This communication is part of ANR-DFG Imageun and took place durinf the 7th summer conference of the Central Eurasian Studies SOciety (CESS) in Tahskent (Ouzbekistan), during the session "Geographical and geopolitical representations of Central Asian Youth", facilitated by Julien Thorez (CNRS).
Camille Dabestani (Géographie-cités) & Murat Güvenç (Kadir Has University İstanbul)
This proposal is a study of macroregional imaginaries of Turkish students in 2022 with approaches in political geography and geography of representations. The analysis is based on an online mapping survey conducted through students in three university cities (Ankara, Antalya and Istanbul) as part of the research project ANR-DFG IMAGEUN. It focuses on students’ representations and practices of macroregions they feel they belong to. We seek to analyze imaginaries associated to a region of the world thanks to mental maps linked to a panel of questions that interrogate socio-demographic and geographic factors.
By focusing on their macroregion, we propose to ask two main questions: what regional spaces and what scales of representation are meaningful to define the part of the world they belong to? How the current geopolitical situation might influence the positioning of their country among the regional spaces at stake in Turkish representations?
Three main level appear in responses : the national level is predominant, the macro-regional level represent more than a third of the regions with various forms (mainly Middle East/Asia and Europe/Balkan) and finally, the sub-national level represents the last scale mobilised in the form of cities, regions or "home". More or less political positioning also emerge, critical about the country or other regions and some images ( bridge, middle, etc.). Those spaces are associated with various spatial logics (unique region, scalar relations or overlapping regions).
Different respondent profiles are also identified with various macroregions according to different socio-demographic factors, mainly a differentiation according to the students' university city, completed with their mobility backround.