Istanbul Bilgi University
Gurun, Turkey

Istanbul Bilgi University is a private university in Istanbul, Turkey. According to the university webpage, The Bilgi Education and Culture Foundation was founded on 31 October 1994 in Istanbul in accordance with the following provision of the Turkish Civil Law: “To found and operate educational institutions and foundation based higher education institutions of every degree and quality and provide teaching in foreign languages, social science, science, and technology, to conduct scientific and cultural research, to found and operate museums that aim to protect the country’s cultural heritage, to conduct seminars, briefings, conferences, and similar gatherings to develop the country’s cultural position, and to provide aid or financial aid to people and corporations that conduct cultural activities.” In 1994, a precursor to the University was the Istanbul School of International Studies, operated in partnership with Portsmouth University and the London School of Economics offering courses in Business Administration, International Relations, Economics, and LSE Economics programs. Istanbul Bilgi University opened in earnest in 1996. The university is recognized as a pioneer in providing a liberal arts-oriented curriculum in Turkey. Istanbul Bilgi University joined Laureate International Universities in 2006 and is one of the largest private universities in the country.Istanbul Bilgi University ranks third among private foundation universities in Turkey for its undergraduate placement according to the 2011 National Student Selection and Placement Center and is ranked among the top 10 institutions of higher education in Turkey, according to Webometrics. Its law school is ranked one of the nation's top three. Bilgi faculty and alumni have been honored with World Bank and OECD Global Development Learning Network recognition, American Academy of Achievement Award, Cannes Lions Young Entrepreneurs Award, and Restfest Film and Digital Arts Festival Award. BILGI's Dolapdere campus received the 2002 "Structure and Life Architecture Award" and the 2005 "European Award for Steel Structure."On February 10, 2009, Istanbul Bilgi University announced that it would join the Laureate International Universities network. In Turkish, Bilgi means knowledge. Wikipedia.

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Erdogan S.B.,Bogazici University | Yucel M.A.,Harvard University | Akin A.,Istanbul Bilgi University
NeuroImage | Year: 2014

Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a promising method for monitoring cerebral hemodynamics with a wide range of clinical applications. fNIRS signals are contaminated with systemic physiological interferences from both the brain and superficial tissues, resulting in a poor estimation of the task related neuronal activation. In this study, we use the anatomical resolution of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to extract scalp and brain vascular signals separately and construct an optically weighted spatial average of the fMRI blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal for characterizing the scalp signal contribution to fNIRS measurements. We introduce an extended superficial signal regression (ESSR) method for canceling physiology-based systemic interference where the effects of cerebral and superficial systemic interference are treated separately. We apply and validate our method on the optically weighted BOLD signals, which are obtained by projecting the fMRI image onto optical measurement space by use of the optical forward problem. The performance of ESSR method in removing physiological artifacts is compared to i) a global signal regression (GSR) method and ii) a superficial signal regression (SSR) method. The retrieved signals from each method are compared with the neural signals that represent the 'ground truth' brain activation cleaned from cerebral systemic fluctuations. We report significant improvements in the recovery of task induced neural activation with the ESSR method when compared to the other two methods as reflected in the Pearson R2 coefficient and mean square error (MSE) metrics (two tailed paired t-tests, p<0.05). The signal quality is enhanced most when ESSR method is applied with higher spatial localization, lower inter-trial variability, a clear canonical waveform and higher contrast-to-noise (CNR) improvement (60%). Our findings suggest that, during a cognitive task i) superficial scalp signal contribution to fNIRS signals varies significantly among different regions on the forehead and ii) using an average scalp measurement together with a local measure of superficial hemodynamics better accounts for the systemic interference inherent in the brain as well as superficial scalp tissue. We conclude that maximizing the overlap between the optical pathlength of superficial and deeper penetration measurements is of crucial importance for accurate recovery of the evoked hemodynamic response in fNIRS recordings. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INT-09-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2016

The EU and Turkey face mounting challenges both in relation to one another and internationally. The EU is confronted with an economic crisis which is likely to make differentiation a growing phenomenon. Turkey faces polarisation between different political forces, the state and civil society. The neighbourhood is unravelling to the east and south and a power shift is under way at global level. This questions the regional roles of Turkey and the EU. Accordingly, FEUTURE a consortium of 13 experienced universities and think tanks from the EU, Turkey and the neighbourhood aims to: (1) map the dynamics of EU-Turkey relations as to underlying narratives and thematic drivers; (2) substantiate most likely future scenario(s) and assess its implications; (3) draw policy recommendations. FEUTURE provides excellence and pursues an ambitious, inspiring and innovative programme in a three-phased structure of elaboration, exploration and extrapolation. It applies an inter-temporal, interdisciplinary and international approach by analysing drivers within six thematic dimensions (politics, security, economics, energy, migration, identity) and across four levels of analysis (EU, Turkey, neighbourhood, global). Phases 1 and 2 culminate in an extrapolation phase in which FEUTURE integrates new knowledge and tests the implications of 3 ideal-type future scenarios for EU-Turkey relations: conflict, cooperation and convergence. We engage in a trans-disciplinary exchange within an elite survey and with the knowledge-user community from the four levels of analysis exploiting the full range of virtual and social media as well as traditional means. FEUTUREs work plan guarantees coherence of its research approach by streamlining work in one conceptual, one synthesis, two organisational and six thematic work packages. Joint WP meetings and three FEUTURE conferences assure intensive horizontal exchange. FEUTURE will achieve academic, practical and structural impact beyond the project.

The 2010-2011 youth-led wave of protests in the South and East Mediterranean, could be described as the coming on the scene of a new generation united by a shared experience of marginalisation and by new ways to protest and act. Important as this phenomenon could be for the future of the SEM, it still escapes the main frames of analysis utilised by academic research. Youth studies in the SEM, while producing important findings and insights, have failed so far to give a multi-dimensional and comprehensive understanding of the economic, political and social disadvantages faced by youth in the region and of the possible evolution of young peoples role in national or regional developments. This project aims at filling this important gap in our knowledge of the SEM by offering a comprehensive multi-level, interdisciplinary and gender-sensitive approach to the understanding of youth in the region. By combining the economic, political and socio-cultural spheres and a macro (policy/institutional), meso (organisational) and micro (individual) level analysis, POWER2YOUTH will explore the root causes and complex dynamics of youth exclusion, while investigating the factors fostering youth inclusion. Building on a conceptualisation of youth that gives prominence to youth as potential agents of change, the project starts out from the assumption that youth exclusion is the result of unequal power relations in society, in as much as effective youth inclusion can only be fostered by a bottom-up process of transformation of the systemic inequalities that lead to exclusion in the first place. From this premise comes the projects emphasis on the study of the potentially transformative impact of individual and collective youth agency searching for instances of empowerment leading to active youth participation in society and overall change. POWER2YOUTH will finally produce innovative and concrete policy recommendations.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2009-3.3.1. | Award Amount: 3.44M | Year: 2010

In recent times, Europe has experienced increasing tensions between national majorities and ethnic or religious minorities, more particularly with marginalised Muslim communities. In some countries challenges relate more to immigrant groups while in other countries they refer to native minority claims. It is in this geopolitical context that the ACCEPT project responds to Topic 3.3.1 and notably in the quest for investigating whether European societies have become more or less tolerant during the past 20 years and in the necessity to clarify: (a) how is tolerance defined conceptually, (b) how it is codified in norms, institutional arrangements, public policies but also social practices, (c) how tolerance can be measured and how the degree of tolerance of a society across time or of several countries at the same time can be compared (whose tolerance, who is tolerated, and what if degrees of tolerance vary with reference to different minority groups). The project starts from a distinction between liberal tolerance (not interfering with practices or forms of life of a person even if one disapproves of them) and egalitarian tolerance referring to institutional arrangements and public policies that fight negative stereotyping, promote positive inclusive identities and re-organise the public space in ways that accommodate diversity. It reviews critically past empirical research and the scholarly theoretical literature on the topic. It conducts original empirical research on key events of national and European relevance that thematise different understandings and practices of tolerance. Bringing together empirical and theoretical findings, ACCEPT generates a State of the Art on Tolerance and Cultural Diversity in Europe targeting policy makers, NGOs and practitioners, a Handbook on Ideas of Tolerance and Cultural Diversity in Europe aimed to be used at upper high school level and with local/national policy makers, a Tolerance Indicators Toolkit where qualitative and quantitative indicators may be used to score each countrys performance on tolerating cultural diversity. These indicators will inform the evaluation and development of public policies in this area. Last but not least the ACCEPT project will produce a book manuscript on Tolerance, Pluralism and Cultural Diversity in Europe. The project includes direct communication and feedback mechanisms with civil society, political and media actors for the dissemination and exploitation of its findings.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REFLECTIVE-2-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2016

CoHERE explores the ways in which identities in Europe are constructed through heritage representations and performances that connect to ideas of place, history, tradition and belonging. The research identifies existing heritage practices and discourses in Europe. It also identifies means to sustain and transmit European heritages that are likely to contribute to the evolution of inclusive, communitarian identities and counteract disaffection with, and division within, the EU. A number of modes of representation and performance are explored in the project, from cultural policy, museum display, heritage interpretation, school curricula and political discourse to music and dance performances, food and cuisine, rituals and protest. Across an experienced, multidisciplinary consortium we take various theoretical and methodological approaches to these. Relevance to the work programme is ensured through key approaches, which are: 1) the relational study of productions and experiences of heritage at institutional, social and personal levels, including research into peoples activities and attitudes; 2) research by practice and the provision of public-facing dissemination activities; and 3) the critically-informed development of instruments (e.g. models for policy, curricula, museum and heritage practice) intended to promote reflection on and valorisation of European heritages and to engender socially-inclusive attitudes. The project is multidisciplinary, including museum, heritage and memory studies, cultural history, education, musicology, ethnology, political science, archaeology, ethnolinguistics and digital interaction design. The consortium comprises 12 partners over 9 countries, including universities, an SME, two museums and a cultural network. The research covers diverse European territories and realities comparatively and in depth.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES | Award Amount: 524.40K | Year: 2012

Politics of Memory and Memory Cultures of the Russian-Ottoman War 1877/1878: From Divergence to Dialogue Abstract The Russo-Ottoman War (ROW) of 1877-78 is part of the formation of national narratives in the Balkans, in Turkey, and in the Caucasus in the 19th and 20th centuries. The official politics of memory of these countries is based on symbols that unite, generalize and fix contradicting memories, which have been passed from one generation to the next. The ROW was a major historical event, which resulted in the establishment of a new political order in the Balkan and Caucasian regions and determined their long-term development. In the decades that followed, the peace treaties were interpreted as crucial but in different and often opposing ways by the nations directly involved in the War (Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Georgians, Bulgarians, Macedonians and Russians). In every nation/country contradicting official cultures of memory emerged. In Bulgaria, e.g., the conclusion of the San Stefano Peace Treaty was celebrated as a national feast, but in Greece it was receipted as a tragic event because it stipulated the integration of most of Macedonia to Bulgaria. In the Ottoman Empire, the war and the following preliminary Treaty of San Stefano and the definite Treaty of Berlin have been regarded as dramatic peak of nationalist separatist movements aimed at the destruction of the Empire. Interpreted in contradicting ways, the ROW served national ideologists as basis for strengthening national identities. The overall aim of the proposed project is to prepare ground for a revision of conflicting images of the Russian-Ottoman War of 1877-78. The project considers itself positioned within the new tendencies in regional and memory studies and aims on the establishment of a network of researchers from all countries with relevant ROW memories in order to facilitate this revision. It is worth mentioning that this is the first initiative of this kind.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2009.4.2 | Award Amount: 5.29M | Year: 2010

A total of 19 market-ready fuel cell systems from 2 suppliers (ElectroPS, FutureE) will be installed as UPS/ backup power sources in selected sites across the EU. Real-world customers from the telecommunications and hotel industry will utilize these fuel cell-based systems, with power levels in the 1-10kW range, in their sites. These units will demonstrate a level of technical performance (start-up time, reliability, durability, number of cycles) that qualifies them for market entry, thereby accelerating the commercialisation of this technology in Europe and elsewhere. The demonstration project will involve the benchmarking of units from both fuel cell suppliers according to a test protocol to be developed within the project. It will employ this test protocol to conduct extensive tests in field trials in sites selected by final users in Italy, Switzerland and Turkey. The performance will be logged and analysed to draw conclusions regarding commercial viability and degree to which they meet customer requirements, as well as suggesting areas for improvement. A lifecycle cost analysis using data from the project will be carried out to determine economic value proposition over incumbent technologies such as batteries or diesel generators. The system producers use the results to obtain valuable first hand feedback from customers, optimise their systems as needed, and demonstrate commercial viability. On the other hand, final users from the telecommunications and hotel industry will experience first-hand the advantages of fuel cells for their applications under real world conditions. The optimisation potential is expected from the production process itself, from the installation of a significant amount of fuel cell systems and from the testing. The project will also develop a certification procedure valid in the EU27 under the lead of TV Sd.

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