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Cicekli, Bulent (1996) The Legal Reception and Status of Turkish Immigrants in the EU: A Comparative Study of Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Following recruitment agreements in the 1960s, Turkish workers began to emigrate to Western Europe on a scale never experienced before. Over time, temporary labour recruitment has turned into permanent settlement of whole communities as a result of such factors as recruitment stops, continued immigration and especially family reunification and family formation. More recently, the growth of a second and even third generation of young Turks born and brought up in the receiving countries has raised a number of new legal issues which are now beginning to be studied in depth. Turkish worker migration in Europe has turned out to be a highly complex human phenomenon with a wide range of socio-cultural, psychological, political and legal consequences. The present study evaluates how the legal reception and status of Turkish migrants is reflected in three different national systems of immigration control in Europe, those of Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. The thesis seeks to test if and to what extent the legal systems of these three countries have differed in their response to the presence of Turkish immigrants, and which variables have been most effective in the legal reception and treatment of Turkish immigrants in these countries. The thesis first draws a comprehensive picture of Turkish migration to Europe. Secondly, it provides a brief analysis of the legal position of Turkish migrants within the context of EU and international law, having particular regard to the Ankara Association Agreement of 1963 and subsequent developments under EU law. The second part of the thesis comprises a detailed analysis of the national immigration regimes of the three countries, taking into account the international and EU dimensions. Coverage of the legal reception of Turkish immigrants is followed by discussion of central issues relating to the employment of Turkish migrant workers and the self-employment of Turkish migrants. Further, the legal response of the three countries towards Turkish family migration is discussed, having both regard to family reunification and family formation rights of Turkish residents. In the conclusion, a comparison of the regulatory framework in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK has been provided. Turkish migrants to European countries clearly experience different legal reactions, from open welcome, albeit as guestworkers, to hostile rejection as the unwanted and alien 'other'. Turks, as immigrants, are targeted everywhere by the immigration systems, but in varying degrees. The thesis demonstrates that the absolute and relative size of the Turkish immigrant population to the native population and to other immigrant groups in each country, as well as their perception of being a threat for the immigration systems, gives rise to particular responses to Turkish immigrants. The legal reception and status of Turkish immigrants have further been influenced by the cultural distance of Turkish immigrants from the receiving country or other immigrant groups. While this approach has been modified to some extent by the unique development of each national immigration system and the continuing need for immigrant workers, as well as the necessity for international mobility, Turkish immigrants and their descendants in the EU have been allocated legal positions of marginality, despite the protective frameworks of international and EU laws.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:19

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