MiReKoc Wednesday Seminar Series by Maissam Nimer Humanitarian Assistance and State Transformation in response to Refugee Influx: Case Study of Language Education in Turkey'

Author: Migration Research Center at Koc University (MiReKoc)
Time: 12:00
Location: SOS143

MiReKoc Seminar Series of Spring 2019 continues with Maissam Nimer's presentation on 'Language instruction for Syrian adults in Turkey: Analyzing the relation between state institutions and civil society'. The presentation and discussion will take place on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019, at 12:00, in SOS143. Registration is required for participants not affiliated with Koç University.


Humanitarian Assistance and State Transformation in response to Refugee Influx: Case Study of Language Education in Turkey


The influx of the Syrian population inside Turkey has led to changes in the migration management regime. Within this context, the need to provide Turkish language education has only newly emerged. The responsibility for this service was placed under higher education and lifelong learning, which receive humanitarian assistance through national and international civil society organizations.  Through the case study of language education provision, the paper proposes to rethink the way humanitarian assistance in response to refugee influx leads to state transformation. According to findings from interviews with stakeholders in the field, it appears that humanitarian assistance to language education has been subjected to increased control and centralization, which has led to the formation of new institutions and departments. However, this has not been accompanied by the implementation of a long-term, sustainable social policy program. Rather, these efforts continue to be project-based and time- and resource-bound and State institutions have become implementers of projects and language learning, in this case, is left to the individuals themselves and their resources. These findings illustrate the need for social policy making to accompany humanitarian assistance, otherwise, humanitarian assistance will fail to lead to long term changes in practices. 


Maissam Nimer is a postdoctoral researcher at Koç University, she works on the topic of experiences of Syrian refugee youth in Turkey. As a Mercator-IPC fellow at Sabanci University and the recipient of a one-year Koç University Seed Grant her work specifically explores the field of language instruction among Syrian refugees in Turkey. She obtained a PhD in sociology at Paris Saclay University in July 2016. Nimer teaches a course on sociology of education at Galatasaray University in Turkey. She holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and BS from the American University of Beirut.