LAW Seminar: “The Lands of Turkey and Migration: A Modern Perspective”, David Savard, 12:30Noon March 30 (EN)

You are kindly invited to follow TALKS ON MIGRATION SERIES: Spring
2021-2022 organized by Jean Monnet Module on European and International Migration Law

Speaker: David Savard – Emergency Coordinator, IOM – Ankara

Title: ” The Lands of Turkey and Migration: A Modern Perspective”

Date: March 30, 2022, Wednesday
Place: B Building- Classroom 203
Time: 12.30-13.20


After studying in Colorado and Chicago, Mr. Savard taught History in the Chicago Public Schools prior to entering the US Peace Corps in 1998 in Macedonia. A year later, with the cessation of hostilities with Serbia over Kosovo, Mr. Savard ran a USAID shelter material distribution project in 1999, then joined the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as a Program Officer in the Kosovo Transition Initiative working with local communities to develop small infrastructure projects, support media outlets, identify local leaders and build support for community led development. Mr. Savard continued to work for IOM in Macedonia, Iraq, Pakistan and Jordan supporting post-crisis programming and political transitions. He served as Program Manager/Chief of Party for the Pakistan Transition Initiative until 2013 when he moved to Washington DC to become the Head of the Community Stabilization Unit, IOM’s DC liaison office with USAID. In May 2016, Mr. Savard became the Head of the IOM Office aboard the US Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba supporting protected migrants from Cuba while they awaited resettlement. In August 2020, Mr. Savard became the Emergency Coordinator for IOM’s mission in Ankara, Turkey.

Owing to it’s unique geological and geographical location, it’s unique climate and the productivity of the land, the area of Eastern Thrace and Anatolia, the lands of present day Turkey, have been both a center and a crossroads, with innumerable peoples transiting or settling in what is now Turkey. These characteristics harken back to our earliest days as a species.

As both a center and a crossroads, Turkey has been the home of dozens of civilizations, the seat of great empires, both homegrown and imported, and a land of many peoples, cultures, languages and manners. Humans have been living and building and dying here from the earliest emergence of people from our ancient origins in Africa.

This history of migration, conquest, settlement and connection between cultures and peoples has meant that the cultures of the lands which comprise present day Turkey have had to be flexible, diverse, syncretic, tolerant, and receptive to change. No empire, kingdom, principality, state or community in this region lasted long if they resisted the influence of other cultures, the immigration of new people, both forced and voluntary, the development of new technologies and on and on.

This talk will discuss the history of immigration to the lands of modern Turkey, the traditions of hospitality and openness that were an outgrowth of the Turkey’s unique location and the cultures, empires and dynasties that resulted from this complex interplay of geography, culture, religion, governance, conquest and immigration.