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International Relations and Migration Management: The Case of Turkey

States often fall out or collaborate over issues to do with international migration whilst migrants through their very actions shape the interdependence of states. Turkey and the EU also frequently argue over migration issues. Over the years, Turkey’s economy grew significantly. It became an attraction and a safe haven to migrants and refugees. In April 2013, a new migration and asylum law came into force that responds to these new challenges. This was followed by the EU-Turkey visa liberalisation and readmission agreements. This contribution sketches some of the issues and notably the wider context to these latest developments.

International Relations and Migration Management The Case of Turkey
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu visits a school for displaced Syrian children in Gaziantep, Turkey. AA
 

International relations (IR) or Foreign Affairs (FA) conventionally focus on state actors, international organizations and international non-governmental organisations, on relations and interactions of these and generally on world politics and the global political system. Traditionally, IR was more about political structures and political issues. However, migration has successively become an issue of international politics1 – there is an increasing body of international law (e.g. Refugee Convention, UN Migrant Workers Convention etc.) and an increasing number of international organizations (UNHCR, IOM, ILO, Global Forum for Migration and Development, ICMPD, Budapest Process etc), that explicitly address international migration. Human agency, however, and the behaviour of people are not normally considered relevant topics in IR.

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