Home-State Politics Vis-à-Vis Turkish Emigrants: Instrumentalizing Emigrants

Published online on 19 October 2022 in Middle East Critique

This article scrutinizes the ways in which Turkish state actors have shaped the social ecosophy of emigrants and their descendants residing in Europe. Describing the Turkish states perspectives toward emigrants reveals that Turkish state actors always have instrumentalized emigrants since the beginning of the migratory processes in the 1960s. The focus will be on the current Turkish governments acts and policies, which are likely to contribute to the Muslimization of Turkey-origin emigrants in diaspora, or in other words, to their labeling simply as Muslims. Based on a thorough analysis of secondary literature, discourse analyses of contemporary Turkish political leadersspeeches aimed at Turkish emigrants and their descendants as well as my earlier and ongoing field research findings, I argue that it is the indifference of some European state actors who have not offered political opportunity structures for devout Muslims with Turkish background to be incorporated into the public/political space at the expense of pushing them into the Turkish state actorshands that offer alternative political opportunity structures. Hence, the article elaborates the ways in which receiving statespolicies and practices toward migrant-origin people impact diaspora politics of the migrant-sending states. The emphasis is on German and Turkish state actors.