Recent International Coverage of Migration
Migration Research Center at Koç University

Migration Research Center at Koç University

International Press Reader
August 6 - 12, 2016


This past week, MiReKoç members published a working paper entitled "Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Insecure Lives in an Environment of Pseudo-Integration." The paper is co-authored by Ahmet İçduygu, director of MiReKoç, and Evin Millet, post-doctoral fellow at MiReKoç. As the prospect of return becomes less and less likely, Turkey, as the major host country of Syrian refugees, must improve settlement and integration opportunities. While President Erdoğan hints at citizenship, the protracted nature of the crisis requires an international response. The EU-Turkey deal reveals new challenges, putting stress on Turkey's young immigration and asylum legal system and its ability to live up to the standards of a "safe third country". In this paper, İcduygu and Millet examine these questions and refer to the paradoxical conditions that contemporaneously reflect the deep-rooted limitations of its existing protection capacity and the emerging policies towards the integration of refugees.

Click here to access the working paper.


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

Women, Children and the Migrant Experience

Women and children are amongst the most vulnerable groups of refugees and migrants. This week, alarming articles surfaced about the plight of minors in Calais, where around 600 children are stranded without their parents. Three months ago, the UK government made a promise to take in unaccompanied minors, but little has happened since. Amelia Gentleman reports and introduces four young boys from the ‘Calais Jungle’, while Kirsty Brimelow reveals the many different ways in which these children’s rights are violated in the French camps. The former UK ambassador to Lebanon lays the blame not only with the UK government but the international community at large in an open letter addressed to the children of Syria.

The sexual abuse of female asylum-seekers in Greece speaks to the specific violence women face as they flee or leave their country to another. Earlier this week, the IOM announced that 80% of Nigerian women who came to Italy by boat in the first half of 2016 will be forced into sex work. The Women’s Refugee Commission published a detailed report on the harmful effects of the EU-Turkey deal on the lives of female migrants.

Housing and Settlement

Lack of space and proper shelters is a major problem for refugees stranded in Greece. But Greece is not the lone case, as many destination countries struggle to accommodate the newly-arrived refugees with adequate housing and facilities.

A housing initiative in Berlin offers not only accommodation but also opportunities for refugees to integrate with the locals. Residents are encouraged to share learning and aspects of their cultures, which facilitates the process of integration and promotes understanding within the community, as past experiences with migrant settlements in “ethnoburbs” have proven that settlement without integration can lead to segregation and various problems of adaptation to the host country.

Reception Policies

Last week’s podcast by the CGD (Center for Global Development) discusses Canada’s private sponsorship of refugees initiated by the country’s top leaders. By February 2016, the Government of Canada has resettled more than 25,000 refugees coming to the country (18 minutes). The United States, on the other hand, has announced that it could exceed the goals of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees this year, as more than 8,000 refugees have been allowed into the country since last October.

Personal Narratives of U.S. Immigration

In a new series, “How I got here”, the Guardian invites immigrants to share their story of coming and settling in the United States. Take a look at the story of Zigi Ben Halim, who came to the U.S. from Iraq via Iran and Israel, and now lives and works in New York as an artist, or Nimisha Ladva, who describes the day her faith as an undocumented migrant was decided upon in an American courthouse.

The Olympic Refugee Team

As we celebrate the successes of the Olympic Refugee Team, we must not lose sight of the continuing struggle of migrants around the world and the need for dramatic policy changes. The glorification of Team Refugees goes hand in hand with the victimization and vilification of refugees worldwide, as countries praise the athletes’ successes online but keep their borders firmly closed in real life. Dara Lind argues that the Olympic Refugee Team is, rather than of international unity and cooperation, a symbol of the international failure to respond to the refugee crisis. Will the Olympics inspire not only global community but also global responsibility?

Initiatives and Ideas

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opens a new platform for sharing critical analysis of the politics of health and humanitarianism, with a special focus on migration and refugees. Earlier this month, the European Asylum Support Office also launched its first mobile application that enables asylum seekers to access information on EU Relocation Programme, their rights and obligations, contact points and so on. The application aims to promote relocation as a safe and legal way for refugees to the EU member states.

How to help refugees? This question sparks the debate on the politics of giving aids to refugees. As in-kind aids remain inefficient in the long run, time-limited cash aid seems to do better in terms of the cost-benefit analysis, by giving refugees the independence to provide for themselves. 


With the start of the new academic year comes a number of exciting conferences, seminars and workshops. From now on, we will every week share a small glimpse of scholarly events across Europe this fall.

Recent journal articles in Ethnic and Racial Studies:

  • Violence against migrants in Greece: beyond the Golden Dawn by Lena Karamanidou,
  • A magnificent atmosphere? Romanian immigration in the political debate of Madrid, Spain by Simon McMahon
  • Does education trump nationality? Boundary-drawing practices among highly educated migrants from Turkey by Zeynep Yanasmayan
and in International Migration Review:

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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