Afghan Journeys to Turkey: Narratives of Travel, Immobility and Transformation

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    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article is an analysis of Afghan migrants’ journeys to Turkey. The journey is defined as a form of narrative constructed by migrants encompassing long periods of immobility punctuated by shorter instances of travel. This conceptualisation of journey helps transcend the dichotomies associated with the journey such as origin and destination. The article first documents the conditions and nature of irregular travel of Afghan migrants to Turkey focusing particularly on the section of travel between Iran and Turkey. It demonstrates that the arrival of most participants to Turkey had been preceded by non-linear travel that involves uncertainty and long periods of immobility. The article then focuses on the role of journeys in the migration process, specifically as a form of narrative and a space for transformation. The construction of narratives on the journey is also important both as a skill and an agentic action that gives meaning to the migration process as a whole. Finally, the transformative potential of the journeys for participants is illustrated both in terms of the impact of the journey on migration decisions in Turkey and the ability to acquire and demonstrate different skills and autonomy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)284-302
    JournalGeopolitics
    Volume21
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2016

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