Sabancı Üniversitesi


New Centers In Turkey: Economy, Education, Arts And Peace In Cities

Published on 16.09.2015 13:43


Cities have always been associated with human emancipation. In Europe in the Middle Ages, it was believed that city air brings freedom. Modern cities, too, are defined as areas of high freedom potential for people leaving behind extended family ties and hierarchical agricultural relationships. However, attractive as the potential forhuman freedom may be, cities are also spheres where economic inequalities, income disparities, cultural differences and ghettoization trends become most visible.

Turkey is a country that is going through rapid urbanization. The percentage of the urban population rose from 25% in the 1950s to 75% today. We are now living in an urbanized Turkey with all its risks and potential. Anatolian provinces prove to be the most dynamic ones in terms of rapid urbanization. Processes of change and transformation since the 1980s gave rise to the emergence of new city centers in Anatolia. Cities like Kayseri, Konya, Gaziantep, Eskişehir, Denizli, Çorum and others have become new centers of economic and political power over the last three decades.

It is possible to argue that these new city centers challenge pose alternatives to those cities that have been prominent since the early years of the Republic such as Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir. These cities draw attention not only by their recent entrepreneurial ventures, but also their wealth of initiatives in education and artistic activities. What is novel about the emergence and rise of these cities? What are the drivers of entrepreneurship observed in these cities? How compatible are these new urban areas with the fundamental freedoms of citizens? Is the atmosphere (social and political environment) in these cities conducive to liberation – the function that has historically been attributed to cities? How can new urban spaces contribute to development, democratization and peace in Turkey?

This topic was chosen for this year's Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards in line with the interdisciplinary nature of Sabancı University. Submissions that make general and specific contributions to this subject from a wide and interdisciplinary academic perspective are welcome.


The deadline for submissions is, January 15th, 2016.

The Sakıp Sabancı International Research Award will be given in two different categories:

Jury Prize:

The Jury Prize will be awarded to an individual who has made distinguished contributions on the above-mentioned theme. An independent and international jury will select the Awardee. Jury Prize is 25,000 USD.

Essay Awards:

In addition to the Jury Prize, Essay Awards will be given to researchers under 45 years of age. This category includes 10,000 USD for each of the three award-winning essays selected by the same jury from among submitted essays.

Conditions for the Essay Award competition are:

  • All entries, which may be co-authored, must be new and original works, not published previously in any form.
  • Essays must be of the format and size of a regular academic journal article (25 to 35 pages, in double-space format, including references).
  • An abstract of 500 words embedded into the original essay and a short CV of the author(s) are required.

Entries must be submitted in English, in the form of a Word document to the following address: