"New wave" migration from Turkey: Identity, nationhood, and senses of belonging through the case of Turkish mothers in Berlin

The thesis examines how the formulations of identity, nationhood, and belonging are shaped for the Turkish mothers in Berlin related to how they perceive Turkey and are affected by its socio-political context. It highlights the intergenerational concerns in national belonging through the overlooked experiences of womanhood and motherhood within the popular debates on the "new wave" migration from Turkey. Thus, the sampling constitutes women who emigrated between 2009 and 2019 to grasp the impacts of the recent Turkish socio-political context. The data from seven in-depth interviews were analyzed with MAXQDA. The main findings show that the formulations of identity, nationhood, and belonging of the mothers have been shaped with reference to four main axes: personal/subjective, professional/economic, children-related, social relations/ties. The 'ruptures' in senses of belonging and attachment to the homeland do not necessarily reflect a radical shift 'following' the emigration but are already questioned in pre-migrationv and revisited through practical comparisons in post-migration. Firstly, how migrants re-negotiate belongings is affected by their social locations and their abilities in transferring social and economic capital within the migration process. Secondly, the stereotype of strong national belonging of Turkey-descended populations in Germany is shifting towards more practical and detached accounts of identity formation through 'elective belonging' with the "new wave" migration. Thirdly, women's boundaries with the Turkish society are affected by the political and cultural divide especially between lifestyles, and they favor freedom, individuality, and safety rather than origins or ethnoreligious values. Overall, the thesis finds that the quality of life, social rights and welfare, and concerns for the future become primary in re-negotiating belongings than national attachments for the case of mothers.


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Citation Formats
Y. AKSOY, ““New wave” migration from Turkey: Identity, nationhood, and senses of belonging through the case of Turkish mothers in Berlin,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.