Labor migration, ethnic kinship, and the conundrum of citizenship in Turkey
Parla, Ayşe (2011) Labor migration, ethnic kinship, and the conundrum of citizenship in Turkey. Citizenship Studies, 15 (3-4). pp. 457-470. ISSN 1469-3593
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13621025.2011.564809
This paper explores the ambiguous purchase that claiming Turkish ethnicity has in Bulgarian Turkish migrants’ attempts to access formal and social citizenship. I suggest that despite the new Citizenship Law, which appears to eliminate ethnic privilege, the emphasis on Turkish ethnicity continues to play a significant role in the migrants’ attempts at inclusion. I seek to resolve this seeming tension between, on the one hand, the continuing significance of ‘Turkishness’ in migrants’ discursive claims, and, on the other hand, the failure of most of these claims to materialize in practice by addressing the question of social and economic capital. Although ethnic belonging continues to be an important facet of citizenship, social class makes a significant difference in determining who qualifies as a citizen and has access to social citizenship. I thus argue that we need to expand the current terms of the debate on the inclusiveness of citizenship in Turkey, which revolve around ‘denationalization’ and ‘postnationalism,’ to include questions of class-based exclusion.
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