October 2, 2009
Prof. Ayhan Kaya, a Turkish national, is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the European Institute at Istanbul’s Bilgi University.
In 2002, Prof. Kaya was actively involved in creating the Centre for Migration Research at Bilgi University. In 2003, he became the Director of the Centre, launching several first-time initiatives for Turkey such as Roman Studies, Assyrian Studies and Ethnic Relations in Turkey. In 2004, he was asked to form the Centre for European Studies at Bilgi University, which became the European Institute in 2007. The Institute offers MA courses in European Studies, Certificate Programs on the EU, projects on such topics as Civil Society Dialogue between Turkey and France, Euro-Turks Residing in Germany, France and Belgium, and European Union advocacy programs in various Turkish cities.
Prof. Kaya’s academic work has focused on international and internal migration. He has conducted qualitative and quantitative projects on Turkish-origin migrants in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Within Turkey, he has conducted research on the Circassian diaspora and on internally displaced people. His work has been published in books and journals in English, German, French, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Turkish.
He made a major contribution to critical perspectives on migration issues in Europe in the aftermath of the 11. September 2001 attacks in the U.S, taking the view that concerns about migration in the EU are exaggerated since most western European Union countries now have zero net migration. He has consistently contributed positively to the debates on multiculturalism, management of ethno-cultural diversity and dialogue in Turkey. His work and public statements have significantly helped to counter migration phobia and Islamophobia while at the same time helping to maintain positive approaches to advocacy of the European Union in Turkey.