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Educational and Cultural Experiences of Migrant Meskhetian Turkic Students in Turkish School Settings

The study aims to provide insights into Turkish national education policies toward immigrant communities based on the experiences of Meskhetian Turkic high school students who migrated to Turkey. The study was done qualitatively and carried out via in-depth interviews with 10 Meskhetian Turkic students attending 12th grade at various high schools in İstanbul. According to the findings of the research, students sometimes felt discriminated against and had difficulty expressing themselves because they did not know the local language. Participants perceived teachers as having an inclusive attitude but commented that they could not get enough support from the guidance service. Meskhetian students stated that they needed to be better supported financially and believe that they should be included in the school activity calendar and cultural studies to promote their culture. Educational policymakers should be aware that ensuring positive educational experiences for historically interconnected communities like Meskhetians will help future economic, social, and political cooperation.

Educational and Cultural Experiences of Migrant Meskhetian Turkic Students in
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan makes a speech at the ‘Commemoration of Meskhetian Turks: 75 Years of Exile’ program in Ankara, Turkey, on December 10, 2019. AA
 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Migration is the movement of individuals or communities from their settlements of origin across borders or within the state in which they live. In migratory population movements, individuals are displaced for various yet significant amounts of time, through the involvement of different structural factors, and for different reasons.2 People migrate from one place to another, either compulsorily or voluntarily, for reasons such as war, epidemics, natural disasters, economic problems, or the search for better living conditions, jobs, or educational opportunities. It can be modern or primitive, forced or free, small-scale or massive.3

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