“The Iraqi Refugees in the Past, Present and Future” Conference

December 13, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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 “The Iraqi Refugees in the Past, Present and Future” Conference HeldThe conference entitled as “The Iraqi Refugees in the Past, Present and Future” which was organized with the cooperation between ORSAM and Galatasaray University was held on December 8, 2010 in Galatasaray University. In the conference presided by the Prof. Dr. Kemal Kirişçi from Boğaziçi University, Dr. Didem Danış from Galatasaray University, ORSAM Middle Eastern Adviser Serhat Erkmen and ORSAM Middle Eastern Specialist Bilgay Duman participated in the conference to deliver a speech. Among the highly interested audience, Retired Ambassador Sönmez Köksal and some authorities from various non-governmental organizations, primarily from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have participated in the conference.

Additionally, in the meeting Assoc. Dr. Füsun Türkmen from Galatasaray University delivered an opening speech.

The first speaker in the meeting was Serhat Erkmen. Having told generally the political developments after 2003 in Iraq, Erkmen stated how these developments triggered the migration in Iraq. Underlining that the disintegration having emerged after 2003 did not only raise the emigration, but also it caused some results related to internal migration, he stressed that some possible events in the problematic areas called as “controversial areas” may cause new migration waves and stated that Turkey may be affected by them in a negative way.

The next speaker getting the floor, Bilgay Duman carried out a more specific presentation and informed the audience about the Turkmen migration towards Turkey and about the situation of Turkmens living in Turkey. Emphasizing that the Turkmen migration towards Turkey have carried on since the foundation of Iraq, Duman said that during this process various political, social and economic reasons accelerated the Turkmen migration towards Turkey and that some specific reasons such as religion, language, kinship, conveniences towards Turk-originated people in Turkey, the influence of Turkmen’s relatives from Turkey resulted in making Turkey the first destination in the migration of Turkmen people. “On the other hand, the Turkmen’s migration towards Turkey had been individual until 1990s, however after 1990 some mass migrations have taken place.” said Duman. Having stated that for the present time the Turkmen migration towards Turkey have continued, Duman indicated that there has been a significant Turkmen existence in Turkey and that they have become a part of Turkey.

The last speaker taking the floor, Didem Danış talked in general about the reasons of the migration in Iraq and told the situation of the external and internal migrations in Iraq. Danış divided the migration in Iraq into three periods and defined these periods as the period before 2003, between 2003 and 2006 and after 2007. Underlining that between 1991and 2003, Iran let in millions of Iraqis, but passed this mission on Syria and Jordan after 2003, Danış stated that while about 2 millions of Iraqi have taken shelter in the neighboring Arab countries escaping from the violence and conflict atmosphere, the amount of Iraqi in Turkey was considerably low. Evaluating also the affects of the migration from Iraq, Danış mentioned the most important result of that as the extinction of the religious and ethnic diversity in Iraq and another result of that situation as the fragmentation in social terms. Finally, Danış stated the most severe result of the migration in Iraq as the loss of the grown man force in Iraq and said that this situation would be the most problematic factor in the reconstruction process of Iraq.

 December 13 2010

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