Follow-up event in Turkey
Turkey is in a special status because of its geographical location between the East and the West in the world. In this context, it has been a bridge between the East and the West for migrants for many years. Today, Turkey’s responsibility is reducing the flow of immigrants into Europe, because of the Readmission Agreement signed between the EU and Turkey. Therefore, there are lots of migrants/refugees in Turkey. For example, currently, more than 3,5 million Syrians live in Turkey. Moreover, there is not any integration program implemented for the migrants/refugees in Turkey, contrary to the European Countries. There are different reflections resulted in this situation such as humanistic, economic, and political.
Although Turkey constructed refugee camps in different areas, most of them spread to various parts of the country, especially to the big cities such as Istanbul, Izmir, Gaziantep. In addition to that, lots of them have been given Turkish citizenship since 2017. On the one hand, people try to help them. Many people think that they have to support the refugees/migrants because they have the same religion, while some try to lend a hand to them because of humanism. On the other hand, their huge amount influences the country in several respects. For example, instead of their integration into the culture, the country has been experiencing a transformation through their culture for different reasons. In light of these, as well as support, there are oppositions towards migrants/refugees in the country too. In this context, Turkey experience different migrants/refugees problem from the European Union.
I chose university students to present the issue and to discuss it. I did the follow-up events both in my office with some of my students and in an NGO. I specially chose the nationalist NCO which provided a meeting with young members of it in a friendly setting. I presented the refugee situation and the crisis in the European Union. We watched some videos related to the issue, in addition to the presentation. The audiences listened to me carefully and asked me lots of questions during and at the end of the presentation. We discussed the issue with different aspects. Following our discussion, the participants gained a new point of views about the migrants/refugees. Some stated that they have not thought about the issue with the other side. Some expressed that they did not know the perception of the European countries about migrants/refugees.