Turkey’s Looming Immigration Crisis:

Syrian Refugees and Others

Human mobility is one difficult phenomenon to analyse and predict simply because the process is complex, the data poor, and the theory still underdeveloped. I have been advocating a new model of human mobility revolving around conflict which is defined in a very broad sense to include a range of tensions from individual covert disputes to violent clashes [1]. Hence the context and reality is plotted over a continuum running from cooperation on one end to wars on the other. This in return is reflected on individual and community perceptions of the reality which is again plotted over a continuum of insecurity. People tend to move when they perceive the environment of insecurity as unbearable or they stay put when they see they can cope with the conflict or when they are not capable of moving. Established culture of migration [2] can facilitate mobility and thus migration from certain regions and countries continue no matter what changes in the broader environment. Turkey is rich in conflicts both domestically and regionally. We can find ample evidence from the neighbouring regions of Turkey supporting such a conflict model of migration. However, the current challenges and deficiencies in immigration and asylum statistics [3] are preventing any more accurate analysis of population flows to, in and from Turkey. In this brief analysis, therefore, I am looking at external and indirect data and estimates to highlight what would be the real volume of immigration in Turkey.

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