Recent International Coverage of Migration
Migration Research Center at Koç University

Migration Research Center at Koç University

International Press Reader
November 26 - December 9, 2016

Throughout December, MiReKoc partners with Koc University's Human Rights Club, eKUal, to host a series of events on the theme of Refugee Populations in Turkey: Their Experiences and Challenges/Türkiye'deki Mülteci Gruplar: Deneyimler ve Sorunlar. 

Please note that all talks will be held in Turkish and at Koc University's campus. 

Next week, MiReKoc welcomes everyone to two exciting events: On Tuesday, December 13, assistant professor Eva Ostergaard-Nielsen will present "Why do parties support external voting rights?" in SOS  Z21 at 3 p.m. On Wednesday, December 14, PhD student Charlotte Loris-Rodionoff will speak about "Dystopian Space, Suspended Time: An Ethnographic Account of Syrians' Everyday in Antep". The seminar will be held in SOS277 at 12:00.

The final MiReKoc Seminar of the fall semester will take place on December 21 at noon at SOS 143. Çetin Çelik, MiReKoc researcher and assistant professor of sociology, will present his talk Institutional Habitus, Educational Achievement and Immigrant Students in a Comparative Perspective.
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Migration this Week            Academic Opportunities

A collection of news articles, op-eds and thinkpieces on migration

Turkey threatens EU, while more Turkish citizens leave the country

Earlier last week, President Erdogan threatened to end the EU-Turkey deal of last March after the European Parliament (symbolically) voted to freeze EU accession negotiations. With around three million Syrian refugees and no end to the conflict in sight, Turkey is facing increasing pressure to develop a new policy approach that shifts from the ‘guest’ discourse and allows refugees to access the labor market, education, and permanent legal status. A new report by the International Crisis Group evaluates the current situation and recommends policies that would allow Syrians - and other refugees - to access legal status and build a livelihood in Turkey.

Meanwhile, more Turkish people - mostly journalists, diplomats, and academics - are leaving their country in response to increasing repression. They wish to return, but have little hope to do so in the near future, The Arab Weekly reports. Between January and October 2015, Germany received over 4,400 asylum applications from Turkish citizens, increasing steeply after the coup.

In Bulgaria and Hungary, migrants encounter riots and arrests

On November 24, migrants living in quarantine for two days protested for freedom of movement and against the closure of Harmanli’s refugee camp in Bulgaria. The camp was (temporarily) closed in response to increasing pressure from right-wing parties and neo-nazis who worried about possible infections. The migrants were attacked with water cannons, physical violence, and rubber bullets by Bulgarian police, leaving some injured while more than 200 were taken into custody.

Later that week, Hungary sentenced a Syrian migrant for ten years in jail for throwing rocks during a riot at the Serbian-Hungarian border last year, where he was helping his elderly parents to cross.

Bangladesh' lack of response to Rohingya crisis 

With an resurge in violence, most of Myanmar’s 1.5 million Rohingya are trying to flee their country, where they face death squads, hunger, forced labor, GBV, torture, and the denial of basic rights including health care and education. Bangladesh is the major host to Rohingya refugees, many of whom live, undocumented, in slums without proper food, water, and shelter. Since 2012, Bangladesh has closed its borders. This and the harsh reality in Bangladesh - death, disease, violence and the brutalisation of women - are now driving others to take the more dangerous journey by sea to Thailand and Malaysia, which has led to the death of over 5,000 Rohingya refugees.

In 'Reverse Migration: Going Back to Ghana', photographer Nikos Economopoulos shares the stories
of return migrants from Ghana, retracing the journeys their parents once made.

Routes to Europe, experiences and motivations

IRIN News follows twelve Eritrean migrants along the Alpine route, as they try to make their way out of the Roya Valley with the help of local people. The government has deployed police and soldiers in the valley to control and block all exits of the valley. As European politicians focus on the beginning and, particularly, end of migrants’ journey, they show little attention and understanding of the precarious experiences in between. The Conversation shows new maps of migrant journeys in Europe - revealing close to 100 different routes and illuminating the convergence of routes in Turkey and Libya.

Problematizing the gendered concept of vulnerability 

A new Middle East Institute essay breaks with the notion that Syrian women and children are the ‘most vulnerable’, examining the place of Syrian men in the refugee response. The assumption that women and children are the most vulnerable has direct effects on aid distribution.

Frontex remains unaccountable

In October, ten Syrian refugees were returned from Greece, where they wanted to seek international protection, to Turkey, not being given deportation orders and without knowing where they were going. Frontex, the EU’s border and coast guard, has received strong criticism for this and other human rights violations during their operations, but insists that responsibility lies instead with national authorities. News Deeply examines Frontex’ ongoing unaccountability.



A special issue of Forced Migration Review, on the theme of Shelter in Displacement, is now welcoming contributions. The issue will look at the possibilities and limitations of community planning and design in responses to displacement and at examples of good practice, in order to improve understanding of and practice in offering shelter and settlement support for people displaced into whatever circumstances.

FMR welcomes papers from practiotioners, advocates, policymakers and researchers and is particularly interested in practice-oriented submissions.

Deadline: February 13, 2017. Read more here.

The 8th Tensions of Europe Conference, to be held in Athens on 7 - 10 September 2017, will address the theme of history of borders and technology. Interested speakers may submit papers studying the history of the relationship between national borders and transnational infrastructures, the relationship between borders and technologically-induced environmental crises and disasters, the virtualization of borders, geopolitics and technology, and the redefinition of borders due to the use of technology (and vice versa), i.a.

Deadline: February 15, 2017. Read more here.


Check out new issues of the Transnational Social Review and Migration Policy Practice, and the inaugural issue of Remittances Review.

The latest volume of Transnational Social Review focuses on Transnational Histories of Social Work and Social Welfare, with articles on German social work education in Palestine, transnational child welfare, and Dutch retirement migration to Spain and Turkey. 

Migration Policy Practice has published a special anniversary issue with a focus on "safe migration" and data collection. The articles build on presentations and discussions at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre in June 2016. 

A new journal is dedicated to publishing high quality research and scholarship on Remittances and Money Transfers with policy implication. The inaugural issue is now available online. In 2015, an estimated total of $582 billion was sent as remittances to the country of origin. 

A new paper by Ayhan Kaya (Istanbul Bilgi University) considers Syrians' sense of safety and security in Istanbul, and the role of historical, religious, and cultural affinity in their attachment to the city. The paper is based on the findings of a recent qualitative and quantitative study conducted by the Support to Life Association among Syrian refugees in Istanbul to make their vulnerability assessment with a particular focus on their strong attachment to this city. You may access the working paper, Syrian Refugees and Cultural Intimacy in Istanbul: 'I Feel Safe Here!', through this link. 

About MiReKoç

Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc) was established in August 2004 as a grant-giving program by the joint initiation of Koç University (Istanbul) and the Foundation for Population, Migration, and Environment (PME, Zurich).

As of 2010 MiReKoc has become a fully functioning research center aimed at developing the research capacity to address migration issues in Turkey.

In addition to being an institutionalized hub for Turkey-related migration research, MiReKoc also initiates conferences, workshops, meetings and seminars aimed at engaging students, academics, bureaucrats, policymakers, stakeholders and civil society organizations (CSO).

Copyright © 2016 Migration Research Center at Koç University, All rights reserved.

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