The Environment Of Insecurity In Turkey And The Emigration Of Turkish Kurds To Germany

Author: Sirkeci, Ibrahim
This excellent research, with particular focus on an understudied ethnic group, competently draws linkages between ethnic conflict, international migration, and individual strategies and networks. It triangulates quantitative survey data with narratives collected through in-depth interviews providing insights of Turkey’s Kurds migration experiences. Successfully applying a novel conceptual tool, ‘environment of insecurity,’ the book explains migration and ethnicity nexus in a multidimensional approach benefiting from a variety of models used in migration studies literature. Strongly erasing the borders between typologies of migrants, this study comes up with another conceptual novelty: ‘opportunity frameworks’ which can be applied to many other ethnic conflict involved migration regimes. Readers are attracted to the cunning combination of different types of data and methods: First, identifying a Kurdish place within Turkish international migratory regime; then revealing how migrants position themselves against the ethnic conflict, migration restrictions, socioeconomic and political deprivation in order to move from an absolute environment of insecurity to an environment of relative security. Analysis of Turkish Kurds international migration to Cologne comes with a succinct account of Kurdish ethnic rivalry in Turkey and a concise story of international migration from Turkey to Germany.

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
Preface by Thomas Faist
1. Conceptualization of Environment of Insecurity
2. Deprivation at Home and Abroad: Turkish International Migration and the Ethnic Conflict
3. The Environment of Insecurity and Kurdish Emigration
4. Kurdish International Migration Patterns and Motivations
5. Migration Mechanisms
6. Migrants’ Future and Future Migrants
7. Migration and the Expression of Ethnicity
8. Opportunity Frameworks: Ethnic Conflict, Environment of Insecurity, and International Migration Nexus


“ ... Dr. Sirkeci presents a much-needed effort to operationalize human insecurity. He does not simply posit that human insecurity decreases the degrees of freedom enjoyed by potential migrants. Instead, he conceives insecurity derived from ethnic conflict as a multidimensional phenomenon involving political development, socio-economic deprivation and options of exit, voice and loyalty on the part of migrants. This ensemble – the environment of insecurity – is an opportunity structure, not only restricting, but also enabling migration. The study thus directly links ethnic conflict as an issue of state development in terms of conflicts around nation building on the one hand, and considerations of human insecurity on the other ... the book abounds in fresh insights and interpretations. It is bound to become a standard reference on human insecurity and migration in the Turkish-Kurdish context.” – (from the Preface) Professor Thomas Faist, Bielefeld University

“ ... Very little work has been done on the international movement of this particular ethnic group so results are original and very interesting. The author makes innovative use of two particular surveys, the Turkish Demographic Health Survey and the Turkish International Migration Survey, as well as the results of conducting a series of in-depth interviews with Kurdish Turks now resident in Cologne, having migrated (either legally or illegally) from Turkey prior to 1999. These data sources reveal some fascinating insights into the nature of this transnational diasporic community and the author is to be commended for his organization and interpretation of the source materials ...” – Professor John Stillwell, University of Leeds

“Dr. Sirkecki’s work deserves admiration as he successfully combined migration studies with security studies with a very particular emphasis on Turkish Kurds on Keup Street in Cologne, Germany. Keup Strasse is lately attracting researchers’ attention as it is characterized by poverty and exclusion. Drawing a general framework of Kurdish migration to the West, Dr. Sirkeci draws our attention to the transnational linkages the Kurds have constructed and benefited from in the migratory process. Furthermore, he clearly depicts the role of diasporic formations on the political mobilization of Kurds in their homeland. In doing so, Dr. Sirkeci explicates how Kurdish diaspora actually have had an impact on the formation of Kurdish nationalism in Turkey.” – Professor Ayhan Kaya, Instanbul Bilgi University

“ ... It strikes me that there are four or so issues that are of central concern in the world today – migration, security, health and human rights. In this book, Dr. Sirkeci has nailed three – migration, security and human rights, not an easy feat; yet he has done so in a way that is absolutely accessible. The results are a fine book that should do extremely well and find a place on the shelves of scholars from a broad background (anthropology, sociology, geography, political science, European and Turkish Studies) to name just a few ...” – Professor Jeffrey H. Cohen, Ohio State University