Chiara Maritato Gül Ince-Beqo


Since the Covid-19 emergency broke out, Turkish state institutions became crucial to govern diaspora communities facing lockdown measures and forced separation from the homeland. Being the first European country strongly affected by COVID-19 and where massive lockdown measures have been put in place, Italy is a relevant case to analyze. Retracing the scope and scale of the online activities organized during the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper investigates how the Turkish state supported Turkey-originated population living in Italy. The analysis draws on interviews with Diyanet religious officers sent from Ankara to serve the Diyanet’s branches (DITIB) in different Italian cities and with the religious attaché employed in the Turkish Consulate in Milan who supervises them. The interviews have been corroborated with the collection of a vast visual material including brochures, videos and posters published on YouTube channel and the Facebook official pages of the DITIB cultural centers in Italy. Our data show that, during COVID-19 pandemic, online seminars enabled to strengthen Turkey's connection with the diaspora using the emergency situation as a starting point for enhancing family programs and fostering a Muslim-Turkish belonging in any aspect of life.


Research Articles