Geri Anasayfa


Looking for Hope in the Distance: The Migration of Assyrians From Turabdin

The history of humanity is the history of migration. Migration in Turkey also has a long history, affecting the people who migrated and those who have stayed. Research on migration from Turkey frequently concentrates on the economic reasons that caused migration, while research on migrants in the receiving countries considers the social, cultural and religious “problems” that the migrants might have created in their new “homes.” This article focuses on the effects of Assyrian migration from Turkey to Europe, and their return migration to their homelands in Turkey. The Assyrians, who belong to the Orthodox-Christian groups of the Middle East, today live in Mardin and Istanbul in addition to small populations in Antakya, Diyarbakır, and Şırnak in Turkey. The mass migration of non-Muslims from Turkey to Europe, the U.S., and Australia dates back to the 1900s. However, Assyrians had migrated from Turkey in various waves in 1955, 1974, and especially after the coup d'etat in 1980 for various social and political reasons. I conclude that the migration from Turkey, in return, created an upward mobility in education and politics in their homeland, which can be seen in the returnee Assyrians and their families in the past few years. After briefly considering the causes of Assyrian migration, I will particularly focus on the returnees in their traditional homeland in Turabdin (Mardin) in recent years, and examine the socio-psychological effects of migration and return migration. I will also consider the social, cultural, and political contexts which the Assyrians face upon their return. As such, the article will shed light on important aspects of the Assyrian migration and contribute to the studies on Assyrians, which are very much neglected in Turkey.

Turabdin, Assyrians, Migration, Turn Back