Recent International Coverage of Migration
Migration Research Center at Koç University

Migration Research Center at Koç University

International Press Reader
December 10 - 23, 2016

MiReKoc is closing off 2016 well with two fresh articles! MiReKoc director Ahmet İçduygu and post-doctoral researcher Doğuş Şimşek have been featured in Turkish Policy Quarterly with their article, “Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Towards Integration Policies”. Professor İçduygu has also authored the European parliament report, “Turkey: Labour Market Integration and Social Inclusion of Refugees”.
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A collection of news articles, op-eds and thinkpieces on migration

Calais child refugees start hunger strike in protest of UK policies

Twelve child migrants who had stayed in Calais have started a partial hunger strike when they learned that the process of uniting children with their family members in the UK had stopped. After the demolition of the Jungle in Calais, the teenagers were brought to a temporary reception center with the belief that they were considered for asylum applications in the UK. The news comes as leaked documents show that Theresa May, as Home Secretary, planned to put undocumented minors to the bottom of the list of school placements. Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham, discusses how such deprioritization - besides the more obvious ethical implications - is also impractical in bringing down migration, and will instead produce a generation of disenfranchised children - most of them born in the UK.

Greece and the EU

In a recent ECHR ruling, Greece was found guilty of violating the right to respect private life of a Turkish man who spent 12 years in limbo in Greece, awaiting the result of his asylum application. The court furthermore ruled that  Greece’s stalling of his asylum claim put the man under risk of deportation to his home country, where he had previously been tortured. The ruling may have profound effects on other states’ handling of asylum claims, notably EU member states, and push them to process them in a more reasonable time frame. Thousands of migrants are stuck in Greece, where they wait for relocation to other EU states. However, while 160,000 refugees intended to have been relocated around the EU by October, only 8,000 of them have been.

Yet the European Commission has announced its plan to send migrants back to Greece starting March 2017, in line with EU policy that migrants’ asylum claims should be processed in the first country of entry. The policy would only affect those who enter Europe after it comes into effect and not those who have already made the journey earlier. The EU is exerting huge pressure on Greece, but the country is already at double its capacity for refugee facilities. This week, WSJ reported that close to 13,000 registered camp residents have gone missing - possibly trying their chances at reaching others parts of Europe.

Syrians face death at closed Turkish border

As the last rebel-held parts of Aleppo fell to the regime, the Turkish border with Syria remained sealed off for those fleeing the war. Spiegel  reports from the border, where those who try to cross face smugglers, abuse, and at times death.

Refugees in East Berlin, 1945.

A still from Europa, an Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees, a project initiated by a group of Magnum photographers and journalists. See more photographs and an interview with the editor, Alia Malek, here. 

Migrants in Greece face harshening winter conditions

As temperatures drop below zero, Greek camps lack basic necessities such as electricity and heating. As hundreds of migrants continue to cross the Mediterranean a day even in harsh winter conditions, rescuers with the MSF report that for the first time, they have seen hypothermia deaths during the rescue operations - and they are concerned that the number will grow. Meanwhile, as temperatures drop below zero, Greek camps lack basic necessities such as electricity and heating. As the authorities fail to create better living conditions, small localized initiatives try to help migrants survive the winter;  the Guardian follows Help Refugees, a grassroots aid group aimed at creating a more dynamic form of assistance in Calais and Greece.

Sanctuary cities - how practical are they?

Earlier, we reported on the wave of sanctuary cities and campuses as a reaction to Trump’s election as the next US President. Yet those cities have shied away from actually defining sanctuary and may be more limited in providing protection to undocumented migrants than the impression given. A new article by Harald Bauder reflects on the ambiguous nature of the term and raises questions about the practical and theoretical implications of urban sanctuary.

Forces behind xenophobia in Central Europe

Refugees Deeply investigate long-read examines the role of anti-refugee propaganda in fueling xenophobia in Central Europe. The article combines research studies with direct perspectives from people in the host societies - Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, painting a grim picture of attitudes towards migrants in Central Europe.

The Journey from Africa to Europe

While arrivals to Greece have been dropping since the EU-Turkey deal, more  migrants continue to try their way to Europe through Italy - an increase of 13% compared to last year. The majority arrives via Libya from Sub-Saharan countries. In Somalia, families are trying to convince their children - who often hide their plans -  not to make the risky journey, some using the promise of financing an education abroad or buying a taxi to keep them home. While these families try to limit migration to Europe, others profit off of the continuing flows. The Huffington Post tracks and reports about the huge business exploiting the suffering of people on the move in Niger, Italy, Turkey and Germany.

What to expect in 2017? 

Finally, as 2016 is coming to an end, IRIN News shares its expectations for developments in migration in 2017.


The nccr - on the move will hold its annual graduate conference on migration and mobility on June 22 and 23, 2017 at the University of Neuchatel. Interested PhD and postdoctoral researchers may now submit their paper proposal on any topic in migration and mobility studies.

Deadline: January 31, 2017. More information here.

The research panel "Rap, slam and spoken word: The migration, post-migration and super-diversity experiences in sounds, words and images" invites paper proposals on the meaning of the above three artistic forms in migration and post-migration societies. The panel is part of the IMISCOE Annual Conference to be held at June 28-30, 2017 in Rotterdam.

Deadline: April 15, 2017. More information here.
A  list of recently published journal articles on migration-related topics: Full Volumes: Theses:

About MiReKoç

Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc) aims to advance the state of the art in migration research through original and innovative scholarship, academic collaboration, and dialogue between researchers, policy-makers, international organizations and civil society actors. Based in Istanbul, MiReKoc provides a unique, institutionalized hub for migration research with a focus on Turkey and its close environment, with the objective of increasing research capacity and encouraging interinstitutional dialogue on the topic of migration..

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