Plotting Lifestyle Migration Part I: the Turkish sunbelt

Contributed by Hub Member Ilkay Sudas

Major lifestyle migration destinations in Turkey and provincial distribution of foreign property owners by %

“The Mediterranean and the Aegean coastal zone of Turkey have emerged as a new destination for lifestyle migrants from Northern Europe in the last two decades. However Turkey is known as an emigration country and a transition country for the irregular population movements, as Tolay (2012) attracts attention; immigration towards Turkey has become a significant phenomenon attracting more academic interest in recent years. Actually it is difficult to know the total number of the immigrants in Turkey but according to İçduygu and Biehl (2012), it is estimated to be nearly 250.000, including regular and irregular migrants. The number of residence permits as another indicator of migrant stock was 175.000 in 2008. “The emergence of Turkey as a country of destination within the international immigration system which is highly shaped by economic and political factors dates back to the 1990’s (İçduygu 2004, 80); the country’s experience with the new forms of migratory moves that are not motivated by traditional causes like flight, exile or work but targeting personal lifestyles (King 2002, 90) is even more recent, but has an apparent visibility particularly in some Western and Southern Mediterranean coastal towns (Nudralı and O’Reilly 2009:138)”. Turkey is different from the other destination countries in the southern Europe in aspect of cultural and religious characteristics thus it represents a unique destination because of this distinction. Thus it is of great importance to look at both the motivation and life-worlds of lifestyle migrants and the attitudes and opinions of local people on the “new residents” of their own neighbourhoods in order to follow the interaction, understand the social/cultural distance between the sides and perhaps, to predict possible tensions. This is important because there are signs about permanency of the European lifestyle migrants in Turkey”.

To read more about this fascinating case, download Sudas – Introduction to Lifestyle Migration in Turkey

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