Buket Türkmen

senior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2018/2019
discipline Sociology
Independent Scholar

Research project

The Actors of Democracy Watch in Turkey: Towards a Non-negotiated Public Sphere?


Since 2010, we are living in a period in which new forms of activism are emerging, suggesting a decentralized and horizontal type of social organization. To these new social movements responded in recent years the “counter-movements” that now promote verticality, a hierarchical society, devotion to the leader and holistic citizenship. Inviting part of the population to the streets and banning demonstrations of the others go hand in hand with this new type of political authoritarianism: it tries to provide an appearance of respect for Democracy.


The case of Turkey’s “democracy watches”, which took place after the coup attempt in July 2016 was one of these counter-movements, which has been developed as response to the symbols and repertoires of its constitutive other, here Gezi resistance (an unprising occurred in Istanbul and in other cities of Turkey in 2013). These democracy watches expressed a strong desire for the national homogeneity, in opposition with the horizontal and pluralistic society suggested by Gezi in 2013.


During the summer of 2016, I made participant observations with a colleague in four squares of Istanbul where took place democracy watches, and made publications through these observations. Today after one year of consolidation of the new regime, I will return to the field and conduct in-depth interviews with the actors of these democracy watches and with those who refused to participate. Through these interviews, I aim to understand the relationship between the Street and the new authoritarian regime, through the impacts of the regime on their political subjectivity and their personal life.





Buket Türkmen has worked as Associate Professor of Sociology at the Galatasaray University till 2018 and she has taught Sociology in 2018 at Bordeaux University. She is an associate researcher (chercheuse attachée) in Centre Emile Durkheim in Bordeaux and in Institut Français d'Etudes Anatoliennes in Istanbul. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

Buket Türkmen research interests are sociology, social movements, postcolonial studies, sociology of identity, gender and Islam, and the Islamist movement.


Selected publications


'Remaking the public through the square: invention of the new national cosmology in Turkey', with B. Küçük, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies [online journal], doi:10.1080/13530194.2018.1491295, published 2 July 2018.


'L’individualisme solidariste des actrices de Gezi et l’émergence de nouveaux sujets', Agora débats/jeunesses, vol. 73, no. 2, 2016, pp. 119-133.


'Le Flirt Islamique. Défi ou transformation identitaire ?', Ethnologie Française, vol. 44, 2014, pp. 299-308.


'The new Islamic domination in Turkey: Occidentalism toppled', in R. Kastoryano (ed.), Turkey Between Nationalism and Globalization, Routledge, Abingdon/New York, 2013, pp. 107-122.


'A transformed Kemalist Islam or a New Islamic Civic Morality? A study of “Religious Culture and Morality” Textbooks in the Turkish High School Curricula', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 29, no. 3, 2009, pp. 381-397.



senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History Middle Ages
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2012/2013
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Art History