and localities of Turkey, where the massive refugee influx is significantly transforming everyday life.
This project explores refugee integration as a concept shaped by these different levels and dynamics. How are policy makers conceiving refugee integration in Turkey? Who and what factors are influencing their views? How are refugees and host populations experiencing living together? What are their views on needs and possibilities for integration? By examining and comparing these different viewpoints and experiences, this research aims to explore ways for bringing refugees, urban stakeholders, policymakers, and researchers into closer dialogue.
Changing Parameters of Migration Cooperation: Beyond the EU-Turkey Deal?
Director Fuat Keyman, Senior Scholar and Research and Academic Affairs Coordinator Senem Aydın-Düzgit, and 2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellow Kristen Biehl’s report Changing Parameters of Migration Cooperation: Beyond the EU-Turkey Deal? was published in December 2019.
Urban Community Centers in Turkey: Understanding the Diversity of Contemporary Practices
2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellow Kristen Sarah Biehl’s report Urban Community Centers in Turkey: Understanding the Diversity of Contemporary Practices was published in September 2019.
Syrians in Turkey
2017/18 Mercator-IPC Fellows Souad Osseiran and Gabriele Cloeters, 2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellows Emre Üçkardeşler, Kristen Biehl, and Wiebke Hohberger, and 2015/16 Mercator-IPC Fellow Hande Paker's booklet Syrians in Turkey was published in October 2018.
Developing models for integrating refugees into society is one of the subtopics under the EU/German-Turkish relations cluster of the Mercator-IPC Fellowship Program. To this end, the “Syrians in Turkey” booklet presents a snapshot of the current situation of Syrians in Turkey and the policy responses that have been implemented since the start of their arrival. The contributing Mercator-IPC Fellows, bring the issue into focus through six policy areas: healthcare, education, labor, gender-based aspects, civil society, and social cohesion.
Welcoming of the 2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellows
We welcome our 2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellows, Magdalena Kirchner, Sarah Louise Nash, Wiebke Hohberger, Kristen Biehl, Tuğba Ağaçayak ve Emre Üçkardeşler.
Magdalena Kirchner | Rising to the Occasion? Turkey and Germany in Transatlantic Crisis Management
Sarah Louise Nash | The Politics of the Climate Change and Migration Nexus: Taking the UNFCCC Task Force to Task
Wiebke Hohberger | Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Current Approaches of State and Non-State Integration Efforts and Possibilities for Turkish-German Joint Projects
Kristen Biehl | Examining Policy Formations and Everyday Realities of Refugee Integration in Turkey
Tuğba Ağaçayak | Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Waste and Agriculture Sectors and its Multi-level Governance in Turkey
Emre Üçkardeşler | A Framework for Long-term Education and Integration Strategies
Panel Discussion on “Syrians in Turkey” & Report Launch of “The Role of Civil Society in Fostering Pluralism”
The Initiative organized a panel discussion on “Syrians in Turkey” and the report launch of “The Role of Civil Society in Fostering Pluralism” on December 21, 2018 at IPC Karaköy.
Syrians in Turkey
The booklet Syrians in Turkey authored by 2017/18 Mercator-IPC Fellows Souad Osseiran and Gabriele Cloeters, 2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellows Emre Üçkardeşler, Kristen Biehl, and Wiebke Hohberger, and 2015/16 Mercator-IPC Fellow Hande Paker, was launched with the moderation of IPC Senior Scholar and Research and Academic Affairs Coordinator Senem Aydın-Düzgit on Monday, October 8, 2018 at Salon IKSV.
‘Community Centers' in Turkey: Histories, Practices and Visions in a Migration Context
2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellow Kristen Biehl’s workshop titled “‘Community Centers’ in Turkey: Histories, Practices and Visions in a Migration Context” took place on April 27–28, 2018 in the Cezayir Meeting Rooms.
Welcoming of the 2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellows
The Welcoming of the 2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellows was held on October 10 at the Seed, Sakıp Sabancı Museum. The extension of the Istanbul Policy Center-Sabancı University-Stiftung Mercator Initiative until 2021 was also announced during the event.
The event began with the welcoming remarks by IPC Director Fuat Keyman and followed by remarks from the Chairman of the Advisory Board at Stiftung Mercator, Rüdiger Frohn. An alumni movie, which exhibited former Mercator-IPC Fellows and their projects, was screened after the welcoming remarks. The 2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellows were introduced to the audience through another movie screening. The movie presented the 2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellows Kristen Biehl, Wiebke Hohberger, Magdalena Kirchner, Emre Üçkardeşler, Tuğba Ağaçayak, and Sarah Louise Nash and their projects. After the event ended, the distinguished guests enjoyed a meet and greet open buffet dinner.