Locating Xenophobia in Turkey

Doğan E.

Irregular Migration Informal Labour and Community A Challenge for Europe, Branca Likic-Brboric,Gülay Toksöz,Nikos Trimikliniotisli,Erik Berggren, Editör, Shaker Publishing, Maastricht, ss.430-445, 2007

  • Yayın Türü: Kitapta Bölüm / Araştırma Kitabı
  • Basım Tarihi: 2007
  • Yayınevi: Shaker Publishing
  • Basıldığı Şehir: Maastricht
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.430-445
  • Editörler: Branca Likic-Brboric,Gülay Toksöz,Nikos Trimikliniotisli,Erik Berggren, Editör


Migration and xenophobia are terms often associated with each other in the politics of contemporary Europe, an association that has become stronger with the decline of the welfare state. It is only in recent years that Turkey has come to have a migrant population of any considerable size. Therefore xenophobia was not an issue directly related to the phenomenon of migration, nor a subject of political or scientific enquiry. However, Turkey’s nation-building programmesince the founding of the republic in the early 1920s, as with all other suchprogrammes, created its ‘others’ and led to what may be termed a kind of popular xenophobia against Europeans, Arabs, Israeli and foreign Jews. A different kind of xenophobia may be associated with the rise in numbers of irregular migrants, such as Russians, Moldavians, Africans and others arriving in Turkey, particularly since the 1990s and in the context of the EU accession process. This chapter is a modest attempt to differentiate between these two popular xenophobic reactions. I will analyse the first type in detail, and try to shed some light on the latter, the newer form of xenophobia in Turkey, and less studied. The main hypothesis here is that there is a strong relationship between the speedy opening up process and the EU accession process on one hand, and nationalism and xenophobia on the other. There does not appear to be as strong a correlation between irregular migration and presence of irregular migrants in the  informal labour market and xenophobia and nationalism.