Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew York, Graduate Center, City U. of
Grant numberGr. 9265
Approve DateApril 11, 2016
Project TitleOguz, Zeynep, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Subterranean Futures: The Politics of Hydrocarbon Exploration in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Gary Wilder
ZEYNEP OGUZ, then a graduate student at City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2016 to aid research on ‘Subterranean Futures: The Politics of Hydrocarbon Exploration in Turkey,’ supervised by Dr. Gary Wilder. Funding supported ethnographic and archival research to understand Turkey’s contemporary carbon-intensive energy politics and examine how the Turkish government’s historical and recent attempts to explore oil and gas in Turkey’s Kurdistan as well as the Mediterranean and Black Seas have been taking place on the backdrop of competing imaginaries of the future. During the research phase, the grantee has carried out research including archival work at the national state archives in Ankara, participant observation with petroleum geologists and engineers, interviews with government officials and experts, and oral histories with Kurdish villagers and petroleum workers in Ankara, Diyarbakir, Batman, Adiyaman, and Siirt. More than 150 geologists, engineers, workers, bureaucrats, and activists were interviewed as the grantee participated in conferences and summits on oil and energy, oil extraction and exploration activities, and protests and meetings against fossil fuels. Also collected were interviews and documents about widespread conspiracy theories about oil. Finally, the grantee has examined national and local newspapers and collected documents from the personal archives of retired geologists and engineers on the place of oil in Turkey’s politics.