Recent International Coverage of Migration
Migration Research Center at Koç University

Migration Research Center at Koç University

International Press Reader
 October 30 - November 4, 2016

A series of photographs capture what was left behind after the demolition of the Jungle, Calais.
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MiReKoc News             Migration this Week          Academic Opportunities

MiReKoc coordinator and PhD Candidate Damla Bayraktar Aksel has been featured on Research Turkey. Her article, "Engaging Turkey's Emigrants", considers policies on emigration of the Turkish state and examines the changes in the Turkish statecraft on emigrants, by discussing the ongoing processes of naming and institution building.

"In December 2015, the Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s declaration of the new government program to the Turkish Grand National Assembly included a particular section on Turkey’s prospective foreign policy priorities, which comprised of the relations with non-resident citizens and other communities that were denominated as “related”.  In his address, Davutoğlu declared that “the protection of the interests” of these two populations, “developing language and cultural heritage and bringing services for overseas to a permanent and healthy way” was one of the main elements of the foreign policy priorities of the government. Actually, the speech is part of a decade-old project of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) governments that has by now become embedded in the Turkish state’s policies on populations approached in terms of extra-territorial membership." Continue reading.


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

After the Calais Jungle

After French authorities ordered the evacuation and demolition of the Jungle in Calais, activists and experts are raising concerns about children’s wellbeing as well as the need for long term solutions. Migrants were moved to containers, where they lived with as many as twelve people in one structure. More than 300 minors have been reported missing in and around the camp as the “safe spaces” - the container camp -  had reached capacity. Those that reached the camp are abandoned without support, and lack drinking water and sufficient food. There have been reports of police violence, a fire, and lack of shelter and food. The protection of women and child migrants in particular falls on their communities and independent volunteers, such as the Unofficial Women and Children’s Centre which distributes clothing, hygiene products, baby milk, and diapers.

The majority of migrants who stayed in the Jungle were moved to temporary reception centers, where their asylum cases are supposed to be examined in the coming months. A long-term solution remains out of sight. Paul Rogers from the Oxford Research Group shares his views on the causes of migration, Europe’s response, and urges the serious need to look into perceptions of Europe in the Global South.

Uganda: the world's most tolerant refugee policies?

In the north of Uganda, around 160,000 South Sudanese have found shelter from the conflict back home. The camp in Bidi Bidi is one of the four largest refugee camps in the world, each of them located in the African continent. Uganda has one of the most tolerant refugee policies in the world, allowing them to work and travel freely, granting them land, and giving them the right to vote and be elected on the local level. With Ethiopia planning to give refugees employment rights, Uganda may be setting an example in the African continent - if not the world.

Security forces and police dogs on the Bulgarian side of the Turkish-Bulgarian border.
Read more about Bulgaria's migration management here.
The rise of rightwing politics & anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe

With elections coming up in France, Germany, and the Netherlands next year, rightwing parties established over the last decade and a half are making strides and gaining votes across the continent. The Guardian seeks to explain the (re-)emergence of the far right, which has effectively coopted the causes, policies, and rhetoric of the left by making Muslim immigrants the primary threat to liberal values such as gender equality and gay rights. The migration issue is largely shaping the political debate in Europe, but "Europe isn't confronted with a refugee and migrant crisis. It's the refugees and migrants who are confronted with a crisis of Europe." The rise of rightwing politics and xenophobia alike point to Europe's need to redefine itself, as well as its narrative of migration. 

Crossing the Mediterranean between Libya and Italy

Last Wednesday, UN spokesperson said that with 3,800 migrant deaths and two more months until the end of the year, 2016 has already surpassed 2015 as the deadliest year for migrants crossing the Mediterranean - even though less migrants appear to attempt the crossing. Especially since the EU-Turkey deal, most of the deaths occur between Libya and Italy - just this week, another boat sank east of Tripoli with 126 people on board, of which 90 are believed to have passed. The slow legal system in Italy leaves those who survive in limbo, entering the informal economy, while those stuck in Libya face extortion, abuse, and unlawful detention. The degradation of sub-Saharan migrants dates back to the days of Gaddafi, when more than a million Africans were working in Libya to get a slice of the country’s oil money. Today, migrants are reduced to chattel and traded between smugglers and warlords, as forgotten victims of Libya's ongoing war. 

Challenges in Canada's migration management

Canada’s program of private sponsorship of refugees has found resonance across the world - New Zealand and Australia both plan a similar program. But those resettled as well as their sponsors are facing a new challenge - what about their family members who are still in Syria or in neighboring countries? The New York Times shares the story of the al-Hajj family in Toronto and their relative back in Lebanon.  

While Canada is widely celebrated as an example of welcoming immigrants, a group of migrants tries to raise awareness and end indefinite detention in their third hunger strike of the year. Although the UN urges governments to release migrant detainees after a limited period if they cannot be safely deported to another country, some migrants in Canada have been detained for up to 12 years, including children, and three have died in detention this year.

Violence along the Turkish-Bulgarian border

As media focuses its attention on Greece, Italy and the rest of Europe, migrants in Bulgaria are met with police violence, including attack dogs. The Intercept shares the less heard story of the Turkish-Bulgarian border.


Policy Press has announced the launch of a new book series, "Global Migration and Social Change", to showcase novel and innovative research investigating the nexus of migration, citizenship, and social change. The series will be edited by Nando Sigona (University of Birmingham) and Alan Gamlen (University of Adelaide).

For more information or to submit a proposal to the editors, click here.


On February 7 and 8, 2017, the conference "Migration and Families in Europe: National and Local Perspectives at a Time of Euroskepticism" will take place at the University of Manchester. Paper and poster proposals may be submitted until November 25, 2016. Read more.

The IOM is inviting paper submissions for a forthcoming Migration Research Series on migrant smuggling. Articles using mixed method research, on the impacts on migrants and their communities, geographic regions that have traditionally been under-researched and/or the role of technology in smuggling are encouraged. Deadline: December 16, 2016. Read more.

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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