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The History of the Family

For a Special Issue on

Turkish Families Settling in Europe: Social History Beyond Half a Century

Manuscript deadline
15 October 2024

Cover image - The History of the Family

Special Issue Editor(s)

Dr. Murat Arpacı, HFBK
[email protected]

Dr. Akın Bakioğlu, Erzincan University
[email protected]

Dr. Bekir Düzcan, Utrecht University (contact person / responsible guest-editor)
[email protected]

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Turkish Families Settling in Europe: Social History Beyond Half a Century

Western European countries including Germany, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Italy, and the UK, have strong Turkish communities due to various reasons. Planned repatriation of Turkish workers who were employed under 'temporary' arrangements, and had spread to other Western European countries, was set forth by Germany (1961), the Netherlands (1964), and France (1965). However, this domicile rotation idea was unsuccessful, leading migrants to settle and establish families, and also social networks (Ohliger, 2008: 4-5). Turkish workers establishing a permanent life in these countries enabled them to bring their spouses or children to across, resulting in a rapid increase in the number of Turkish families living in Europe. Due to the absence of a mature integration concept and discrimination, the first Turkish communities have always been remembered as those who suffered the most, indicating a rather isolated Turkish family life. They became the subject of various studies, being referred to as the 'First Generation Immigrants.'  For instance, according to a study conducted in Germany, 77% of Turkish migrant families from the first generation had no contact with any German families (Abadan-Unat, 2006: 144).

Thus, the invitation for Turkish workers to bring their families across from Turkey to European countries, or to invite someone from Turkey for marriage and therefore to live in Europe, created a new migrant group called the 'Second and Third Generation Immigrants' born in Europe (Ali-Fokkema, 2015 ; Baysu et all, 2018). In contrast to the first generation, the following generations received education in Europe, learned local languages, had a somewhat higher educational level, were able to get other jobs outside of the working class, could interact more with local culture, and even created multi-lingual families. With the new generations, Turkish families began to interact more with the society they lived in, moving away from the concept of working-class families, while European countries partially started to give more importance to integration policies.

In the 1960s, among the first migrants from Turkey to Europe were political refugees (Öğüt, 2018), but particularly after the 1980 military coup, Kurdish/Alevi/Political, etc. communities also began to create strong diasporas in Europe. The group referred to as Politically Asylum-Seeking Immigrants encompasses a diversity of ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds. However, in terms of immigrant families relocated from Turkey to Europe through family reunification, these form a significant presence. Some within this group do not identify themselves as 'Turks' and have Kurdish/Zazaki, etc., as their mother tongues rather than the Turkish language.

Since the 2000s and particularly in the post-2010 era, Turkey has become increasingly authoritarian, which has led to a migration known as the 'New Wave Immigrants' to Western European countries (Turkmen, 2019; Inal Cekic, 2023 and Oldac-Fancourt, 2021). Highly skilled Turkish individuals, such as doctors, engineers, academics, software developers, and artists are migrating to Western European countries. This trend is motivated by a combination of factors including the deteriorating political climate in Turkey, economic instability, and concerns over personal freedoms and human rights. What inspires this new migratory wave is quite different from the motivation of the working class migrating to Europe to find jobs. While the older generation of migrants generally refers to a working-class population which moved to Europe from various cities in Anatolia through family-kinship networks, the new wave expatriates typically denote middle-class families coming from major cities in Turkey (such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, etc.). New Wave migrants, despite the extensive family-kinship networks and intense interaction with religious civil society organizations of the older generation migrants, migrate to Europe as more nuclear families and create social networks primarily through family groups on digital media (Facebook, WhatsApp groups, etc.), alumni associations, or professional networks.

Turkish-origin families settled in Europe have a very broad spectrum and different diasporic dynamics. Addressing this diversity within the social history context of the family(ies) alongside fresh migration waves will contribute to the emergence of new and interesting perspectives.

As a result, it is necessary to examine the social and historical transformations, ruptures, conflicts, solidarities, and collaborations of Turkish families in Europe that span over 60 years in a comparative manner. The social/cultural history of the family can be one of the effective ways to lead this comparison to a deep and historical analysis.

This CFP appeals to a broad audience interested in historical studies related to Turkish families in Western European countries (such as Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, etc.). It encourages researchers to contemplate the history of Turkish families in Europe and focus on the potential impact of this fresh phenomenon on the future of Europe. Additionally, its aim is to create a platform that gathers distinguished qualitative and quantitative studies conducted on this subject in different countries.

Below, some suggested topic headings related to the proposed CFP are provided, but different topics are also welcome.

  • The First Generation of Turkish Families in Europe
  • The Second/Third Generation of Turkish Families in Europe
  • Political Immigrant Families Coming From Turkey
  • Multilingual and Multiethnical Turkish Families in Europe
  • Turkish New Wave Immigrant Families in Europe
  • The Historical Practices of Family Celebrations (circumcision, engagement, wedding, funeral, etc.)
  • Female Members of Turkish Immigrant Families in Europe
  • LGBTQ Members of Turkish Immigrant Families in Europe
  • The History of Children Among Turkish Immigrant Families
  • Turkish Family Issues in Europe (divorce, adoption, family reunification etc.)
  • The Different Historical Dynamics of Turkish Immigrants in Europe
  • The Social/Cultural History of Turkish Families in Europe
  • The Social/Economical or Cultural Transformations of Turkish Families in Europe
  • Changing European Policies on Turkish Immigrant Families

Submission Instructions

Abstract submission deadline: 3 May 2024

To be considered, please send an abstract (400-500 words) along with a brief biographical note to one of the editors.

Informing authors about selected abstracts: 15 May 2024

Deadline full papers send to guest-editors: 15 October 2024 (between 7,000- 10,000 words)


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