Alumni Postdoc Fellow

Dr Ayse Cavdar

Alumni Fellows

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Tel: +49 (0)203 29861-138
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-mail: cavdar@spam


Dr Ayşe Çavdar joined the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Postdoc Fellow. She will be conducting her research in Research Unit 2 'Global Cultural Conflicts and Transcultural Cooperation' from January to December 2017.

Research Project at the Centre

Political Anthropology of Religiosity in 'New Turkey'

My project aims to develop a bottom-up approach to explore the mutual transformations of secularism, political Islam, and religiosity in Turkey during the last two decades. I focus on the various reflections of the power struggle between the secularist and Islamist political actors over the everyday lives of pious Muslims. Using a large ethnographic data, I analyze the transformation of piety and religious identity within the contemporary conditions of the political and economic engagement. I claim that secular modernity has an impact on not only the survival tactics and strategies of religions and religious identities but also the social and epistemological content of these 'modes of being'. During their histories, religions and non-secular 'modes of being' learned a lot from each other and reformed/transformed themselves along with the consequences of their battles. However, within the history of modernity, they had another 'rival': secularism, a concept and 'mode of being' that merely suggests being indifferent to the religious identities in the worldly affairs. Following this primary assumption in the theoretical framework of this research, I argue that it is possible to explain the dynamics of 'post-secular turn' via examining the antagonistic pedagogy between religion(s) and secular modernity and I suggest Turkey as a case study for such an examination.

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Urban Studies
  • Cultural and Social Anthropology
  • History
  • Media and Communication Studies

Current Projects

  • 2014–2016 Human security and displacement; (Dis)trust to public institutions: Researcher for the project Citizen’s Network for Peace, Reconciliation and Human Security, run by Helsinki Citizens Assembly. The project aims to form a civic advocacy network, through which we hope to create social mobilisation for peace, reconciliation and human security across Western Balkans and Turkey.
  • 2014–2015 Social Housing Policy and consequences for Roma People in Montenegro: Field research in Montenegro, Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Turkey, Citizens Network for Peace, Reconciliation and Human Security project (


07/2016-12/2016 Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany
Centre for Near and Middle East Studies
Research network 'Re-Configurations. History, Remembrance and Transformation Processes in the Middle East and North Africa'
Visiting Fellow
02/2015-03/2015 Centre of Modern Oriental Studies (ZMO), Berlin
Visiting Fellow
2014-2015 Helsinki Citizens Assembly
Citizen’s Network for Peace, Reconciliation and Human Security
2010-2014 European University of Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany
Thesis: 'Loss of Modesty: The Adventure of a Muslim Family from a Mahalle to a Gated Community', supervisor: Prof. Dr. Werner Schiffauer
2009-2013 Metro Zones, Berlin
Global Prayers: Redemption and Liberatiob in the City
2008-2012 Overteam Technologies
Internet Content Editor
2006-2011 Yeni Aktüel (Weekly News Magazine)
Book Reviewer
2003-2008 Ajans 21
Production Assistent and Researcher for two TV documentaries
2001-2003 Atlas (Monthly Geography Magazine)
History Editor
1999-2004 Bogazici University, Turkey
Master of Arts in History
1992-1997 Ankara University, Turkey
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism

Selected Publications

Çavdar, Ayşe (forthcoming 2016): 'Building, Marketing and Living in an Islamic Gated Community: Novel Configurations of Class and Religion in Istanbul', in: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (special issue: “Entrepreneurial Religion in the Age of Neoliberal Urbanism") ed. Stephan Lanz and Martijn Oosterbaan.

Çavdar, Ayşe (2016): 'AKP’s Housing Policy: TOKI as the Loyalty Generator', in: The Austrian Journal of Development Studies (JEP), Special Issue on Turkey: The Politics of National Conservatism, vol. XXXII 1/2.

Çavdar, Ayşe (ed.) (2016): Gola Gza (The Road of Plateau), Heyamola Yayinlari.

Çavdar, Ayşe (2015): 'Bu daha başlangıç: Müslüman Antikapitalistler ve sokak dostluğu' (It’s Only
the Beginning: Muslim Anticapitalists and Friendship on the Streets), in: Yerel Asiri Musterekler (Translocal Commons), ed. Yahya M. Madra and Muge Sokmen, Metis Publishing House, Fall.

Çavdar, Ayşe (2015): 'Müslüman Antikapitalistler ve sosyal medya: Radikal ama mesafeli bir
uzlaşı dili'
(Muslim Anticapitalists and Social Media: a Radical but Distanced Language of Consensus), in: Türkiye’de Alternatif Medya (Alternative Media in Turkey), ed. Bora Ataman and Baris Coban, Kafka Publishing House.

Çavdar, Ayşe (2015): 'The Watch Movement: Searching Justice for Workers and its Families', in: Journal of Communication Studies (special issue on counter-publics), İletişim Araştırmaları (Communication Studies), 2014, 12 (2), Ankara University Centre for Communication Studies and Applications.

Çavdar, Ayşe, and Tan, Pelin (eds.) (2013): İstanbul: Müstesna Şehrin İstisna Hali (Istanbul: The State of Exception in an Exceptional City), Sel Kitap.

Çavdar, Ayşe (2013): 'Negotiation as a Research Methodology', in: Global Prayers: Contemporary Manifestations of the Religious in the City, Zurich: Lars Mueller Publishers.

Çavdar, Ayşe (2011): Mahremin Göçü (The Migration of Intimacy), interview with Nilüfer Göle,
Hayy Kitap.

Çavdar, Ayşe, and Yıldırım, Aylin B. (eds.) (2010): Nefret Suçları ve Nefret Söylemi (Hate Crimes and Hate Discourse), Conference Proceedings, International Hrant Dink Foundation.

Çavdar, Ayşe, and Aytar, Volkan (eds.) (2009): Medya ve Güvenlik Sektörü Gözetimi, Sınırlar ve İmkanlar (Media and Security Sector Oversight, Limits and Possibilities), TESEV.

Çavdar, Ayşe (2002): Yerel Tarih Grupları için Halkla İlişiler Kılavuzu (Public Relations Handbook
for Local History Groups), Economic and Social History Foundation of Turkey.

Çavdar, Ayşe, and Meriç, Ergin (2001): Cemil Meriç ve Bu Ülkenin Çocukları (Cemil Meriç and the Children of this Country), İz Publications.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • 2013–2015: Adjunct lecturer, Izmir Economy University (News Writing, Media Institutions, and Communication Sociology)
  • 2013–2015: Adjunct lecturer, Bilgi University (Research Methodology in Urban Studies)
  • 2012–2014: Adjunct lecturer, Dogus University (Principles of Writing, Introduction to Public Relations
  • 2006–2011: Adjunct lecturer, Kadir Has University (Introduction to Public Relations, Basic Principles and Techniques of Journalism, Campaign Management in Public Relations, World Agenda, Content Production for Radio)

Expertise and Consulting Work

  • since 2015: Member, editorial board, Saha quarterly journal, Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Istanbul
  • since 2011: Member, Bir Umut Association, providing legal support to the civic individuals and groups on the issues of workspace accidents, neighbourhood evacuations, and urban transformation.
  • 2006–2007: Member, editorial advisory board, Istanbul (Quarterly Journal of Urban Culture) and Toplumsal Tarih '“Social History', Monthly Journal) published by the Economic and Social History Foundation of Turkey
  • 2005 Member, Media Relations Team, World Tribunal of Iraq

Seminars and Conferences

  • Young Turks (advisor and moderator to the exhibition) by Koken Ergun, a video installation about the Turkish schools in Kenya and Indonesia, Cologne, 21 October 2015.
  • Co-organizer (with Huricihan İslamoğlu), international conferences: “Economic Reform, New Politics, The Rule of Law and Social Justice”, at Boğaziçi University, supported by Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and “Law and Transformation in the Russian and Ottoman Empires in 19th Century”, at the Anatolian Club-Anadolu Kulübü, Istanbul, supported by TÜBITAK, The Scientific and Technological Research Institute of Turkey, 2014.
  • City, State, Justice; Workshop organised by Tarlabasi Social Centre, Istanbul, 28 November 2014.
  • Presentation: 'Erasing the Past for a Glorious Future: Destroying a City to Gentrify Religiosity', The Politics of Urban Religious Architecture Academy Colloquium, by Akademie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam, 22–24 October 2014.
  • Echoing Borders: The Shelter, The Camp, The City, The State (critique and lecturer) by Studio-X Global, Columbia University and Bilgi University, Amman and Istanbul, 7–27 August 2014.
  • Başakşehir: An Urban Model (advisor and contributor), Video installation exhibition by Sandra Schäfer, in Glasmoog Media Art Academy, Cologne, May 2014; Depo, Istanbul, April 2015; Studyo X, Istanbul, December 2015.
  • Presentation: 'Right to the City for Believers', Islamic Urbanism? Space, consumption, and development in Istanbul and Jakarta. Religious City in Istanbul, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, 18 April 2014.
  • Presentation: 'Contesting Pieties: Searching for Islam in Islamism', Translocal Commons, a colloquium with Susan Buck-Morss, by Boğaziçi University, 31 October 2013.
  • Presentation: 'Neo-Islamist’ visions of society in the context of neoliberal urbanity and the regulation of everyday life', Neoliberalism and Political Islam in Turkey under the AKP rule: a new hegemonic project? by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Berlin, 29 September 2012.
  • Presentation: 'The Loss of Modesty: The adventure of a Muslim family from "neighbourhood" to the gated communities', Islam and the non-Muslim Other: Doctrines, Attitudes, and Practices. A spring school organised by Netherlands Institute for Higher Education, Institut Français d’Etudes Anatoliennes, Netherlands Institute in Turkey, and Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies, 20–30 March 2012.
  • Presentation: 'Başakşehir: The role of religiosity in the making of a new town', The struggle to belong: Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings. Organised by the Research Committee 21, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research – Urban Studies and University of Amsterdam, 7–9 July 2011.
  • Managing the Unmanageable by Delft University. Presentation: Istanbul's Urban Expansion by TOKI, 9 March 2011.
  • Presentation: 'Religious middle class and housing question', Trying to understand the today’s Mass Housing Administration by Institute Français d’Études Anatoliennes, 28 January 2011.
  • Archaeology of Laughter and Humor in Media, Ataturk University, Erzurum. Presentation (with Perrin Ogun Emre): New opposition old language: Humour as a political communication agency, 13–15 May 2010.
  • How the cinema deals with history, Yerevan International Golden Apricot Film Festival and Istanbul International Film Festival, April 2008.

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