Dispersion, Diaspora Identity and Belonging: A Case Study on the Turkish Migrants in Copenhagen

Dispersion, Diaspora Identity and Belonging: A Case Study on the Turkish Migrants in Copenhagen

Can Eminoğlu (Bilkent University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3322-1.ch005
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Turks are one of those migrants living in Europe with constituting majority of the migrants in the country of residence and Denmark is among those countries that opened its doors to Turks since 1960's. In this research, I specifically focus on the diaspora consciousness, relations and belonging of the Turkish migrants in Denmark. In doing that, Copenhagen is chosen as the city for the case study. Focusing on the Turkish diaspora and reflection of the sociological realities in the issue of integration to Denmark is the basis of this research. I use qualitative research method and interviewed with 7 migrants from Turkey in living in Copenhagen while conducting my research applying structured interview method. In this study, I have found out that diaspora identity has a significant role in getting integrated to Denmark. As a result of these, migrant Turkish identity becomes bolder which has a direct affect in the level of integration to Denmark.
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Research Design, Research Questions, and Argument

Although there are a numerous academic researches and studies on the immigrants from Turkey in Western Europe, it is an unfortunate fact that there is an obvious scarcity of academic research on the Turks in Denmark. For that reason, author finds it beneficial to research migrant Turks in Denmark not only to get an analytical knowledge on these people but also to create an academic work that would be able to facilitate, foster and encourage future researches on the same topic.

As a matter of fact, there are multiple sub-branches of integration issue of Turks in Denmark because of the community’s long history of migration to this Nordic Country. Given the cultural features and upbringing together with traditional way of living, it is believed that most of the Turks in Denmark experience some difficulties on integration (Yazgan, 2010).

Hence, the research questions are as follows,

  • 1.

    What is the role of gender in the integration process of migrants from Turkey to Denmark?

  • 2.

    How do the Turkish immigrants perceive of the Danish society, culture of Denmark and attitude of host society towards immigrants from Turkey and how do these attitudes affect migrants in the course of integration?

Although the issue of migrant Turks in Denmark has several aspects, as can be seen clearly from the content of the research questions, I choose to focus on specifically on gender. Having set such purpose helps to get to know more on Turkish Community with an academic perspective by getting into touch with immigrants and learn their experiences from the first hand.

Evidently, one of the most significant phases of the thesis is finding the people as primary sources of data (Booth, Colomb and Williams, 1995). It is an academic requirement to interview target group and discuss, ask, talk, and communicate for understanding the social situation and construct the thesis accordingly. The target group of this research is the immigrants from Turkey living in Copenhagen: Turkish men and women having immigrant background who came Denmark as voluntary migrants, guest workers or political refugees. To be more precise, members of the target group of research necessarily have to be a Turkish originated Danish Citizen or a Turkish citizen having a valid opholdstilladelse (Danish Residence Permit) who have been living in Denmark more than four years.

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