Richard Staring (Erasmus University Rotterdam), NIT Visiting Scholar
The NIT was my home from 15 August 2015 onwards for a period of nearly five month. During this time I spent many hours in the NIT library working on several research projects. The first one is on the social embeddedness of crime within specific immigrant groups in urban areas. The second research, conducted in collaboration with SCP (Netherlands Institute for Social Research) and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, focused on Dutch youngsters with a Turkish background, their sense of belonging and their attitudes towards religious inspired violence. Data for both researches had already been collected in the Netherlands. The second research project was published in December 2015 in the SCP report Werelden van Verschil (Worlds of Difference). In addition I spoke with several Syrian refugees living in Istanbul about their whereabouts in Turkey as well as their attitudes towards moving to Europe. This data will be included in an ongoing research on fragmented journeys of Syrians and Eritrean immigrants towards the Netherlands.
The location of the NIT in the old heart of Istanbul, the opportunities the NIT offers through their seminars and their contacts within the academic field, among which Koç University, were very useful and stimulating. It offered me not only several opportunities to present my findings to a Turkish-international academic audience but also influenced my analysis of the data by offering a partial background to the experiences of many of the Dutch youngsters with a Turkish background I interviewed back in the Netherlands. I will surely miss my strolls through the streets of Istanbul when I will be back at the Department of Criminology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, but I definitely will return. For the near future I am planning a research project on the immigration industry in Istanbul and other Turkish cities facilitating the entries of refugees and immigrants. For sure this will be the start of a fruitful collaboration with Turkish academics and the Netherlands Institute in Turkey.