Title: Turkey entangled with Europe? A qualitative exploration of mobility and citizenship accounts of highly educated migrants from Turkey
Authors: Yanasmayan, Zeynep; S0185141
Issue Date: 23-Apr-2013
Abstract: <!-- /* Font Definitions */@font-face {font-family:Arial; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}@font-face {font-family:Verdana; panose-1:2 11 6 4 3 5 4 4 2 4; mso-font-charset:77; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-format:other; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}@font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0cm; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;}@page Section1 {size:595.0pt 842.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:35.4pt; mso-footer-margin:35.4pt; mso-paper-source:0;}div.Section1 {page:Section1;}-->Citizenshipliterature is traditionally dominated with the writings of political theory andis preoccupied with the question of political organisation of a territoriallybounded community. However, in the last decades the scope of citizenship literaturehas widened immensely and the concept has gained a renewed emphasis. Studiesfocusing on citizenship qua policy rather than qua political theory havequickly proliferated. It has become also a vividly debated item in legalscholarship. While a majority of the studies dealing with this widened researchagenda concentrate on membership conditions and citizenship regimes and embracea macro level analysis (i.e. Bauböck et. al. 2006; De Groot and Vink 2010; DeHart and Van Oers 2006; Joppke and Morawska 2003; Koopmans et. al. 2005; Weil,2001), there are relatively few studies that pinpoint individual practices(i.e. Alvarez 1987; Bloemraad 2004; Diehl and Blohm 2003; Ersanilli 2010;Johnston Conover et al. 1991; Lister et al. 2003; Yang 1994). Moreover, microlevel analyses have also been noted to be in shortage in the literature onhighly skilled migration (Favell 2001c, 2003, 2008; Favell et al. 2007; Smithand Favell 2006). Therefore both the object of (highly skilled migrants) andthe angle of the study (citizenship) have scarcely been studied from anindividual perspective. Thisdissertation seeks to address this lacuna by examining individual accounts ofcitizenship of highly educated migrants from Turkey in three Europeancountries: Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In doing so, it paysa particular attention to the policies of citizenship in the countries underscrutiny with a view to unravel their impact, if any, in the formulation ofthese testimonies. Combining insights from the qualitative fieldwork that comprises 47qualitative interviews -Amsterdam, Barcelona and London-, the policies ofnationality and the theories of citizenship, this PhD dissertation is thus alsoan attempt to offer a comprehensive account of citizenship.The mainfindings of this dissertation highlight how the ‘new’ migration of highlyeducated Turkish citizens to Europe is endowed with a continuous notion ofmobility that challenges conventional understandings of citizenship, identityand of migration. This dissertation starts (chapter 2)with a thorough examination of the main concept, citizenship, from itsentrenchment in the nation-state to its challenges in the current globalcontext. It then turns in the next chapter (chapter 3) into the investigation ofthe policies of citizenship, more specifically of naturalisation, alongsideproviding a general overview on the current citizenship regimes on the threeselected countries. This chapter shows that despite the increasingly similartone of integration debates, micro differences at the policy level can still beidentified, which in turn play a significant role in migrants’ perception ofthe policy and the political climate of the country of residence. The fourthchapter by focusing on migration decisions and experiences sets the stage for athorough exploration of the respondents’ individual trajectories. Recognising the complex nature of migration, this chapter strives toshow that migration is not a once-and-for-all phenomenon and that it cannotsimply be conceived as a matter of stimulus and response. Therefore, throughoutthe chapter, it is displayed how the intertwinement of personal, societal andhuman capital-related factors and a sense of embedded mobility underpinsmigration decisions and future migration plans. It also touches upon general facilitators and constraints that impinge on the decision ofthe destination country from the perspective of the migrants from Turkey suchas networks and the admission policies both of which are often disregarded inhighly skilled migration.The fifthchapter proceeds to the investigation of a stepping-stone in a migrant’s life:the acquisition of citizenship of the country of residence. Intending to shedlight on this individually negotiated and sensitive process, it elucidates themotivations for applying -or not- for naturalisation. There again, the mainmotive recurrently appears as ‘the right to mobility’, which calls for a morefluid understanding of citizenship that does not necessarily signal asettlement decision. Moreover, the discussion on dual citizenship reveals that naturalisationdoes not denote the commitment to a single membership. The significance of theEuropean context, which grants the right to mobility to EU nationals, and atransnational perspective, which situates Turkey and Turkish citizens in thisEuropean context is particularly highlighted.Flowing from theother chapters that underscore the notion of mobility, the sixth chapter attemptsto understand whether increasing mobility fosters –as it is often claimed-de-territorialised, dislocated or uprooted identities<span style="mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold;mso-bidi-font-style:italic" lang="EN-GB">. Through the analysis of the narratives of‘home’, transnational practices and interpretations of ‘integration’, thischapter shows that despite the apathetic perception drawn in the literature, itis hardly possible to encounter a migrant who is entirely devoid of any ethnic,national or geographical reference. Instead, it underlines the dialecticnegotiation of identifications that builds on the juxtaposition with changing‘others’, be it the majority society or other migrant groups in the country ofresidence or else co-citizens in other European countries. Their narratives ofintegration also reveal that highly educated migrants from Turkey feel ‘athome’ in their countries of residence but they do not necessarily feel Dutch orSpanish or British. The findings ofthis dissertation have recurrently underscored the significance of theinterplay between the influences stemming from the country of origin and thecountry of residence on any kind of decision to be made or opinion to beformed. The journey of the highly educated migrants from Turkey, who wereinterviewed for the purposes of this research, rarely follows the traditionaltrajectory of arrival, settlement, integration and naturalisation in a linearfashion. Therefore, it would be highly interesting to see in further studieswhether this call for refreshing the conventional ways of thinking aboutmigration, citizenship and integration can be observed in other geographies orin other groups.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Institute for Human Rights
Leuven International and European Studies (LINES)

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