Recent International Coverage of Migration
Migration Research Center at Koç University

Migration Research Center at Koç University

International Press Reader
November 7 - 11, 2016

Time Magazine offers a glimpse into a Syrian family's arrival in Des Moines, Iowa.
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A collection of news articles, op-eds and thinkpieces on migration

U.S. elections: What's next for immigration?

As Donald Trump’s victory became evident, thousands, scared of the violence his discourse could incite, looked for alternatives abroad - to the extent the Canadian immigration website crashed. While the 2016 electorate was the most diverse in history, the overwhelming support of white men as well as white women secured the Republican candidate the presidency. (For a detailed look into demographics and voting behavior, check the NY Times exit polls.)

Since Trump’s election as the 45th U.S. President, hate crimes against people of color and the LGBTQ community have been reported across the country. Prospects or immigration are grim; among Trump’s promises were constructing a wall along the Mexican border, creating a special task force for deportation, and ban Muslim visitors to the U.S. While the latter has since been removed from Trump’s website, mass deportations of undocumented immigrants are actually very possible within presidential powers - and it is sure to breach civil rights. While the Supreme Court may have blocked President Obama’s deportation deferral program, he now has the power and ability to pardon immigrant communities who may face deportation under Trump’s presidency.

Trump’s stance on climate change - namely that it is not real and a ploy by China to hurt the U.S. economy - poses another threat to migration. Each year, millions are displaced from their homes due to natural disasters, and Trump’s denial of climate change will surely not do anything to close the existing policy gaps.

Yet the 2016 election also offered some historical victories, for women, and specifically women of color. In Minnesota, Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American legislator, while Catherine Cortez Mastro was elected the first Latina senator in Nevada. This election was also the first to elect a formerly undocumented immigrant and first Dominican-American into Congress.

In "Becoming a Refugee", five young Syrians share their stories
about fleeing Syria and their journey to Europe.
Assessing the needs and assistance to Syrian refugees in two Turkish cities

A new vulnerability assessment of Syrian refugees in Istanbul, by Ayhan Kaya and Aysu Kirac in collaboration with Support to Life, sheds light on the current needs of Syrians in the city. The report reveals that the main challenges faced are exploitation in the labor market, discrimination in everyday life, stereotypes, prejudices and a lack of empathy among the local population, the lack of a proper legal status, lack of education, lack of right to work, right to health services and right to housing, and the lack of social and political recognition, respect and acceptance. To access the full report and see the recommendations, click here.

Denise Tan’s analysis of civil society actors in Izmir, based on her MA dissertation, sheds light on the relations between local NGOs and larger international organizations, the different groups and communities at play to assist refugees in accessing their rights, and the need to look beyond formal NGOs in civil society.

After the Calais Jungle

Most of the migrants that stayed in the camp have been moved to temporary reception centers across the countries, but others, still wishing to reach the UK, have stayed in northern France, where they hide in small camps in fields, garages, or abandoned buildings. Every day, dozens of migrants come to the city of Paris, where they set up tents on the sidewalk until they are again forcibly removed by the police. Claudio Minco, speaking in the latest Monday Morning Meeting on Migration podcast, foresees that such make-shift camps will have a permanent presence in the new geography of Europe.

Contesting the Eurocentric coverage of the 'refugee crisis'

Mehdi Hasan criticizes the media’s Eurocentric and Western narrative of the ‘refugee crisis’, while people stay largely silent about the refugees and displaced people - close to 20 million - within the African continent. Hasan calls it for what it is - “white privilege, plain and simple”. The Ethical Journalism Network reviews and provides recommendation for international coverage on migration in their series, “Moving Stories”.

Other news in migration this week

In Hungary, the Parliament has rejected PM Orban’s migrant resettlement ban, but only by a very narrow margin.



The Journal for Comparative Migration Studies is accepting applications to join the editorial board. Membership of the board means that you will be involved in policymaking regarding the journal and that as an editor you will be in charge of reviewing articles that are in your area of expertise (6 to 8 articles per year, costs on average a couple of hours per month). Interested applicants may get more information here.


Last chance to apply! The Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University is still accepting abstracts for the panel "Autonomy and Assistance: Refugee Self-Support and Local Markets in 'Host' Cities" during the Beyond Crisis: Rethinking Refugee Studies conference. Papers should investigate the co-presence of (in)formal providers, city authorities, and (un)forced migrants in local markets of commodities, services, housing, or labour. 

Submit your abstract by November 14. More information can be found here.

On June 15-17, 2017, the conference "With Italy in their Baggage: Migration, Circulation and Italianness in the 19th-20th Centuries" will take place in concurrence with the Ciao Italia! exhibition at the National Museum of Immigration in Paris. Paper proposals may focus on a variety of themes in Italian diaspora studies, including but not limited to journeys, discourse, institutions and time scales. Presentations can be given in French, Italian or English.

Submit your proposal by December 20. For more information, check the call for papers.


Researchers may submit chapter proposals for an internationally published edited book on LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees, aiming to focus on their experiences during the status determination process and after they have been granted refugee status. Interdisciplinary perspectives and empirical research are particularly welcomed.

Deadline: November 28. For more information, contact the editors: Dr. Arzu Güler & Denise Venturi

Uskudar University will convene the symposium, "Uluslararası Göç ve Çocuk", on November 17 and 18. The symposium is organized within the framework of the EU and Turkish Republic-funded "Süriyeli Mülteci Çocuklarla El Ele" project. For more information, visit the project website (in Turkish). 

On November 22, Dr. Richard Staring will give a lecture on mobility and EU migration management, "Global Mobility and Migration Control: Recent Developments in the EU and their Consequences". The lecture will take place at the Consulat General of the Netherlands and is jointly organized with the Netherlands Institute for Turkey. Please note that registration is required. For more information and registration, visit the NIT website.

In celebration of World Children's Day, the Platform for Protecting Children and their Rights organizes a yearly panel discussion. This year, the panel is themed "Toplum Gözüyle Mülteci Çocuk" and will take place on November 24, between 9:30 and 12:30 at Işık University. For more information, click here (in Turkish).
Check out the latest volume of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, with articles on migrant division of labor in the UAE, migrant and leftist activist allyship in Italy, Chinese migration to Africa, and a comparative analysis of discourses of exclusion. 

Access the volume here.

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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