About the Center

Historically Turkey has been affected by, and has produced, diverse forms of migratory movements and refugee flows. The social, economic, demographic and human rights aspects of emerging trends in migration from, to and through Turkey present ever-increasing challenges both for social scientists and policy makers.

The massive rural to urban population movements that started in the 1950s within Turkey have continued on an increasing scale to this day. External migration movement began on a large-scale in the 1960s in the form of labor migration towards Western Europe, later it was augmented by family reunification, followed by temporary contract migration to the Gulf States, and more recently by various forms of commercial migration towards Eastern European and Central Asian countries.

Furthermore, since the early 1990s the country has also been experiencing unexpected new in-flows of migration. In addition to the increasing number of foreign residents, these new population movements include temporary circular migration, transit migratory flows, retired migration, movements of refugees, asylum seekers and diverse forms of irregular migration. As a result, with its changing position in the international migration scene now Turkey has become both a country of emigration and immigration. Because of the civil war in Syria, since 2011 Turkey also started to receive an unprecedented level of mass migration.

It is within such a climate that the İstanbul Bilgi University Center for Migration Research has formulated its mission to strengthen institutional co-ordination among researchers through several networking activities, support new research and joint projects, and produce reliable information based on research findings that can contribute to realistic policy and decision-making processes.

İstanbul Bilgi University Center for Migration Research, as the first migration research center to carry out large scale, multi-dimensional scientific researches, which had started its studies as a unit of the Social, Economic and Political Research Center (TESAR) has completed its foundation process with the promulgation of its statute in the 25811 no. Official Gazette on 10.5.2005.