Conflict and international migration: Iraqi Turkmen in Turkey

Ibrahim Sirkeci, European Business School London

This paper addresses a known issue with a particular focus on an unknown population. Iraqi Turkmen, as a minority ethnic group has suffered from Saddam regime and the wars caused by this regime. Turkey has been the major destination for Turkmen due to geographical proximity and national connection. Data is gathered through a nationwide questionnaire survey in 6 provinces of Turkey. Migrant characteristics and experiences are examined to understand Turkmen migration flows. Individual migrations are commonplace among Turkmen and political freedoms are major motivation for migration. Not the very poor but relatively wealthier Turkmen migrate including many well educated Turkmen. A diasporic understanding seem prevalent among Turkmen immigrants. The conflict and ethnic tension are very important triggering factor for their migration in either forcing them to move or enabling them to move. Recent migration flows are targeting western countries rather than Turkey.

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Presented in Poster Session 5