Mert KOÇAK

Academic Year:
2019/2020

Research Program:
PoM Pontica Magna

Affiliation:
Central European University, Budapest

Position:
PhD Candidate

Country:
Turkey

Research project: Who Deserves Refugee Status and Resettlement?: UNHCR’s Shifting Role in Creating Legal Gender Categories for LGBTIQ Refugees in Turkey

This anthropological research aims to scrutinize how refugee governance of Turkey polices and controls not only sexuality and gender identity of queer refugees but also sexualized and gendered belongings within a nation-state. Secondly, the research hopes to analyze UNHCR’s role in constructing legal gender classifications by registering and resettling LGBTIQ refugees to a third country. Queer migration literature gathered empirical evidence from countries with centralized asylum application in which UNHCR only plays the role of a mediator. Thus, the literature lacks the effect of UNHCR on establishing LGBTIQ as legal gender classifications. Since asylees can temporarily reside in Turkey (until they are registered and resettled to a third country by UNHCR, Turkey provides a unique opportunity to observe UNHCR’s active role in establishing exclusionary practices of asylum application based on its own perception of gender identities of LGBTIQ.