Turkey and the Syrian Crisis 

Situated at the literal and figural crossroads of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, Turkey has emerged as one of the world’s most important geo-political actors. Its role has become even more indispensable in light of the Syrian crisis and the failed Arab spring. This student-generated website provides information and analysis about civil society solutions to the Syrian crisis in Turkey through the following lenses:

  • Turkish Geopolitics: Turkey has led the way in absorbing Syrian refugee inflows and has spent an estimated $5.5 billion on humanitarian aid. This policy has been as admirable as it has been controversial and is seen as largely unsustainable. Explore this site to hear from practitioners, experts, and scholars on the role of Turkish leadership in the ever changing dynamics of the region.

  • Muslim Civil Society: Faith based organizations that operate in Turkish secular and civil society contexts have been a powerful force in Turkey’s domestic and international political landscape. Making up a diverse spectrum of religious orientations and organizational structures, they have been the country’s first responders to the Syrian refugee crisis. This site offers primary source information on these often overlooked groups.

  • Syrian Refugee Crisis: Declared as “the worst humanitarian crisis of our era” by the head of UNHCR, the Syrian humanitarian fallout far exceeds the capacity of development of relief agencies to provide help to the limitless suffering faced by the victims of war. Syrian civil society organizations are filling the vacuum through their work inside Syria and throughout the diaspora.  Explore this site to learn more about the breadth and depth of some of these Syrian civil society groups.


Turkey Study Abroad 2015


In addition to the extensive content produced by students and available on this website, MA Candidate Ameer Muhammad documented the Study Abroad Think Tank's experiences as a group and on the individual level. Stay tuned for the feature-length documentary film to be released Fall 2015. 


Dr. Volkan Topalli discusses the regional and geopolitical importance of Turkey, especially in relation to the Syrian refugee crisis, as well as the opportunities available for GSU students in cultivating partnerships with Turkish universities and liaisons. 

Sonia Kikeri interviews Ambassador Ford about the geopolitical situation in Syria and its neighbors, specifically in relation to the United States' efforts to form a cohesive policy in regards to the Syrian boarder, militia groups, and the Assad regime.

Sonia Kikeri interviews Dr. Recep Sentürk, the Director of the Alliance of Civilizations Institute hosted at Fatih Sultan Mehmet University in Istanbul, Turkey. His thesis on an open civilization society provokes questions and dialogue of how to address the management and promotion of diversity and coexistence in today's world.


Ameer Muhammad and Sonia Kikeri interviews composer Malek Jandali regarding the Syrian refugee crisis, specifically in relation to Syrian activists in diaspora, the lack of attention paid to the Syrian children displaced by the war, and the social and transcendent power of art and music.



This website is simply a classroom project that uses a conventional study abroad trip, student talent, and faculty expertise to fill an important information gap concerning Turkish politics and the Syrian crisis. Overseen by faculty mentors Dr. Abbas Barzegar and Dr. Rashid Naim of Georgia State University, advanced graduate students and undergraduates from various disciplines were placed in small working groups tasked with explore key subject areas. They did this by conducting research before their trip and interviewing experts. During their three-week trip they continued this process as they visited NGOs, think tanks, and cultural sites. Every day they documented their experiences through the content material that can be found on this site. See this brief article about the project for more information.





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MA Candidate in Religious Studies at Georgia State University

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Syrian Forum

Founded in 2011 and monitored by the KPMG, the Syrian Forum is a secular consortium of six organizations that addresse the immediate needs of Syrians in crisis while preparing for a future Syria. The Syrian Forum gives individuals tools to navigate and lead their communities today in order to empower Syrians to form a decentralized democratic society tomorrow.

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