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Turkish migration in Europe and desire to migrate to and from Turkey


  • Ibrahim Sirkeci

    () (Regent's Centre for Transnational Studies, Faculty of Business and Management, Regent's University London, UK)

  • Neli Esipova

    (Gallup, NJ, USA)


Turkey’s accession to the European Union has turned out to be a very long saga. One of the concerns in Europe is that Turkey’s membership would open the way for millions of immigrants from Turkey arriving in Western European member states, as was believed to be the case with Eastern European enlargement in the 2000s. This paper focuses on migration flows and causes of human mobility while drawing upon the Gallup World Poll on migration in Europe with particular reference to the data on desire to migrate permanently from Turkey and to Turkey. The Gallup World Poll is an on-going project surveying residents in more than 150 countries on a variety of topics including international mobility. The full data set includes over 400,000 face-to-face interviews conducted in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Despite exceptions with different sample sizes, in each of the 160 countries 3,000 cases were collected as part of a larger survey. Turkish respondents have lower desire to emigrate compared to the rest of the world while Iranians and Germans are top groups who desire to migrate to Turkey. The data shows that Turkey has been a growing economy and attracting immigration while also producing emigration. Turkey’s overall socio-economic and political record suggests that the desire to migrate from Turkey will continue despite recent economic advances. Nevertheless, the Gallup data shows that the level of desire to migrate in Turkey is remarkably lower than many neighbouring countries and Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Ibrahim Sirkeci & Neli Esipova, 2013. "Turkish migration in Europe and desire to migrate to and from Turkey," Border Crossing, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 2013(1301), pages 1-13, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:bcwpap:v:2013:y:2013:i:1301:p:1-13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Drinkwater, Stephen & Eade, John & Garapich, Michal, 2006. "Poles Apart? EU Enlargement and the Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 2410, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Ibrahim Sirkeci & Jeffrey H. Cohen & Pinar Yazgan, 2012. "Turkish culture of migration: Flows between Turkey and Germany, socio-economic development and conflict," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 9(1), pages 33-46, January.
    3. Ibrahim Sirkeci & Jeffrey H. Cohen & Dilip Ratha, 2012. "Migration and Remittances during the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13092.
    4. Ibrahim Sirkeci, 2009. "Transnational mobility and conflict," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 6(1), pages 3-14, April.
    5. Philip L. Martin, 2012. "Migration, trade, and development: Comparing Mexico-US and Turkey-Europe," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 9(1), pages 11-24, January.
    6. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anita Pugliese & Julie Ray & Neli Esipova, 2016. "Do remittances differ depending on migration pathway and length of stay?," Remittances Review, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 1(1), pages 105-118, October.
    2. Dogus Simsek, 2013. "Experiences of Turkish Cypriot, Kurdish and Turkish Youth in Creating Transnational Social Spaces in London Schools," Border Crossing, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 2013(1302), pages 15-27, July.
    3. Ibrahim Sirkeci, 2017. "Turkey’s refugees, Syrians and refugees from Turkey: a country of insecurity," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 14(1), pages 127-144, January.
    4. Cansu Ünver, 2015. "Does Broadband Facilitate Immigration Flows? A Non-Linear Instrumental Variable Approach," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 69-104, January.
    5. Ibrahim Sirkeci, 2016. "Transnational Döner Kebab taking over the UK," Transnational Marketing Journal, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 4(2), pages 143-158, October.
    6. Olgu Karan, 2016. "Collective Resource Mobilisation for Economic Survival within the Kurdish and Turkish Communities in London," Border Crossing, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 6(2), pages 219-239, December.
    7. Cansu Unver, 2015. "Does Broadband Facilitate Immigration Flows?," Discussion Papers 15-01, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    8. Tuncay Bilecen, 2016. "Political Participation in Alevi Diaspora in the UK," Border Crossing, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 6(2), pages 372-385, December.


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