During the next three years of the Consortium for European Symposia on Turkey, Kerem Oktem (Northwestern University) will remain as Consortium Chair while Paul Levin has taken up the new position of Consortium Director. The Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies will be responsible for the everyday running of the consortium and for the distribution of funding to institutions hosting the CEST events. The project is funded primarily by Stiftung Mercator, with additional support from Stockholm University.

CEST will offer two events every year – a small winter conference and a summer school – held at different universities in Europe where CEST board members are active. Whereas the conferences provide for a presentation and peer discussion of ongoing research, the summer school will focus more on methodology, grant writing, and career development.

The aims of these programs include supporting young researchers in Turkish studies by expanding their networks, providing career development, and providing a safe space for independent scholarship, as well as enhancing the state of Turkish studies as an academic field.

Since its inception in 2014, CEST has sought to promote engagement between Turkish Studies and broader social science debates. It also seeks to provide platforms for early-career scholars and enable international networking and collaboration among themselves and with senior academics.

The winter conferences and summer schools will be targeted toward young academics (from advanced doctoral students up to 4 years after PhD) active in Turkish studies in both Turkey and at CEST members’ universities. Young academics in Turkey are facing a difficult situation; the space for independent and critical scholarship is decreasing and self-censorship is widespread, increasing the risk of isolation from international academic forums and collaborations. This project aims to help them break out of that isolation. The established scholars will benefit from exposure to the impressive pool of talent of the early-career scholars.

The first summer school will be held at Freie University, Berlin in 2020. Information, including application procedures, are forthcoming.