INTERACT Project’s Final Conference

12 November 2009, İstanbul Bilgi University, Dolapdere Campus, Room BS2, 10.30 – 12.30

İstanbul Bilgi University’s European Institute has the pleasure of announcing the conference ‘Civil Society Dialogue between Turkey and France: Transcending Stereotypes’ as part of its conference series within the scope of the “INTERACT: EU, France, Turkey University Dialogue Project”. The INTERACT project has been implemented as part of the European Commission’s Pre-Accession Assistance Programme “Promotion of the Civil Society Dialogue between Turkey and EU” (CSD-I), implemented by the General Secretariat for the EU Affairs. This is the final conference of the project where the activities that took place within will be presented. The project is run by the European Institute, in partnership with Institut Français d’Etudes Annatoliennes (IFEA) and Sciences Po Paris.

France is one of the key Member States where large political debates on Turkey’s EU membership are held. Turkey has also been lately experiencing a rising tide of euroscepticism, thanks largely to the controversial debates on Turkish accession in EU member states in general and France in particular. With both debates fed with a large degree of prejudice and misinformation, the need for a better societal engagement between France and Turkey has become all the more evident. It is in this context that BİLGİ, Sciences PO and IFEA set forth with the INTERACT Project whose objectives were to strengthen contacts and mutual exchanges of knowledge and experience between civil societies; contributing to dissemination of better knowledge and understanding of Turkey within France and of France within Turkey and to strengthen analytical skills and academic know-how on both sides.

This final conference of the INTERACT Project will serve as an assessment of the overall activities of the project by bringing together the major actors that participated in its academic and civil society activities. In the first session, the project coordinators from the three institutions will provide the general outlook of the project, to be followed by a second session where academics who participated in different sub projects of INTERACT will share their work and common experiences. The conference will conclude with a wrap-up of the general findings and a discussion on the prospects of future collaboration that derive from the sustainability effects of the project.

*Turkish – English simultaneous translation will be available during the conference. The conference is open to public and press.

10.30 – 10.35 Opening Talk:

Prof. Dr. Ayhan Kaya, İstanbul Bilgi University, INTERACT Project Coordinator

10.35 – 11.00 Introduction: Roundtable Discussion on INTERACT Project

Prof. Dr. Ayhan Kaya, İstanbul Bilgi University, INTERACT Project Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Riva Kastoryano, Sciences Po, CERI, INTERACT Project Deputy Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Jean Marcou, IFEA, Grenoble University, INTERACT Project Deputy Coordinator

11.00 – 12.30 Civil Society Dialogue between Turkey and France: Evaluation of Project Activities

On the PhD Roundtables Program

Assist. Prof. Dr. Senem Aydın Düzgit, İstanbul Bilgi University

On the Postdoctoral Exchange Program

Dr. Maya Arakon, Yeditepe University

Dr. Laurent Vinatier, Sciences Po, CERI Researcher

On the Summer School on Managing Diversity: EU and Turkey

Deniz McDonald, Phd in Central European University

On the Joint Research Project: Comparative Regional Development

Prof. Dr. Ayhan Kaya, İstanbul Bilgi University

On the French – Turkish NGO Workshop Series

Kerem Çiftçioğlu, European Institute, Workshop Coordinator

Final “wrap-up”

Prof. Dr. Ayhan Kaya, Prof. Dr. Riva Kastoryano, Prof. Dr. Jean Marcou and Gülperi Vural will discuss the “lessons learned” and the future prospects of collaboration among the academics of France and Turkey.