29 May 2011
Turkey Election Study Tour with ESI Analysts
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Lynsey Addario / Corbis
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Lynsey Addario / Corbis

ESI Analysts Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere and Piotr Zalewski are leading a week long study tour in Turkey, starting on 29 May that will provide an exceptional opportunity to get to grips with key trends ahead of the June 12 parliamentary elections. It will also provide first-hand insight into ESI's analysis and work in the region.

The tour combines briefings with leading Turkish commentators, politicians, and international officials, and includes meals and accommodation. Other speakers include Joost Lagendijk, Osman Kavala, and Tanil Bora.

It is being organised by Political Tours, a study tour company established by former New York Times correspondent and then ESI analyst Nicholas Wood.

Later in June, the company is also organising a tour to Georgia, where ESI's recent work will be highlighted. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, who conducted ESI's research there, is leading the tour along side Oxford professor of International Relations, Neil MacFarlane.

Discounts are available to members of ESI's network (just refer to this website). There are also reductions for group bookings.


Turkey Tour overview

Six years after Turkey was granted candidate status for the membership of the European Union, it seems to have hit a rut. A wide-ranging reform process that gave more rights to minorities, and increased civil liberties appears to be faltering. Distrust in the EU has grown and there are visible tensions as the country heads to elections on 12 June between the military, government, judiciary, and a polarised society.

Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere – Piotr Zalewski. Photo: ESI
Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere – Piotr Zalewski. Photo: ESI

Led by political analysts, Piotr Zalewski and Ekrem Güzeldere, the visit is the first in a series of ground breaking study-tours launched by Political Tours this year. The tour covers both Istanbul and Ankara and explores the electoral campaign with academics, journalists, politicians, activists and ordinary people.

The briefings and discussion will be interspersed with tours of key institutions, as well as historic sites, not to mention excellent food in some of Turkey's best inns and restaurants. There will also be the opportunity to witness some of the key political meetings and rallies first-hand.

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Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com