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Building transnational social space through remittance sending: the case of bahadin town

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2019
Gül Derinbay, Sevgin
Remittance practices are one of the most transparent ways of sustaining cross border engagements of transnational migrants. Especially in rural regions, it has become an important indicator for visibility of transnationality on societal level. In this context, this thesis focuses on a small town named as Bahadın, located at a remote corner of Central Anatolia and tries to understand how transnationality is embedded on societal level through migrant interactions in Bahadın. In order to track transnationality on societal level, different remittance practices of different transnational agents and their impacts on household and community level are analyzed. This study was conducted as ethnographic field research between 2015 and 2018, which adopts qualitative analysis about transnational interactions in Bahadın town. The data have been collected through combination of unstructured interviews with 60-70 people as pre-liminary phase; in-depth interviews with 19 people;participant observation, document and social media analysis. Based on empirical findings in Bahadın case, migrant remittances are categorized as family remittances and collective remittances, which are raised by different agents. The first type of remittance is practicing as family remittance which migrants sent money or goods to family, kins, friends and relatives. The second type of remittance is practicing as collective remittances raised by individuals through philanthropic motivations and Hometown Associations (HTAs) of Bahadın for the benefit of the community. Among these agents, HTAs of Bahadın take the most important roles on institutionalization of remittances and community development process. The research results indicate that although the purposes, functions and motivations behind these different types of remittance show variety in Bahadın town, it is clearly seen that all of them take important roles on development of community and turn Bahadın town into a transnational hub in Central Anatolia.