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Marcos Barclay and Paul Ostwald

Ayfer Karabıyık

The ‘Legend of the Babel Tower’ is mentioned in local narratives in many regions of the world and in mainstream religions, and is a subject much worked on in the field of art. This study will focus on the theme of the Babel Tower myth as discussed in contemporary art. The intention here is to discuss the reasons for the different assessments of the Babel myth in each period.

Aslı Vatansever

The ongoing witch-hunt in Turkish universities adds a political dimension to the economic precarization of the academic labour force, and should be seen as part of a wider, distinctly neo-liberal attempt on the part of the state to eradicate rational agency. By eliminating qualified oppositional cadres en masse on false accusations, the government implements a policy of systematic deinstitutionalization in the sphere of intellectual production. The erosion of critical subjectivity via deregulation and precarization has certainly been under way for a while now, albeit in different degrees and with diverse intensity. Yet in Turkey, it found an exceptionally fertile breeding ground due to some historical peculiarities of Turkish society, such as the state-oriented institutionalization process of academic structures and the pervasive anti-intellectualism.

The current war against universities in Turkey is being fought (and apparently won) with the help of academia itself. The universal values of knowledge production are being trampled down by the very institutions that are supposed to be dedicated to the safeguarding of these values. University administrations team up with the state in suppressing opposition by exploiting the economic vulnerability of the academic labour force to silence, intimidate or directly punish critical voices within the universities. The actual significance of the Academics for Peace Petition, originally intended as an attempt to bring peace back to the agenda, lies perhaps rather in the fact that it has surprisingly unveiled this unholy correlation between local circumstances and the dynamics of neo-liberalism.

Ghaith Mqawass

An important recent trend in education has been the integration of different technologies such as digital games, online courses, and educational robots. The development of educational robots such as lego Mindstorms nxt allows students to learn to build their own robots. This paper describes the human-robot interaction (hri) focusing especially on the model lego Mindstorms nxt. A questionnaire among 250 Syrian school and university students was conducted to investigate the different perceptions about lego robots in 2016. The informants were grouped based on their age; participants in the first group were aged between 11 and 18 years while participants in the second between 19 and 24. The current study also focuses on the factors leading to the acceptance of lego robots. Another questionnaire was conducted to highlight what factors determine the degree of acceptance of lego robots by the studied groups. Significant age and gender effects were found. The results show a noticeable difference between the two age groups, with the younger group tending to accept lego robots more. Furthermore, it was found that male respondents show more positive reactions towards lego robots than females.

‘We Too Have a Word to Say’

Enactment of the 1963 Collective Bargaining, Strike and Lockout Law in Turkey

Muzaffer Kaya

This article seeks to explain how in the beginning of the 1960s in Turkey the right to strike was adopted as a social right. The existing literature is divided regarding the factors that led to the shift in governmental policy. While some argue that the state granted this right without any struggle on the side of the workers, others propose that the main determinant in the process was the struggle of workers. By scrutinizing the interaction between political developments at the state and party levels, and the actions of the workers in that period, I argue that the recognition of the right to strike was the combined result of several interrelated political developments at the local and global level.