Sinafe Project

Call for Abstracts

The new conference dates are June 1-2, 2023.

Due to the major earthquakes in Turkey, we have made an uneasy decision to postpone the ‘Transgressing Boundaries: Migration and Sport’ Conference.

New abstract submission will be accepted until April 18, 2023.

**All current submissions remain fully valid for the new planned conference dates.

Please see our updated call for abstracts below:

It is a pleasure to invite you to submit your abstract for the conference entitled ‘Transgressing Boundaries: Migration and Sport,’ organized by İstanbul Bilgi University, as part of the ‘Social Inclusion of African Athletes in Europe (SiNAFE)’ Project, which will take place at İstanbul Bilgi University on June 1-2, 2023.

SiNAFE is a collaborative partnership project funded by the European Commission within the scope of the Erasmus+ Sport Program. In this project, we try to preserve a simple but crucial idea: having equal conditions in sports is a human right. With the idea that ‘sport is a human right,’ the project wants to promote social inclusion and help make sure that everyone has equal opportunities in sports, with a particular focus on migrants. Sport is oftentimes cited as the perfect tool for upward mobility, and many young athletes attach their hopes and dreams to sport, particularly football, to ascend socially. Still, migrant athletes continue to suffer from social exclusion. For further information about the SiNAFE Project, please visit

The theme of migration and sport highlights the ongoing need to discuss the topic of migration from a social science perspective, with its critical elements including human rights, children’s rights, violations, gender equality, social inclusion, and other related topics.

The main goals of this international conference are as follows:

  • to create a space in which scientific studies on migration and sport will be shared,
  • to encourage further studies, as well as endeavors, on the inclusion of migrant athletes in Europe.

Graduate students and early-career scholars are encouraged to submit their works in progress.

Guide for submissions: Abstracts should be no longer than 350 words, in English, and sent to by April 18, 2023 until 12:00 a.m. GMT.

The subject line of your submission e-mail should read as follows: ‘Transgressing Boundaries_ Name Surname.’

Registration is free and covers full participation in all conference sessions, coffee and tea breaks. Participants are responsible for their transportation and accommodation costs.

Important Dates:

Deadline for abstract submission: April 18, 2023

Notification of acceptance: April 25, 2023

Dates of the conference: June 1-2, 2023

Please direct all inquiries and submissions to no later than April 18, 2023 / 12:00 a.m. GMT.

We look forward to seeing you at ‘Transgressing Boundaries: Migration and Sport.’

Submission Themes

We welcome abstracts centering on the following topics:

  • Social inclusion through sports
  • Human trafficking in sports
  • Gender and migration in sports
  • Children’s rights in sports migration
  • Transnational identity and sports
  • The history of sports migration
  • Sports migration in or from Africa
  • Other related issues

Organizing Committee

Scientific Committee

Organizing Committee

Prof. Pınar Uyan Semerci

İstanbul Bilgi University

Organizing Committee

Prof. Emre Erdoğan

İstanbul Bilgi University

Organizing Committee

Prof. Burak Özçetin

İstanbul Bilgi University

Organizing Committee

Prof. Itır Erhart

İstanbul Bilgi University

Organizing Committee

Prof. Ömer Turan

İstanbul Bilgi University

Organizing Committee

Assoc. Prof. Yağmur Nuhrat

İstanbul Bilgi University

Organizing Committee

Dr. Serhat Yılmaz

Loughborough University

Organizing Committee

Dr. Nuno Filipe de Castro Oliveira

University Institute of Lisbon

Organizing Committee

Dr. İlknur Hacısoftaoğlu

İstanbul Bilgi University

Organizing Committee

Dr. Cem Tınaz

Hague University of Applied Sciences

Organizing Committee

Dr. Carlos Nolasco

University of Coimbra

Organizing Committee

Dr. Sandra Radenović

University of Belgrade

Organizing Committee

Dr. Monique Emser

University of KwaZulu Natal

Conference Program

For more information, please click here.

Keynote speakers

Sine Agergaard

Sine Agergaard (Social Anthropologist, Aalborg University, Denmark)

Sine Agergaard is a social anthropologist and a professor at Aalborg University. Her research interest in sport and migration issues is based on studies among minority ethnic youngsters in Denmark and sports labour migrants arriving in Scandinavian localities. She has written about the precarious dreams of obtaining social mobility through sports both among young football talents from segregated residential areas and among young African migrants, who are recruited to Scandinavian academies and clubs. Her research also engages in a critical discussion of the political expectations and programmes of integration that minority ethnic groups and migrating athletes are faced with in Scandinavian sports clubs. Particular attention in these studies has been devoted to qualifying the policies and programmes for the inclusion of minority ethnic girls and women in sports and physical activity.

Agergaard has been a pioneer for research on sport and migration issues as evident in the books, Women, Soccer and Transnational Migration (Routledge, 2014) and Rethinking Sports and Integration (Routledge 2018). She is the current manager of the International Network for Research in Sport and Migration Issues.

Serhat Yılmaz

Serhat Yılmaz (Lecturer in Sports Law, Loughborough University, United Kingdom)

Serhat Yılmaz is a sports law specialist and regulatory expert. His research focuses on agents and the protection of young athletes in sport in football. Yılmaz critically examines the challenges in governing agents and promoting the safe participation of young players in sport, particularly in football.  He explores the design and implementation of regulatory and policy frameworks to effectively address these challenges. The originality and rigor of Yılmaz’s research inquiry have led to external fundings from the European Union (EU), UNICEF, FIFA, and Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).

Closely aligned and directly informed by his research expertise, Yılmaz adopts education as an important impact tool. He has developed and run Professional Certificate Programme for Sports Agents, a kitemark executive education for agents. He is also the founder of Sports Agents Hub, a bespoke online platform for training and education. He has also designed the Training course on the FIFA Football Agent Examination due to be running from May 2023.

Yılmaz also provides consultancy services around legal and regulatory matters concerning the representation and international transfer of minors in football.

Project Partners

SiNAFE is a collaborative partnership project funded by the European Commission within the scope of Erasmus+ Sport Program. The project is carried out in the partnership with eight institutions from various countries:

  • İstanbul Bilgi University (Coordinator) (İstanbul, TURKEY)
  • The Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology / Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia (CIES-IUL) of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) (Lisbon, PORTUGAL)
  • NGO Atina - Citizens Association to Combat Human Trafficking and all Forms of Gender-Based Violence (Belgrade, SERBIA)
  • Mission 89 (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Association Kampos Saint Denis Academie Football (Paris, FRANCE)
  • Esprit de Sport International (Lidingö, SWEDEN)
  • Loughborough University (Loughborough, UK)
  • University of Belgrade (Belgrade, SERBIA)

İstanbul Bilgi University (Istanbul, TURKEY)

İstanbul Bilgi University (BİLGİ) is one of the first few established “foundation universities” of Turkey. Over the past fifteen years, BİLGİ became a deep-rooted university with its traditions, and the notion of absolute academic freedom has become a significant part of our institutional culture. Today, BİLGİ represents a sound and distinct attitude in the academic and intellectual life in Turkey. As a result of this vision, every unit at BİLGİ act in unison for creating common good for the society.

The Department of Sports Management and the Center for Migration Research (BILGI-MIGRATION), two units of BİLGİ, cooperate for the organisation of the SiNAFE Project.

The Department of Sports Management, established in 2015, aims to bring experts in the fields of sport-oriented property management, event management, marketing communication and brand management to meet the pace of the rapidly evolving Turkish and global sports industries. Academic members of the Department of Sports Management at BİLGİ have participated in international projects such as “Sport has the power to change Europe: European Sport Volunteers as a Social Leader and Social Innovator”, Fans Against Violence – Erasmus + Sport Collaborative Partnership Program, Life After Sport – Erasmus + Sport Collaborative Partnership Program – all funded by EU Commission, Examining Positive Outcomes of Failed Olympic Bids - Advanced Olympic Grant Programme funded by the International Olympic Committee Research Centre.

Istanbul Bilgi University Center for Migration Research (BILGI-MIGRATION), established in 2005, is one of the first research centres in this study area in Turkey. BILGI- MIGRATION aims at promoting multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research on diverse aspects of the causes, dynamics and consequences of different forms of migration; developing research capacities and enhancing theoretical and methodological knowledge of migration by sharing research expertise and information; informing models, good practices on the field; and developing reliable information based on research findings that can contribute to realistic policy and decision-making processes.

The Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology / Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia (CIES-IUL) of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) (Lisbon, PORTUGAL)

Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa ( is a public university established in 1972. With more than 10500 students enrolled in undergraduate (44%) and postgraduate (56%) programs, 300 professors and 400 integrated researchers in Management and Economics, Social Sciences and Humanities, ICT and Architecture, it is research-oriented, with a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach that includes eight research units, six laboratories, as well as the 16 Departments and 4 Schools that form the main organizational structures.

CIES-Iscte - Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia ( is one of the R&D units in the area of social sciences. Dedicated to studying contemporary social problems from a multidisciplinary perspective its main scientific domain is sociology but has very relevant activity in the fields of public policy, political science, communication, education, modern and contemporary history and social work.

NGO Atina - Citizens Association to Combat Human Trafficking and all Forms of Gender-Based Violence (Belgrade, SERBIA)

NGO Atina is running a long-term and comprehensive social inclusion programme for trafficking and gender-based violence survivors in Serbia for nearly 20 years. NGO Atina has long experience in working for socially excluded group in the country survivors of violence, migrants and refugees, returnees from the readmission agreement, Roma population. The program Atina run aims at full social inclusion and economic empowerment of victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation, in the conditions of reduced state intervention like it is a case in Serbia. The programme offers a viable solution to provide comprehensive protection of victims and their families, through their full involvement in the educational system and the labour market.

The organization is very active in advocacy in creating researches and analysis in the sphere of social inclusion. Every year organization publishes several analyses, reports and researches. They all could be found on the website of the organisation:

Association Kampos Saint Denis Academie Football (Paris, FRANCE)

Kampos St. Denis is a state recognised association operating as a football academy in Paris, France. They target the development of youth football players and predominantly focus on offering young African athletes a structure of good technical quality, at the sporting level, to allow them to understand, through training, that evolution is done through work, that the basis of work is respect (of oneself, of one's partners, opponents, coaches, and beyond, of society in general). They help young football players; both girls and boys to get proper training with set drills four times a week and with thorough guidance through different classes when they're not on the football ground. They continuously fight against trafficking of football players and effort to rehabilitate children in a qualified training system. They also conduct advocacy activities to raise awareness about what's going on in and out the football field for African athletes.

Esprit de Sport International (Lidingö, SWEDEN)

The main objective of Esprit de Sport International is to provide an opportunity to practice organized sports for more children in deprived areas in Africa.

Esprit de Sport International is a group of companies working to professionalise sport in West Africa within three different but connected business areas providing: Digital systems for administration and communications. Educating on how to use the systems to develop and professionalise organisations; Sponsoring and events. Helping sports organisations to find sponsors to fund their activities and executing sports events in cooperation with sport organisations; Pro-football Fan Clubs. Operating fan clubs for top teams and leagues.

University of Belgrade (Belgrade, SERBIA)

The Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade, is a scientific and educational institution which provides instruction of PE teaching staff, recreation and sport-related professionals continuously since 1946. The roots of the Faculty go back as far as 1938 when the first one-year school for training professionals in our field was established.

Starting from the fact that higher education is the basis of development and economic progress of a society based on knowledge, promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the mission of the Faculty is to provide the highest academic standards as well as knowledge and skills in line with the projected needs of the society and the national development.

Loughborough University (Loughborough, UK)

Loughborough University is one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with sport industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s “table of tables.” It is renowned for delivery one of the country’s best student experiences. The University is in the top 10 in England for research intensity, and in recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The University is the UK’s premier institution for sport with our most recent accolades including the world’s best place to study sports-related subjects in the global QS higher education league table, and Sports University of the Year in the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.The University’s East Midlands campus is also home to some of the sport’s top governing bodies, including the England and Wales Cricket Board, British Athletics and British Swimming. Adding to this eminence in sport is the presence of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine on campus, an Olympic legacy project designed to facilitate the transfer of high-quality research into frontline patient care, in collaboration with various NHS partners. Website:

Mission 89 (Geneva, SWITZERLAND)

Mission 89 is a non-profit, research, education and advocacy association that combats the exploitation of young athletes through social and economic transformation. The organization’s guiding principles include the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) both broadly and specifically, that declares that members “shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad”. Besides, Mission 89 advocates for an action plan to counter the rising financial exploitation and migration of African athletes.

Mission 89’s aim is to mitigate child trafficking in sports through research, education, and the implementation of mandatory regulations to keep sports training academies accountable for the safety and well-being of children in their care. Mission 89’s research into the issue will provide a detailed examination of the issue as it exists today, develop educational and vocational programs at the grassroots level to empower those most vulnerable to exploitation, and establish a licensing and accreditation system to recognize legitimate institutions from sham organizations exploiting young athletes. Mission 89’s research provides evidence-based data to influence policy and decision-makers in the area of child trafficking. Our scholarly research allows Mission 89 to work with a credible network of advocates and experts to influence policy development and funding for programs that address the issue of migration and exploitation.

Association of African Community in Turkey (supporting partner)

Afrikalılar Topluluğu Derneği, with the English name Association of African Community in Turkey (ACT), is a non-profit, nongovernmental, heterogeneous, apolitical association, established in 2005 but registered under the Istanbul Governorship Directorate of Provincial Associations and legally recognized on April 13th, 2018. ACT aims to bring together Africans in Turkey, strengthen ties of solidarity and fraternity between them, provide social support and help and facilitate their integration into the Turkish community by providing them relevant information and education. By the year 2005, they, Africans living, working and having business in Turkey realized that Africans had got a growing interest in Turkey. The migrant numbers started increasing with most migrants looking to find a football club, some for job opportunities. From 2005 to 2016, they started to organize football tournaments, initially intending to gather Africans to enjoy and share joyful time in a fraternal manner. However, the success of the tournament attracted manager and coaches from different amateur football leagues of Turkey and laid a platform of opportunity for young talented African footballers looking for clubs in Turkey and football opportunities in Turkey. To help and orientate new coming Africans to Turkey, the first stone of the ACT has been laid with a football tournament, today the famous so-called Istanbul African Cup of Nations.

The changes were more internals, among which, the adoption of a new status, the legalization of ACT and a new vision and mission of ACT as an association able to support and find ways to improve the lives of Africans living in Turkey. After a year of hard labour, the ACT has been registered under the Istanbul Governorship Directorate of Provincial Associations and becomes a legal association on April 13th, 2018 under the Turkish designation Afrikalılar Topluluğu Derneği, and a registration number 34 - 242/189.


Hosting Institution

İstanbul Bilgi University was established in 1996 with the motto "learning not for school but for life" to bring a new breath to university life in Turkey. The university currently has more than 20,000 students and more than 60,000 alumni, over 1,000 academicians; 8 faculties, 3 institutes, 3 vocational schools, and 150+ programs that provide education to its associate, undergraduate and graduate students under the roof of vocational schools and institutes, as well as faculties of Law, Communication, Business, Architecture, Engineering and Natural Sciences, Applied Sciences, Health Sciences and Social Sciences and Humanities.
Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), İstanbul Bilgi University is the only university in Turkey to have international accreditation at the institutional level. The university has three campuses in Istanbul, namely santralistanbul, Dolapdere and Kuştepe. Detailed information about İstanbul Bilgi University can be found at

Travel and Accommodation


İstanbul Bilgi University is located in a very central place and accessible from many points in İstanbul. There is a tramway and a bus stop right next to the santralistanbul Campus.


If you are planning to use public transportation during your stay, it is advisable to buy a reusable İstanbul Kart for a small fee. The İstanbul Kart is a smart card valid on all buses, subways, trams, ferries and suburban trains. Below a link that will help you to organize your transportation in İstanbul.

Transportation from Taksim:

Take the M2 Metro Line then get off at the Haliç stop and switch to the T5 tramline or take 44B, 47Ç, 47E or 399B bus from Haliç metro station and get off at the University stop.

You can also take the 37T or 49T bus, which runs directly to the santralistanbul Campus from Taksim. 

Transportation from Şişli/Mecidiyeköy:

Take the M7 Metro Line then switch to the T5 tramline and get off at University stop.

You can also take the metrobus from Şişli/Mecidiyeköy and get off at the Halıcoğlu stop. After then take the 41ST bus and get off at Sünnet Köprüsü bus top which is 2 minute far from the school.

Transportation from Eminönü:

Take the 47Ç, 47E or 47 bus, which runs directly to the santralistanbul Campus from Eminönü bus stop.

Transportation from Sabiha Gökçen Airport:

When you exit the airport, take the Havabus Shuttle buses to Taksim. Then take the M2 Taksim Metro Line then get off at the Haliç stop and switch to the T5 tramline or take 44B, 47Ç, 47E or 399B bus from Haliç metro station and get off at the University stop.

You can also take the 37T or 49T bus, which runs directly to the santralistanbul Campus from Taksim.

Transportation from İstanbul Airport:

When you exit the airport, take the Havaist buses to Taksim. Then take the M2 Taksim Metro Line then get off at the Haliç stop and switch to the T5 tramline or take 44B, 47Ç, 47E or 399B bus from Haliç metro station and get off at the University stop.


You can find accommadation options as suggestions via the map here.

Sinafe Project

SINAFE is a collaborative partnership project funded by the European Commission within the scope of Erasmus + Sport Program.

İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi


Eski Silahtarağa Elektrik Santralı Kazım Karabekir Cad. No: 2/13 34060 Eyüpsultan İstanbul