Événements passés


Russia and Turkey in the Middle East

Evren Balta (Özyeğin University)
Vasily Kuznetsov (Head of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Science)

Session moderated by Bayram Balcı (IFEA) and Mitat Çelikpala (Kadir Has University)

Turkey and Russia have unbalanced bilateral relations that influence broad geography- almost all Eurasian territories that cover both countries' immediate surroundings from the Black Sea to the Caucasus but Central Asia and the Middle East. Both states’ relations with Western actors also play a significant role in shaping their foreign and security policies and their bilateral relations. During the last decade, Turkish and Russian leaders focused on prospective areas of cooperation and left the traditional issues of contention to hibernate. Thus, the two parties reframed their relations based on the principle of 'compartmentalization' of issues. Through this compartmentalization policy, Ankara and Moscow managed to segregate geopolitical and economic issues, especially in different regions, including the Middle East. The ebbs and flows of events in Syria since 2012 and their reflections on the Turkish-Russian relations are worth analyzing the fickle nature of Turkish-Russian relations. This seminar seeks to analyze the ebbs and flows of Turkish-Russian relations with a particular reference to the Syrian war and the Middle East with the participation of two distinguished scholars.

Evren Balta is a Professor of International Relations at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Ozyegin University and Senior Scholar at Istanbul Policy Center. Her main research interests include political violence, security, foreign policy and politics of identity. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from The Graduate Center, CUNY (2007) and an MA in Sociology from the Middle East Technical University (1999) and an MIA from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (2001). She is the co-author of The American Passport (Upenn Press,2020), author of Age of Uneasiness (Iletisim Publications, 2019) and Global Security Complex (İletisim Publications, 2012); editor of Introduction to Global Politics (Iletisim Publications, 2014); co-editor of Military, State and Politics in Turkey  (Bilgi University Publications, 2010) and Neighbors with Suspicion: Dynamics of Turkish-Russian Relations (İletisim Publications, 2017).

Vasily Kuznetsov PhD in history (2010), Head of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies under the Russian Academy of Sciences, associate professor of the Faculty of World Politics, Moscow State University, senior policy adviser of the Russian Contact Group for Inter-Libyan Settlement under Russian Foreign Ministry and Parliament.

From the very beginning of his scientific career, he tries to combine researches in the field of classical Arabic studies to analysis of the current political process in the Arab World and especially in the Maghreb States.

As a medievalist, he defended under the supervision of Professor Isaak Filshtinsky thesis on the medieval Arab-Muslim historical knowledge and has published several articles on the topic.

He is author of several Analytical Reports for the International Discussion Club “Valdai”, for Russia’s International Affairs Council, author of a monograph on political transformation in post-revolutionary Tunisia written on fieldwork (2011-2017). He is contributed with Al-Monitor.

He is interested in studying of socio-political processes, problems of statehood and religion life in the contemporary Arab societies. Also, he is involved in several track-two initiatives on the Russian politics in the Middle East.

Interventions en anglais

Date de l'événement 03/05/2021 6:00 pm
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La diaspora alévie en Grande-Bretagne et en Europe continentale

Séminaire « enjeux actuels des migrations »
Organisé par l’Axe AMiMo de l'IFEA en collaboration avec l’Association pour les recherches sur les migrations (GAR)

Cette étude porte sur l'expérience de la diaspora des Alévis, qui durant un demi-siècle ont émigré à l'étranger pour diverses raisons en quittant leur espace socio temporel établi depuis des siècles. L'une des conclusions importantes de l'étude, qui vise essentiellement à voir les effets de la migration externe sur la mémoire sociale, les croyances et l'identité culturelle à travers les Alevis, est l’argumentation face à la notion d’ «immigrants homogènes». En ce sens, la présentation sera basée sur la comparaison des expériences de la diaspora alévie en analysant les raisons et les périodes d'immigration, le choix des pays migratoires, les différences de génération, le réseau des migrants établis, le profil communautaire et la structure organisationnelle des Alevis de Grande-Bretagne et d’Allemagne.

Cemal Salman est maître de conférences à la Faculté des sciences politiques à l'Université d'Istanbul. Il est titulaire d’une licence et d’un master en Administration publique et en Sciences politiques à l'Université de Gazi. Il a obtenu son doctorat dans le même domaine, à l'Université d'Istanbul.  Au cours de ses études doctorales, il a mené des recherches sur le terrain à Sivas-Yıldızeli, à Ankara, en Allemagne et dans diverses régions de France durant différentes périodes entre 2013-2014, et a travaillé comme chercheur invité à l'Université de Cologne en Allemagne pendant six mois en 2014. Sa thèse intitulée "Transformation de l'identité alévie dans le processus de migration et d'urbanisation" a reçu le prix des jeunes scientifiques sociaux de l'Association des sciences sociales turques dans la catégorie Doctorat en 2017. Il a également participé à l'équipe chargée de la recherche «Syrian Immigrant Labour», qui a reçu le prix DİSK-Kemal Turks Labour Research Award en 2017. Il a remporté une bourse TÜBİTAK avec son projet de recherche post-doctoral  intitulé «Les effets de l'émigration sur la mémoire sociale, la croyance et la culture: l’exemple des Alevis de Grande-Bretagne et d'Allemagne» et a travaillé comme chercheur invité à l'Université College London entre août 2018 et 2019. Il fait parti depuis septembre 2019 de l'équipe de recherche du projet TUBITAK intitulé "Les expériences d'abri des réfugiés syriens à Istanbul".

Intervention en turc

Date de l'événement 28/04/2021 6:00 pm
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Seda Altuğ (The Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History)

Session moderated by Alexis Wick (American University of Beirut)

Scholars working on refugees and the refugee issue in the Middle East usually operate within the fields of minority, refugee, diaspora and area studies. Many scholars assume that refugees, as victims of state violence can solely be understood with reference to the past violence that they were exposed to in their home country. Similarly, these groups are considered as self-made and self-enclosed entities whose history, present and future stand out as marginal annexes to the national history. These historiographical claims hold true for the scholarly work on the post-WW1 Christian and Kurdish refugees in Syria under the French mandate (1921- 1946). This talk attempts to nuance these claims and demonstrate the ways in which these internally diverse groups of refugees who are survivors of genocide and state-sponsored mass violence in Turkey and British-Iraq (1915-1931) have cultivated novel subjectivities and articulated the terms of their belonging in French-Syria. Through reflecting on the experiences of these refugee groups, this talk will argue that the refugee issue, namely the debates about the arrival of refugees, the French colonial state’s governing of the issue and the refugees’ involvement in Syrian politics in mid-1930s reveals the terms of Syrianness-in-making in the first half of the 20th century in Syria.

Seda Altuğ, Historian, is a lecturer at the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History at Boğaziçi
University, Istanbul. She received her PhD from Utrecht University, Netherlands. Her
dissertation is entitled "Sectarianism in the Syrian Jazira: Community, Land and Violence in
the Memories of World War I and the French Mandate (1915–1939)". Her research interests
are state-society relations in French-Syria, sectarianism, land question, empire, border
and memory. Her recent work concerns land, property regimes and citizenship
practices in the late Ottoman East and Syria under the French mandate.
Intervention en anglais
Date de l'événement 28/04/2021 6:00 pm
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The Syrian crisis and its effects on Turkey’s foreign policy

Sinan Ülgen (EDAM)
Galip Dalay (Oxford University, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow)

Since its foundation in 1923, the Turkish Republic has never encountered a regional security and political crisis as severe as the Syrian Civil War. Indeed, the Syrian crisis that erupted in the context of the Arab uprising ten years ago continues to have significant impacts on the neighboring countries, especially on Turkey that had a very privileged relationship with Damascus before the civil war.

 In terms of foreign policy, the impact of the Syrian crisis is the most serious one. Turkey has become increasingly torn between its traditional loyalty to the West and new security calculations precipitating a tilt to the East, namely a rapprochement with Russia, Iran, and even China. To what extent is the Syrian crisis a turning point in the Turkish foreign policy traditionally oriented toward the West? What are the other effects of the Syrian crisis on Turkish foreign policy? These are the main issues that will be developed in the 7th session of the joint seminar organized between Kadir Has University and the IFEA this month with two prestigious scholars: Sinan ÜLGEN and Galip DALAY.

Sinan Ülgen graduated in 1987 from the University of Virginia with a double major in computer sciences and economics. He undertook graduate studies at the College of Europe in Brugge, Belgium where he received, in 1990, a master’s degree in European economic integration. He then joined the Turkish Foreign Service as a career diplomat. In 1992, he was posted to the Turkish Permanent Delegation to the European Union in Brussels where he became part of the team that negotiated the Turkey-EU customs union. Ulgen is the founder and managing partner of Istanbul Economics. The consultancy specializes in market entry strategies for international companies, political and economic risk analysis related to Turkey and regulatory affairs. Ulgen is also the chairman of the Istanbul based think tank, Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM) and a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels. His research and opinion pieces have been published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Center for European Policy Studies, Center for European Reform, the Atlantic Council, German Marshall Fund, Brookings and the World Economic Forum as well as newspapers such as Le Figaro, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, European Voice, Project Syndicate and the International New York Times. He is also the co-author of a book on Turkey-EU relations with Kemal Dervis and a frequent commentator on Turkish affairs in the international press. Ulgen served on the academic advisory board member of the NATO Defence College in Rome. He was a member of the Europe Council of the World Economic Forum. He was also a member of the international policy experts group setup by the NATO Secretary General Rasmussen.

 Galip Dalay is the Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy, an associate fellow at Chatham House, and a doctoral researcher in the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford, and non-resident fellow at the Brookings Doha Center (BDC). His current research focuses on the question of regionalism, regional order and governance in the Middle East, Turkish politics, Turkish foreign policy, regional Kurdish politics, Middle Eastern politics, Turkish -Russian and history and politics of Turkish -Western/European relations, and history of post-colonial and post-imperial forms of internationalism. Dalay’s pieces and analysis have appeared on Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Project Syndicate,  Newsweek,  Le  Monde,  Al Jazeera, Open Democracy, Middle East Eye and The World Politics Review.

Interventions en anglais

Date de l'événement 15/04/2021 6:00 pm
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The Ottoman constitutional rule and Evolution of the Law on Brigandage (Çeteler Kanunu): The Jovanovich Murder Case

Barış Zeren (chercheur indépendant/CETOBAC) 

Séance modérée par Denis Hermann (IFEA)

In December 1909, Ottoman police patrols in Bitola discovered the body of a certain Jovanovich who had been stabbed to death. Local Ottoman authorities launched a wave of operations in the town that resulted in the arrest of local Bulgarian notables for their involvement in the murder. The murder was considered a political crime –– a definition that placed the case within the framework of the Law on Brigandage, which was adopted as a provisional law bypassing the parliament. The local tension created a vortex drawing in provincial and central bureaucracies, the Ottoman parliamentarians as well as Macedo-Bulgarian political actors. This presentation aims to reconstruct the evolution of the case in its interaction with the new Ottoman political-legal sphere and to shed light on the implementation of the laws as well as on the power relations in an era marked by parliamentarism and discourse of Ottoman fraternity.
Barış Zeren is an independent researcher and associate member of CETOBAC, EHESS. He received his PhD in 2017 from Boğaziçi University and EHESS in which he studied the socio-political and judicial crisis of transition to the constitutional regime in the Ottoman Empire. He gave courses in Ottoman, Republican Turkey, and Russian history at Işık University and Boğaziçi University. His current research agenda includes the role of trans-imperial and underground networks in the development of the culture of constitutionalism within the period of 1848-1914 with a particular interest in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Intervention en anglais


Date de l'événement 12/04/2021 6:00 pm
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Al-Jumhuriya (The Republic): a Syrian political and cultural electronic magazine

Karam Nachar, Historian, Executive Director and Editor of Al-Jumhuriya Collective

Séance modérée par Nouran Gad (IFEA) et Franck Mermier (IFEA)

The Al-Jumhuriya (Republic) website magazine was launched in March 2012 by a group of Syrian journalists, writers and intellectuals who support the democratic and secular ideals of the Syrian Revolution. The magazine publishes in-depth analyses and investigations on the social, political, economic and military situation in Syria and plays an important role in the development of investigative journalism and documentary literature by bringing out a new range of authors and styles. In 2020, the site's editorial staff created a weekly edition in order to strengthen the deciphering of events. The motto of the magazine "The world in Syria and Syria in the world" reflects both the international dimension of the Syrian tragedy and the transnational character and Syrian anchorage of Al-Jumhuriya.

The presentation will retrace in what circumstances and for what purposes this magazine was founded. It will therefore deal with the modalities of the formation of the collective that animates the site and will analyse the cultural and political functions of this review by highlighting its ethical, aesthetic, thematic and communicational choices. The presentation will focus on the transnational dimension of Al-Jumhuriya. through the location of the members of its editorial team in several countries and will give insights on the changing role of Istanbul in its evolution.

This webinar is part of a series of webinars on Arab Presence in Turkey and is co-organized with the research program aMiMo (Migrations and Mobilities) at IFEA.

Intervention en anglais

Date de l'événement 26/03/2021 6:00 pm
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La face invisible de l’Amérique: le pays des libertés et de l’immigration

Seçil Paçacı Elitok

Cette conférence discutera des politiques d'immigration ayant eu un impact sur la politique et les récentes campagnes électorales américaines. Dans un premier temps, une brève présentation de la population immigrée aux États-Unis, de sa répartition et de son profil au niveau macroéconomique sera faite. Puis, seront résumées les politiques migratoires du Président Obama et du Président Trump de 2008 à aujourd'hui ; les différences et les similitudes au niveau du discours et de la pratique seront notamment comparées de manière critique. Après avoir abordé l'impact de ces politiques sur les immigrés, et analyser les divers soutien et oppositions des électeurs, la dernière partie de cette conférence discutera des engagements du Président Biden durant campagne électorale en matière de politique d’immigration et des attentes des électeurs lors de cette nouvelle période.

Seçil Elitok, est diplômée d’une licence au département d'économie  à l'Université de Marmara, et d’un doctorat à l'Université de l'Utah (USA) en 2008. Ses études post-doctorales se portent sur le domaine des migrations en tant que chercheuse Marie Curie à l'Institut d'économie internationale de Hambourg (HWWI). Après avoir été chercheuse au Istanbul Policy Center en 2012, elle est revenu en Turquie terminer son projet de recherches sur “ le rôle de la migration dans les relations Turquie-UE ”. Entre 2014-2016, elle a travaillé en tant que chercheuse au Centre de recherche sur les migrations à l'Université de Koç (MireKoç) dont son projet portait sur les femmes immigrées africaines à İstanbul (LeFAMSol). Après avoir obtenu son titre de professeur sur les relations entre la Turquie et l’Union européenne, elle immigra au Etats-Unis en 2016 avec son conjoint et ses deux enfants. Elle est chercheuse au Wayne State University Center for the Study of Citizenship (CSC) et maîtresse de conférences au Michigan State University Center for European, Russian and Euroasian Studies (CERES). Ses thèmes de recherche sont les relations UE-Turquie, la gestion des migrations dans l'UE, la migration de retour, le transfert possible des droits des migrants dans les accords bilatéraux de sécurité sociale, les envois de fonds, la migration de main-d'œuvre qualifiée, le genre et la migration, l’économie migratoire et la politique d'immigration. Elle a donné des cours sur l'immigration et l'intégration à l'Université de Hambourg, de l'Utah et à l'université Sabanci. Elle donne actuellement des cours à l'Université d'Oakland sur le Moyen-Orient et la migration.

Intervention en turc

Date de l'événement 25/03/2021 6:00 pm
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Turkey and Iran: Liquid Alignment and Regional Balances

Salih Bıçakcı (Kadir Has University) and Bayram Sinkaya (Yıldırım Beyazıt University)

Iran and Turkey have been competing for regional power projection in the Middle East for almost centuries. Current developments, noticeably in Syria and Iraq are the new scenes of cooperation and competition schemes between these two actors. Both parties sought a solution through cooperation to find a peaceful end to the conflict in the Astana talks, while also at the same time confronting each other in Idlib province via proxies. This simultaneity of competition, cooperation, and confrontation that has been reinforced in the Syrian Crisis present a picture of a relationship that is riddled with contradictions and is in effect a paradox.

The question that must be asked is, how can we understand this puzzle of competition, cooperation, and confrontation in Turkish–Iranian relations in the Syrian Crisis but not only, even in the Caucasus and in the larger Middle East.  Historical and contemporary research brings in discussions on the longue durée, narratives, domestic constraints, and, most importantly the international factors which can help to decipher this intellectual puzzle. Moreover, the ‘relationality’ of each country’s policies in Syria combined with historical regard on the mutual perception can help unlock the puzzle of the Turkish–Iranian relationship in Eurasia and the Middle East, and provide insight into the debate surrounding the diverging Turkish and Iranian policies in the Syrian crisis.

Dr. Salih Bıçakcı is Associate Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. He completed his B.A. on History at Marmara University Education Faculty in 1994, and his M.A. at Marmara University Turkic Research Institute in 1996. Bıçakcı received his PhD from Tel Aviv University in Israel in 2004. Dr. Bıçakcı began his academic career at Işık University and took part in numerous academic projects on identity, security and terrorism. He has thought classes in several national and international universities on the Middle East in International Politics, International Security, International Relations Theory and Turkish Foreign Policy. He has made evaluations and presentations on cyber security at the NATO Defense Against Terrorism Centre of Excellence (COEDAT), NATO Command and Control Centre of Excellence (C2COE) and NATO Maritime Security Centre of Excellence. He has though Cyber Security and Middle Eastern Security courses at the Armed Forces Academy of the Turkish War College. He has presented on international security and cyber security in several international academic conferences.

Bayram Sinkaya is Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations in the Faculty of Political Science at Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Ankara. He received his PhD from Middle East Technical University, Ankara. He has been a Visiting Researcher at Columbia University (2007-2008). His research interests include Iranian politics, Iran’s foreign and security policies, Middle Eastern politics and the Turkish foreign policy. He is the author of The Revolutionary Guards in Iranian Politics: Elites and Shifting Relations (NY: Routledge, 2015).

Intervention en anglais

Date de l'événement 10/03/2021 6:00 pm
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Le pèlerinage de l’Arba‘in à Karbala, un fait social total

Sabrina Mervin (CNRS, CéSor)

Chaque année, des millions de chiites viennent du monde entier pour effectuer le pèlerinage (ziyara) de l’Arba‘in à Karbala, en Irak. Ils célèbrent ainsi la fin du deuil pour Hossein, leur troisième imam, qui connut le martyre lors de la bataille de Karbala, en 680, avec ses proches et ses compagnons. Les rescapés furent capturés et emmenés à Damas pour comparaître devant le calife Yazid qui les fit relâcher ; ils repartirent pour Karbala avec la tête de de Hossein, afin de l’enterrer près de son corps. C’est ce « retour de la tête » que commémore la marche des pèlerins vers Karbala. Ils affluent pendant une dizaine de jours et sont reçus par des groupes (mawkib) qui leur fournissent de multiples services : distribution d’eau, de nourriture, hébergement, soins, etc. Sur les routes, en ville, des représentations rappellent le drame, des processions et des performances le rejouent. Plus on se rapproche des sanctuaires, plus la foule et dense et plus la ferveur religieuse est intense.

Historienne et anthropologue, Sabrina Mervin est directrice de recherche au CNRS, affectée au CéSor (Centre d’études en sciences sociales du religieux). Ses travaux se concentrent sur l’islam chiite contemporain, en particulier les autorités religieuses et les pratiques rituelles, ainsi que sur la transmission du savoir en islam.

Elle développe aussi des projets en anthropologie visuelle et prépare un documentaire sur le pèlerinage de l’Arba‘in à Karbala.

Parmi ses publications :

Sabrina Mervin, Histoire de l'islam. Fondements et doctrines, Flammarion (« Champs »), 2016.

Sabrina Mervin, Yasser Tabbaa et Erick Bonnier (photographies), Najaf, The Gate of Wisdom : History, Heritage and Significance of the Holy City of the Shi’a, Unesco Publishing, 2014.

Sabrina Mervin, Un réformisme chiite. Ulémas et lettrés du Jabal ‘Âmil de la fin de l’Empire ottoman à l’indépendance du Liban, Karthala, 2000.

Intervention en français



Date de l'événement 03/03/2021 6:00 pm
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Arab Presence in Turkey/ présences arabes en Turquie

Seda Altuğ (The Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History), Philippe Bourmaud (Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes), Olof Heilo (Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul), Franck Mermier (IFEA), Alexis Wick (American University of Beirut)

Beyond the field of expertise in international relations and political science which focuses on the stakes and consequences of AKP's policy vis-à-vis the Arab region, particularly since 2011, the study of the "Arab fact" in Turkey requires the constitution of a particular "place of knowledge" to relay and develop its own dynamics. One of the characteristics of this subject study is that it subverts the boundaries of area studies by highlighting complex contextualisation processes which cannot be apprehended from a single cultural area. By bringing together several teaching and research institutions, this seminar on Arab Presence in Turkey intends to give visibility to current research, to integrate it into the wider academic debate, and to initiate a multidisciplinary dialogue between researchers.

Interventions en anglais

Date de l'événement 26/02/2021 5:00 pm
Date de fin 26/02/2021 7:00 pm
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Conférences en ligne

Installé dans les locaux du drogmanat du Palais de France (ancienne Ambassade de France auprès de la Sublime Porte), l'Institut français d'études anatoliennes "Georges Dumézil" a succédé en 1975 à l'institut français d'archéologie d'Istanbul fondé en 1930. À l'origine orienté vers l'histoire ancienne et l'archéologie, il a ensuite étendu ses activités à la turcologie (linguistique et histoire ottomane en particulier). Il a commencé à s'ouvrir au contemporain à la fin des années 1980, notamment avec la mise en place d'un Observatoire Urbain d'Istanbul (OUI). En 1994, l'IFEA a créé un Centre d'études caucasiennes. En 2003, ce centre s'est délocalisé à Bakou où l'IFEA possède désormais une antenne, installée au sein de l'Ambassade de France en Azerbaïdjan. En 2005 a été mis sur pied un Observatoire de la vie politique turque (OVIPOT). L'IFEA fait partie du réseau des vingt-sept instituts de recherche en sciences humaines et sociales dépendant de la Sous-Direction de la coopération scientifique, universitaire et de la recherche du Ministère des Affaires étrangères. Les études y concernent un vaste territoire, qui s'étend des confins orientaux de l'Europe aux abords de l'Asie centrale. Elles s'inscrivent dans une chronologie longue, allant de la préhistoire aux grands Empires, et de la naissance des États-nations aux redéfinitions identitaires d'aujourd'hui.C'est dire que l'IFEA offre un profil très diversifié, propice aux échanges entre disciplines : les sciences humaines et sociales (anthropologie, démographie, géographie, histoire, sociologie, science politique et économique, voire musicologie) y voisinent avec les techniques de l'archéologie et du classement et de l'analyse des textes écrits. Établissement à compétence régionale, l'Institut développe des programmes couvrant le Caucase et les Balkans.L'IFEA est présent sur le portail Persée pour ses publications archéologiques : http://www.persee.fr/collection/anatvet diffuse ses collections contemporaines sur Open Edition : http://books.openedition.org/ifeagd/ Institut Français d'Études Anatoliennes Georges Dumézil