Turkey is known to be located in the junction of two continents of Middle East and Europe. In the past, Turkey became the land that bridged the various battles which had been participated by many states in the world. The country was also a witness to the migration and immigration of numerous tribes and ethnicities during the ancient times. Those people were able create dynasties and strong cultural legacies which had truly influenced the rich characteristics of Turkey (Brosnahan, Campbell, & Yale, 2007). Overview of Migration and Immigration in Turkey in Germany
Through time, Turkey has transformed into a country which is influenced by different kinds of cultures. Similar to many countries, Turkey has also faced numerous conflicts and issues due to the changes of time. Some of those issues are immigration and migration which are evidently happening in Turkey. Due to its strategic location, many of its people can easily travel to different places. Historically, Turkey was perceived as the main place where people found interest in immigrating. During the Cold War years, the country had become the place of asylum for those from the Balkan States.
From the years 1923 up to the year 1997, more than 1. 6 million people have immigrated in Turkey. These people had fled from the communist states such as the Soviet Union and the Eastern Europe. During the 198-0’s another pattern of immigration had happened. Asylum seekers from the countries of Iraq and Iran had come to Turkey in order to have a place to stay. In addition to this, the Turkey also became home to approximately half a million of Kurdish refugees, Albanians, Bosnian Muslims, Pomaks and Turks which had happened during the late 80’s until the late 90’s.
(Kirisci, 2003) In Turkey, many of its people have been migrating to their European neighbors since the earlier times. In the 1970’s, Turkish women were already migrating to some parts of Europe. In the country of Germany, studies show that most women who chose to leave Turkey are those that have partners or whom are married. There are 48 percent of women who worked in Turkey with a future plan for their families to reunite with their family in Germany, while 29 percent of Turkish immigrants were mostly widowed, single, or divorced.
Most of the migrant Turkish women in Germany were from the rural to urban areas which are assumed to be less developed and to provide fewer opportunities (Erdem & Mattes, 2005). Hence, the statistics shows that most women see the need to immigrate for the reason of family. More married women are hopeful to leave the country of Turkey in order to have a greener pasture of their family in their chosen European country, one of which is Germany. However, in the study made by Umut Erel, the author states that migrant women who have a Turkish background are perceived to be oriental and traditional due to the roles assigned by their society to them.
Erel (2003) adds, “migrant women from Turkey had been structured for the last three decades as ‘the (uncivilized) stranger, the victim of patriarchal [honor] and being ‘twice rootless’” (p. 153). In particular, a migrant woman’s responsibility with her family was seen as a hindrance to the development of women in terms of culture and beliefs. Thus, most women immigrants were perceived during those times as backward and in need of modern education. In addition, the responsibilities of women to their family obstruct the state of modernity of women during those times.
In the various websites in the World Wide Web, issues regarding women are vastly available. In the website of Global Fund for Women, issues of women are laid down and given proper acknowledgement. The organization states that few of the most prevalent issues that women are facing today are economic security, violence against women, education, health, leadership, trafficking, and environment (Global Fund for Women, 2009). Thus, the organization has given an overview with regards to the conflict that is being faced by women. In Turkey one of the greatest concerns which has been present since the 1960s is the financial stability of the family.
Most women choose to work for their family by migrating to another country for greener pastures and better established living conditions. This resulted in great concerns due to the various changes that could arise such as communal and gender responsibilities. In addition, the huge impact of the recession has made a significant difference in the major responsibilities of women. As Turkish women are responsible for their family, which is in their cultural norm, women have to add responsibilities such as work in order to help their family become financially stable.
Women in the labor force must be given empowerment due to the fact that many of the systems are now being privatized which then limits the protection they receive (“Economic Security,” 2009). Influences that Affected Turkey The influences from other countries as a result of migration and immigration, as well as the rise of globalization, are changes that are needed to be faced as a consequence of this phenomenon. One major cause of the changes is the entrance of the western culture in Turkey. In the past, many communities have passed through Turkey such as Muslim, Balkans, Russians and the likes.
Due to the wars, most of them needed to find an asylum. Turkey was the most accessible and safest place to stay. Thus, the assimilation of culture from the invading state could not be hindered; it has been taking place since the early days of the colonization until the current times. The most evident influence which is very recognizable in Turkey is religion. Due to the immigration and migration of various people in the Middle East which are known to be mostly Muslims, Turkey has become a home to the Islam religion. However, Turkey is also open to other religions such as Christianity.
Today, Turkey is known to be one of the few modernized Muslim countries which are rapidly gaining strength in accepting Christianity. Although Christianity is mostly accepted by the middle class and the upper class people of Turkey, the state is now open to other ideologies. With the arrival of outside cultural and religious influences, it is apparent that Turkey has clearly accepted the concepts of Western ideologies and beliefs. As for the current trends of migration, the studies made by scholars in Turkey have predicted that the membership of Turkey to the European Union will cause a great wave of immigration to other countries.
Although Turkey is not an underdeveloped country, it is not as developed and as successful as most European countries. As a matter of fact, remittances from Turkish workers in other countries created a great input to the economy of Turkey. In addition, there are already millions of Turkish nationals living abroad (Kirisci, 2008). As the result of the membership of Turkey to the European Union, there are huge magnitudes of latent migrants coming from Turkey. In 2004, a study was conducted by the European Union commission stating that there will be “0.
5 and 4. 4 million, assuming free mobility of labor in about a dozen years from now” (Erzan, Kuzubas, & Yilsdiz, 2004, p. 1). Therefore, many Turkish people are assumed to work, study, and live outside of the country by the time of 2030. Immigration and Migration and Its Effects on the Ethnic Make-up of Turkey Given that Turkey has been a place for migration and immigration for number of decades, it is assumed that its people have assimilated various cultures and norms into their own, which in turn, has largely impacted the society.
Looking at the grassroots level, most people in Turkey who first had experienced living in rural places stated that fundamental norms are continuously strengthened and practiced. One example is the press release provided by Global Fund for Women, which reports that “fifty (50) percent of women in Turkey are survivors of violence” (“Global Fund for Women,” n. d. ). In addition, honor killings in the rural areas are very common in the country as well as other states in the Middle East. The organization was able to determine rural and urban secular women groups which do not adhere to the laws and customs that oppress women.
In addition to this, Anup Shah stated that women in the Middle East states are provided with further reduced wages compared to men. Although men and women are working in the same industry, men are given higher salaries. This evidently suggests that males are given a better pay than women (Shah, n. d. ). Conclusion Turkey is a country that is still in the process of development and improvement in various contexts, most especially in terms of accepting the recent globalized perspectives of the West. It is an indication that religion in Turkey is not a huge hindrance to the freedom of people.
However, migration and immigration in Turkey are directly affecting women in both positive and negative ways more than they affect the men due to the percentage of the migrant women abroad. Although there is a part of Turkey that is into innovation and riding with the flow of the international community, the rural areas seem to be locked within the fundamental norms which they were practicing since the ancient times. While it is not harmful to follow the norms and tradition which the Turkish have grown with, they must take note that laws which hurt a woman should be eradicated.
Thus, betters law which enhances the abilities and skills of women must be implemented to empower them and make them feel valued.
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Freedman, J. (Ed). (2003). Gender and Insecurity. England: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Global Fund for Women. (n. d. ) Economic Security. Retrieved March 16, 2009, from http://www. globalfundforwomen. org/cms/issues/economic-security/. Global Fund for Women. (2005, April 26). Global Fund for Women Assesses Needs of Women in North Africa and Middle East. Retrieved 16 March 2009 from http://www. globalfundforwomen. org/cms/media-center/2005-press-releases/global-fund-for-women-assesses-needs-of-women-in-north-africa-and-middle-east.html. Kirisci, K. (2003, November).
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