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Management of irregular migration: Syrians in Turkey as paradigm shifters for forced migration studies

  • Nergis Canefe (a1)

In the context of the series of civil wars that have struck the Middle East since the 1980s, the politico-economic changes in the post-Soviet geography of Eastern Europe and the Russian states, and the continuous turmoil in those parts of Africa and Asia where access to Turkish soil has been possible, Turkey emerged as a regional hub for receiving continuous flows of forced migration. As suggested by ample evidence in recent work on migration flows into Turkey, many of these “irregular migrants,” “stateless peoples,” or “asylum seekers” eventually become continuously employed under very unstable circumstances, thus fitting into the definition of the “precariat” or precarious proletariat. This paper examines the context within which such pervasive precarity takes root, directly affecting vulnerable groups such as the Syrian forced migrants arriving in Turkey in successive waves. The marked qualities of the Syrian case in terms of social precarity, combined with the degrees of disenfranchisement and economically precarious conditions for survival, indicates an institutionalized paradigm shift in the Turkish state’s management of irregular migration.

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New Perspectives on Turkey
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