Socio-economic integration of Iranian immigrants in contemporary Turkey


Recent difficulties in migrating to North America and Europe and new opportunities in the neighboring country made Turkey a new destination country for many Iranians. This study examines the migration experience of Iranian immigrants and those Iranians seeking international protection refugees living in Turkey by exploring their social, economic, and cultural integration along with the barriers they face in integrating into Turkey. The main purpose of the research is to analyze the reasons for Iranians to choose Turkey as a target country and their settlement and integration processes. This study adopted a qualitative approach by conducting semi-structured interviews with 41 Iranians living in various cities of Turkey. The qualitative findings reveal that Turkey’s geographical and cultural proximity provides significant facilitating factors for the integration of Iranians in their new host society. The immigrants, however, face serious challenges in integrating into the Turkish society. These challenges range from obstacles in involving in the labor market to access to health services. Furthermore, daily lives of Iranian immigrants are also affected by Turkey’s changing migration policies which refrains them from making clear plans for their future lives. This study also provides strategies to policy-makers in immigration services to reduce the barriers in the social integration of Iranian immigrants.


Migration integration segmented assimilation Turkey Iranian migrants