Waiting amidst Violence, Uncertainty, and (Un)Belonging: LGBTQ Asylum in Turkey


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project is an ethnographic study of LGBTQ asylum in Turkey, where Iranian LGBTQ refugees waiting to be resettled to the United States and Canada are stranded in small Turkish towns with insecure legal status for an undetermined time. Based on two years of ethnographic research, it explores how North American countries’ tightening resettlement policies, combined with Turkey’s strict control of refugees’ mobility and labor, leave LGBTQ refugees vulnerable to multiple forms of violence. Moving between asylum interviews, NGO offices, refugee protests, informal workplaces, and homes, this project also examines how LGBTQ refugees respond to violence and uncertainty by cultivating a queer ethics of love, care, and support and novel practices of self-making, kin-making, and community-making, while also competing with one another for access to limited rights and resources.