The Effects of Terrorism on Migration in Turkey

Oct 12, 2021  •  7 min read

In general, the term migration defines people who are moving from one place to another due to economic, social and political reasons. The migration phenomenon in Turkey has resulted in severe social and cultural changes and has also become an essential factor in the socio-economic structure of the region. When we look at Turkey’s last decade, the reason for the internal migration was ‘terrorism.’

In this context, especially after 1980, migration movements has become one of the hot topics. In Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, the rise in terrorist attacks threatened people’s life and property safety in the aforesaid years, and people tried to find alternative solutions. Thus, people who used to live in these regions migrated to western cities, especially in İstanbul. Most of those who emigrated were from Tunceli and Kars provinces.

The problems of these migrants continued in their new settlements. Because they changed their economic situation and other dynamics of their settlements, they were exposed to discriminative behaviours and excluded from the rest of society. The economic and social gap between migrants and local people was noticeably huge. These migrants were exposed to double-sided labelling: by both local people and state institutions. There are also a lot of problems in providing municipal services and school transportation to these migrants.

Migrants wanted to live close to their relatives. Then, a kind of ghettoization became widespread within several cities and affected their sociological structure. This phenomenon caused neighbourhoods’ labelled with crime and theft and a fight between local people and migrants. Furthermore, it created long-term effects on people’s lives including, marriages and even children’s growing environments.

Another point that should be mentioned is the disrepute of migrant families. Some wealthy families in their region could not attain the same living standards in their new settlements. Some of these families seeking solutions to enhance their livings standards took illegal actions and caused an increase in crime rates.

Last but not least, this migration flow had a severe effect on children. Migrants who have a large number of children did not prefer to send their children to school. On the contrary, they forced them to work to have better economic conditions. It created an increase in child labour, and this became a serious social and economic problem. It also created an enormous obstacle for raising a qualified workforce and also generations.

As it is seen, migration affected many economic, social and moral problems in Turkey. Terrorism, one of the causes of internal migration in Turkey, led to more significant social issues. Thus, it is crucial to enhance these negative effects within the scope of social responsibility projects.