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Istanbul, Turkey March 29-31, 2001

Report of the seminar on
Migration and Development:
Focus on Turkey
March 29-31, 2001
Philip Martin, Elizabeth Midgley, Michael Teitelbaum
July 15, 2002


The ninth Migration Dialogue seminar was held March 29-31, 2001 in Istanbul, Turkey. Migration Dialogue seminars provide an opportunity for 40 to 45 opinion leaders to discuss in an intensive and off-the-record setting the major immigration and integration issues facing emigration, transit, and immigration countries.

This report was prepared after the seminar for participants and others interested in migration and development issues. It has not been approved by participants, and thus should not be considered a consensus document. An agenda and list of participants are attached.

The major issues discussed included:
* The Turkish government has been engaged since the 1920's in a modernization effort. In the 1960s, the government began to promote the export of surplus labor, in the hope that sending workers abroad from less-developed parts of the country would bring the remittances and returned workers with skills acquired abroad needed for modernization. Among the governments of labor-exporting countries, Turkey's has been unique in its high hopes for recruitment, remittances, and returns: they were expected to bring about a transformation of the country. These high expectations help to explain widespread frustration with migration's actual effects in Turkey.
* The Turkish government's current number-one goal is full membership in the EU. Ankara stresses that the EU should embrace full Turkish membership (1) because of the country's strategic position between Europe and Asia and (2) to send a signal to other Muslim societies, such as those of North Africa, that the EU will include Muslim societies that are secular and democratic.
* There are about 3.5 million Turks living abroad. Of these, 3 million are in Europe, and 70 percent are in Germany. Many Europeans fear that Turkish EU membership would lead to another wave of migration; estimates are that 20 to 30 percent of Turkish youth would emigrate to seek higher wages in Europe if they could do so. Turkey hopes that admission to the EU will bring EU assistance and foreign direct investment that creates jobs and pushes up wages in Turkey, thus making migration insignificant.
* Turkey is an emigration, transit and immigration country. There are 3 to 4 million Turks abroad, 3 to 4 million foreigners living in Turkey (perhaps half Iranians), and tens of thousands who move through Turkey to Europe. Turkey is revising its asylum law in a manner that will allow persons fleeing persecution outside Europe to be considered refugees in Turkey, and to establish for the first time a support system for refugees.

Participants generally agreed that:
* There is a sharp contrast between the role of migration in the efforts of Mexico and Turkey to integrate with larger economies nearby. In both cases, migration came before liberalization of trade, during eras in which governments pursued since-abandoned state-led industrialization policies. Mexico-US migration probably expedited the acceptance of NAFTA in the US. NAFTA proponents promised that freer trade would prevent Mexican immigration from becoming even greater in the future. Turkey-EU migration has been reduced to 50,000-70,000 a year from 200,000 a year in the early 1970s, and fears of restarting migration flows are one reason why the EU has been slow to begin negotiations for Turkey's EU entry.
* Most of the Turkish and Mexican migrants were and are unskilled workers from rural areas, and popular perceptions of Turkey in the EU and Mexico in the US have thus been shaped by interactions with such workers and their families. In Europe, "unskilled Turks" are believed to have played an important role in creating attitudes that slow EU entry, and Turkish elites sometimes imply that they sympathize with Europeans trying to deal with Anatolian peasants. It is in this sense that several speakers asserted that Turkish labor migration was a lose-lose proposition—Europe got unskilled Turks that have proved difficult to integrate, and the presence of Turkish migrants in the EU makes it harder for Turkey to win full EU membership. North American reactions to Mexican immigrants, on the other hand, have not hurt NAFTA in the US Congress.
* Mexican economic integration with the US has proceeded much faster than Turkish economic integration with the EU. Mexico proposed NAFTA in 1990, and the treaty went into effect less than four years later, on January 1, 1994. Turkey has been discussing integration with the EC/EU since the 1963 Ankara Agreement, but negotiations on Turkey's entry into the EU have not yet begun. Membership in the EU entails far more rights and responsibilities than does NAFTA membership. The Turkish government does not believe that the Mexican experience holds many lessons for its efforts to join the EU.
* History plays a large role in Turkish attitudes toward Europe. The dissolution of the Ottoman empire left an impression on Turks that persists to this day. Several speakers noted that never-implemented plans to divide Turkey after World War I, and the forced return of many Turks from former Ottoman territories, makes the Turkish government suspect that outsiders are trying to take advantage of Turks.
Turkey's Economy and Labor Market
Turkey, a country of 67 million people, has the world's 25th largest economy, generating goods and services worth $200 billion a year, $3,000 per capita. About 17 percent of Turkish GDP is from agriculture, 25 percent from manufacturing and 58 percent from services. Employment is divided as follows: agriculture, 45 percent, manufacturing 15 percent, and services 40 percent.

Turkey has had uneven economic growth. For example, the Turkish economy shrank by six percent in 1994, expanded by seven to eight percent a year between 1995 and 1997, and shrank by five percent in 1999--the 1999 recession was due in part to an August 17, 1999 earthquake that killed 17,000 Turks and left 500,000 people homeless.

In December 2000, the stock market plunged and interest rates rose after there were fears of widespread bank failures. Many of the failed banks were public banks run by or with close connections to political leaders; some made unsecured loans resulting in losses of $20 to $30 billion, fueling allegations of corruption. On February 22, 2001, when the president accused the prime minister of not doing enough to pursue corruption allegations, there was another panic that led to a 18 percent one-day fall in the stock market; the Turkish lira dropped 30 percent, to 1 million lira to $1. Turkey agreed to additional economic reforms in order to obtain additional IMF support.

Turkey has a very high inflation rate, due in part to losses incurred by state enterprises and deficits in the social security system. These deficits are financed by internal and external borrowing, which pushes up real interest rates and drives down the Turkish lira. Turkey usually runs balance of trade deficits—there was a $10 billion deficit on goods trade in 1999—offset in part by a surplus in services exports (the tourism surplus was $5 billion in 1999 and the contracting surplus $1.2 billion). Workers' remittances were $4.5 billion in 1999, making labor exports about as important as tourism as a source of foreign exchange.

Financial uncertainty is only one of many factors that put Turkey on a knife edge. The image of Turkey teetering on a bridge between Europe and Asia helps to explain the uncertainty over Turkish EU entry in both Turkey and EU nations. For example, what priority should Turkey place on EU entry, especially if EU membership requires changes in areas that Turkey feels outsiders do not understand, including the rights of the Kurdish minority and the present division of Cyprus into Turkish- and Greek-dominated areas?

Labor Market. There are 47 million Turks of working age, defined as persons 12 years or older. Half, 23 million, are in the labor force, including nine million women—Turkey has a relatively low labor force participation rate. About half of Turkish workers are in formal jobs (covered by social security) and 45 percent are employed in agriculture—most Turkish women in the labor force are unpaid family workers in agriculture. The 11 million Turks employed in agriculture have lower than average wages. The official unemployment rate is seven percent, and another seven percent of Turks in the work force are considered underemployed. Unemployment Insurance, enacted in 1998-99, covers only the half of the work force in the formal sector.

Two sectors—public employment and agriculture—need significant reforms. About 30 percent of Turkish workers are public employees. Turkey has many State Economic Enterprises (SEE), public-sector companies that produce textiles, food products, iron and steel, petrochemicals, tobacco and electricity. Many SEEs are overstaffed and lose money. Turkey is under pressure from the World Bank and the IMF to privatize SEEs, but privatization has been slowed by union and popular opposition to layoffs, and by corruption--some past privatization efforts were marked by sweetheart deals with insiders or busniess people connected to politicians.

Turkish agriculture, traditionally dominated by grains and sheep, contains many small units—70 percent of farms are less than 1.5 hectares or four acres. At the other end of the size spectrum, a handful of very large units take advantage of irrigation to produce high-value fruits and nuts, especially in the Harran Plain below the Ataturk dam in the southeast—the dam is expected to irrigate 1.8 million hectares. To subsidize small farmers, the government offers higher-than-world prices for some crops; such subsidy schemes mostly benefit the largest producers. Agricultural subsidies were 7.5 percent of GDP in 1997.
Migration and the EU
The 3.5 million Turks abroad in 1998 were equivalent to five percent of Turkish residents, and the 1.3 million Turkish workers abroad in 1998 were equivalent to six percent of Turkish workers. Remittances peaked at $5.4 billion in 1998 and were $4.5 billion in 1999.

Turkish labor migration began in the early 1960s. Much of the literature evaluating this migration has a negative flavor because expectations in Turkey as well as in Western European host countries were not fulfilled. Germany, France, and Belgium wound up with significant immigrant populations rather than workers who went home after a year or two. Nor did Turkey get what it wanted: an economic take-off toward developed country status from the recruitment, remittances, and return of migrant workers.

Organized Turkish labor migration began with an October 1961 agreement between Turkey and Germany. The annual exit of migrants rose to 66,000 in 1964, 130,000 in 1970, and peaked at 136,000 in 1973. Between 1961 and 1975, about 805,000 Turks were sent abroad through the Turkish Employment Service; other Turks emigrated as tourists and then went to work. When labor recruitment was stopped in 1973, there were 1 million Turks on waiting lists maintained by TES to go abroad for jobs. It is estimated that 1.5 to 2 million Turks went abroad for employment between 1961 and 1973, equivalent to 10 to 12 percent of Turkey's 1970 work force and 40 percent of Turkish men aged 20-39 in the Turkish work force in 1970.

The government promoted worker emigration and anticipated eventual free access to the European labor market. The September 1963 Ankara Association Agreement and the Additional Protocol of 1973 promised a steady reciprocal lowering of EC tariff and eventually migration barriers, with Turks having "free access" to the European labor market by December 1986. However, the Ankara Agreement was not implemented. In December 1976, Turkey announced that it could not decrease its trade barriers in 1977 and 1978 as scheduled, and in January 1982 the European Parliament persuaded the EC Commission to suspend negotiations over closer EC-Turkish relations.

EU Membership. On April 14, 1987, Turkey applied for EC membership. On December 18, 1989, the EC Commission rebuffed Turkey's application. The EU cited several factors that made Turkey not ready for EU membership, including its lack of adherence to basic human rights conventions and the gap between the Turkish and EU economies. In 1996, a Turkish-EU customs union went into effect that had a limited NAFTA-like impact of increasing foreign investment in Turkey-- foreign companies wanting to use low-cost Turkish labor to manufacture products such as autos for European markets invested in the country. However, imports also increased as a result of lower tariffs, reducing profits and employment in other Turkish industries.

Turkey is struggling with several chicken-egg problems related to EU entry. The EU wants Turkey to abolish the death penalty and increase respect for human rights, which Turkey believes it can do only after terrorism is eliminated. Similarly, the EU wants Turkey to restructure its economy before entry negotiations begin. Ankara argues that there will be more foreign investment (currently foreign direct investment or FDI is about $1 billion a year, verus $30 to $40 billion a year to Mexico) and thus less restructuring pain if the EU makes a definite commitment to admit Turkey before workers are displaced from agriculture and SEEs. Turkey tends to have weak coalition governments, so higher unemployment could produce political protests that bring down the coalition government.

In December 1999, EU leaders put Turkey on a list of countries eligible for future EU entry, but announced that political and economic reforms were required before accession negotiations could begin. In November 2000 the EU issued an Accession Partnership Document (APD) with a list of issues Turkey must deal with before negotiations can begin, including guaranteeing minority rights, reducing torture and the role of the military in politics, and supporting efforts to find a solution to the division of Cyprus.

Turkey's cabinet in March 2001 approved a 1000-page response to the EU's APD, the National Program for Adoption of the Acquis, that would result in the enactment of 89 new laws and amendments to 94 others in order to, inter alia, "improve Turkey's human rights record, combat the torture of prisoners, enhance women's rights and bring the country's inflation-prone economy up to European standards." For Turkey's government, EU entry is the number-one priority, and Turkey is promising major economic and political reforms to prepare the way for entry negotiations. Opinion polls suggest that a majority of Turks support EU membership, some 60-65 percent in March 2001.

If admitted, Turkey would be the most populous EU country within a generation. Germany is projected to have 80 million residents in 2025, and Turkey 88 million. Turkey would have the largest land area in the EU, about 300,000 square miles,50 percent larger than France.

Ankara hopes that EU aid and investment can create jobs for displaced workers and new labor force entrants. If this strategy failed, and Turkey entered the EU with immediate freedom of movement, there would almost certainly be large scale emigration. Turkey has one of the fastest population growth rates in Europe, about 1.5 percent or 1 million a year, and a labor force of 31 million that is growing by almost 3 percent or 900,000 a year. Doubt that Turkey can meet this job creation challenge lie at the root of some of the European fears surrounding Turkish entry into the EU. The Turkish government is explicit that "we do not want to overwhelm Europe with unskilled Turkish workers," but at the same time takes the position that full EU membership cannot be divorced from freedom of movement.

After Turkey applied for EU entry in 1987, there was an effort to project probable emigration if Turkey were to join the EU and Turks gained freedom of movement rights in 2005 or 2010. The opinions of key informants in Turkey and EU nations was that there would be an initial wave of Turks testing EU labor markets as soon as they could—25 to 35 percent of the 20-29 year old men were expected to seek jobs abroad-- followed by a level of labor migration that depended on the evolution of European labor markets. If there were jobs available in Europe at high wages, Turks would stay and more might come. If not, Turkish migration would be expected to wane.

Turkish experts who projected low levels of migration (20 percent or less of 20-29 year olds would emigrate to see if they could find jobs outside Turkey) emphasized that Turkey was growing fast and that the jobs filled by Turks in Europe were difficult, dirty, and dangerous, living outside Turkey was expensive, and there was discrimination against Turks. Those who predicted high levels of emigration (50 percent or more of 20-29 year olds would emigrate) noted that:
* there is significant east-west migration within Turkey that could become international migration since internal migrants often have friends and relatives abroad;
* 1960s-1970s migrants who are settled abroad are seen as economic successes by potential migrants in Turkey, as they return with cars and money for better housing; and
* there is little prospect that enough formal sector jobs will be created for new labor force entrants, especially for young women in urban areas who now have very low labor force participation rates, and there is less room to absorb additional workers in agriculture.

Thus, most Turkish key informants projected an initial wave of emigration larger than that of the 1960s-1970s. However, this migration hump was expected to be short-lived, because most European countries in the late 1980s projected fewer job openings for unskilled migrants. If the number of jobs for unskilled workers shrank as projected in most European countries, and if most Turkish migrants were unskilled, then migration to test the waters would be followed by far less migration, that is, it would appear as a migration hump.

During the 1990s, there was little opportunity for Turks to migrate for employment to Europe, but they could migrate for employment to Russia and the Middle East. In 1998, some 600,000 Turks were on waiting lists maintained by the Turkish Employment Service for overseas jobs; the TES sent 17,000 workers abroad in 1999, 26,000 in 1998, and 33,000 in 1997, down sharply from 60,000 a year in 1994-95. The drop was due to the decline in the number of migrants sent to the ex-USSR, for example, 42,000 sent in 1994 and 7,000 in 1999.

Turkey has begun developing policies for migrants abroad. Two commissions were created on February 16, 1998 to deal with migrant issues: a Supreme Committee for Nationals Living Abroad chaired by the Prime Minister, and a Coordinating Committee for Nationals Living Abroad, which includes representatives of Turks in 12 foreign countries. Turkey in 1995 made it easier for overseas Turks to naturalize abroad by creating a "special foreign nationality" symbolized by a pink card for Turks who give up their Turkish citizenship, but want to preserve their right to buy and inherit land in Turkey. Also in 1995, Turks under age 20 were permitted to give up Turkish citizenship without fulfilling their Turkish military obligations.
Migration and Development
Turkey's May 27, 1960 constitution guaranteed Turks the right to a passport and travel abroad, and the Turkish government in the 1960s embraced exporting surplus labor as the best way to relieve un- and under-employment, especially in agricultural areas, where almost half of the population lived. The government played a significant role in 1960s labor migration, designating certain areas as priority areas for recruitment. Turkey sought to maximize and channel remittances with a variety of programs and policies that ranged from allowing tariff-free imports if returning migrants converted their foreign currency DM savings into lira and establishing Turkish Workers Companies to channel savings into job-creating factories in the migrants' areas of origin.

Turkey has been trying to modernize in a top-down fashion since Ataturk came to power in 1923, and migration was seen by the government as a way to export surplus labor and accelerate modernization. Migration did accelerate modernization, but not always in anticipated ways. It was very hard in the 1960s and 1970s to create small businesses, or to establish businesses that relied on foreign capital or foreign partners. Turkey during these years had high tariff walls, an overvalued exchange rate, and a preference for state-run businesses, which encouraged migrants returning with savings of $2,000 to $5,000 to buy land or animals if they returned to farm, or to build better houses, buy vehicles to provide taxi or transport services, or to buy land and housing as investments.

The reasons for the failure of labor migration to transform Turkey lay as much in the economic policies of the government that made it hard to establish small businesses as in problems inherent in migration. Migration under a different set of economic policies might well have produced many of the new businesses and jobs desired by Turkey.

Turkey today has a relatively low-wage and low-productivity economy in which workers are moving from agriculture to seek non-farm jobs. The Turkish government wants to continue the economic reforms launched on January 24, 1980, that is, to reform and restructure agriculture, the state-owned SEEs, the pension system, and the banking system. Several speakers argued that, if Turkey is to be modernized, the government must fundamentally change its approach, introducing bottom-up democracy rather than using the traditional top-down approach. Turkey estimates that it needs 15 billion Euro to make needed structural adjustments, but has been promised only 3 billion by the EU. Turkey expects less regional and transitional aid than was received by Portugal and Spain before those countries were fully integrated into the EU.
Immigration, Refugees and Transit Migrants
Turkey is both a country of immigration and of transit. There are about 3.5 million foreigners in Turkey, half Iof themIranians. In 1998, for the first time, the number of foreign workers officially entering Turkey was the same as the number of Turks going abroad for employment, about 25,000. Migrants from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan go through Turkey, which does not have readmission agreements with EU-member states for constitutional reasons, and thus does not accept the return of migrants who travel through Turkey en route to Europe.

Many of the foreigners in Turkey are unauthorized. Apprehensions have increased rapidly in the 1990s, from 3,600 in 1995 to 65,600 in 2000. The police reportedly do not try very hard to apprehend unauthorized foreigners because police agencies bear the cost of detaining them. In some cases, organized criminals pay off police, who then do not search out or detain unauthorized foreigners who are being smuggled to other countries. There are three main types of smugglers—PKK sympathizers, international syndicates capable of moving large numbers of migrants by ship, and local, smaller and often opportunistic smugglers.

Turkey's current immigration policies are shaped by a 1937 law that permits only persons of ethnic Turkish origin to immigrate. Others are explicitly excluded. Turkey accepted and provided support to some two million ethnic Turkish immigrants between 1923 and 1971, and again in 1989 when there was an influx of ethnic Turks from Bulgaria.

Turkey's asylum regulations were revised in 1994 to require foreigners to apply for asylum within five days of entry or be subject to deportation. Between 1994 and 2000, Turkish data suggest that some 20,000 foreigners—including 11,000 Iranians—applied for asylum in Turkey, and 7,300 (including 5,000 Iranians) were accepted as refugees. Some 3,700 applications were rejected, and 8,000 are pending—most rejected asylum seekers are not removed from Turkey. UNHCR data for the same years report 31,000 asylum applications, 11,000 acceptances and 18,000 rejections. Under Turkish law, anyone can appeal a government decision to the Council of State. At least one rejected asylum applicant did so, and the Interior Ministry's rejection of his asylum application was overturned.

Under pressure from the EU, Turkey is developing a system of reception centers for asylum applicants, and is planning to more closely adhere to UNHCR policies of interviewing applicants to determine if they qualify for refugee status. Some fear that this effort to bring Turkish practice into conformity with UNHCR policies may be bad for people in need of refuge, as Turkey may not provide informal TPS to foreigners in need of protection who do not qualify for asylum, something it often does now. Illegal immigration may also increase, as Iranians and Moldavians going to western Europe through Turkish airports may be forced to travel illegally to and through Turkey rather than legally.

After the 1991 Gulf War, Turkey refused to permit the entry of Kurds from Northern Iraq fleeing the Iraqi military for security reasons (Turkey feared they would include PKK sympathizers), which led to an internationally protected safe zone in Northern Iraq (humanitarian intervention).

Field Trip
German Consulate
Germany is the major foreign destination of Turks. About 50,000 Turks a year emigrate, usually to join their families in Germany and another 10,000 a year apply for asylum in Germamy.

The Istanbul consulate is the third largest in the German foreign service, issuing 102,000 visas in 2000 (the German consulate in Ankara issued 70,000). Most of these visas were issued for business visits—about 60,000, and most were issued within 48 hours of the application. Another 40,000 visa requests are for tourism or family visas, which cost DM40 for 30-day visits or DM60 for 90 days. The overall approval rate for visa applications is about 92 percent, but about 25,000 potential applicants a year are advised to return with better documentation of their jobs in and ties to Turkey and thus do not show up in rejection data.

Most decisions on applications for business or tourist visas are based on a review of documents submitted in support of the application—most applicants are not interviewed in person. Germany accepts photos of women on visa applications wearing head scarves; France does not.

Only 9,350 of the German visas issued in Istanbul in 2000 were for immigration, and they generally involved Turkish spouses and children (1,200 in 2000) moving to Germany to join a spouse/parent established abroad. The procedure is for a Turk to apply for a family unification visa in Turkey, which prompts the German consulate in Istanbul to request documents from the appropriate aliens authority in Germany in a process that takes 6 to 8 weeks. If the visa application is rejected, the applicant can hire a lawyer in Germany and appeal the denial—about 20 percent of the 1,000 rejected applications for immigration visas each year are appealed.

Several issues discussed:
* German law gives consular offices a great deal of discretion about who should receive an immigration visa. For example, when considering a family unification visa application, German consular officers may decide that it is best for a 16-year old who has been raised by grandparents in Turkey to stay in Turkey.
* The desire of many Turks to emigrate has given rise to migration via marriage, which prompts German and other EU nations to scrutinize requests for visas for Turks in Turkey who marry Turks or others settled abroad. Many of these marriages are believed to be marriages of convenience. Neither Germany nor Turkey recognizes so-called imam marriages, civil marriages that can be regarded as legal after four years.
* German consulate staff are responsible for checking that asylum seekers returned from Germany to Turkey are not tortured in Turkey.

Many Europeans, and especially many Germans, are somewhat wary of more Turkish immigration because of difficulty integrating current Turkish residents. For example, several speakers noted the high unemployment rate among Turks in Germany—over 20 percent—and the relatively low rate at which second and third generation Turks earn certificates in an occupation.

Kadikoy is a banana-shaped municipality on the Asian side of Istanbul; most residents work in other parts of Istanbul. Kadikoy is one of only three of the 28 municipalities in Istanbul with elected mayors who are not affiliated with the fundamentalist-oriented Virtue party, the successor to the banned Welfare Party (the governor of Istanbul is appointed by the federal government in Ankara).

Istanbul has grown rapidly, from 1.5 million residents in 1955 to 10 to 12 million in 2001, due to rural-urban migration as well as migration to Istanbul from other Turkish cities. Istanbul is unusual in that many non-Muslims left as Muslims arrived from elsewhere in Turkey: in 1990, only 40 percent of Istanbul residents, and 20 percent of heads of households in Istanbul, were born in the city. Some of the migration from the southeast to Istanbul resulted from efforts to escape fighting between PKK sympathizers seeking an independent Kurdistan and government troops.

Kadikoy is a bedroom community on the Asian side of Istanbul that also has shanty towns near the E-5 highway that links Europe and Asia. The residents of these shantytowns (gecekondu or night landed, implying that housing that is built overnight is generally allowed to stay) often remain linked to their villages of origin by a variety of networks, sending family members back to the village in times of recession.

In 1994, Kadikoy launched the first of four family assistance centers to help women who had migrated with their families to shantytowns; the municipality provided the buildings, and instruction and services are provided by volunteers, generally women from the more affluent waterfront sections of Kadikoy. The family assistance centers are aimed at helping illiterate women to achieve basic literacy and the skills needed to improve their self-esteem, earnings, and prospects for self-employment.

About 600 women a year participate because they want to learn and because they receive a completion card that entitles them various forms of municipal and voluntary services, including health care for themselves and their children, second-hand clothes and school uniforms, and basic foods such as milk and eggs. The women learn or refine cooking skills as well as computer, handicraft, and other skills during the 12 months they are enrolled.

Workers in Kadikoy typically earn an average of 150 million lira ($150) a month, just above Turkey's minimum wage. Living costs are high—rent is often 90-120 million lira a month. Many of the men who migrate to Kadikoy with few skills earn 10 million lira a day for construction and similar work--when they can find jobs.

APS Textile
APS Textile is a 550-employee sewing factory established in 1982 that had sales in 2000 of $33 million. The company's major products are skirts and pants produced primarily with Turkish cotton for firms such as Banana Republic and Liz Clairborne; the price of garments leaving the factory is $12 to $25. APS employees—whose average age is 28-- are guaranteed Turkey's minimum wage of about $140 a month, but most work under piece rate wages and earn $200 to $400 a month. The factory can produce 100,000 pairs of pants a month, and has the capacity to produce another 350,000 pairs a month by using a network of 15 to 20 subcontractors that have 80 to 150 employees each.

APS says that Turkish entry into the EU would not have a significant effect on the company. Instead, APS stressed the problems associated with US textile quotas—these quotas have encouraged APS to establish partnerships with producers in Bulgaria and Ukraine as much for access to the US market as for the lower wages there.
Education and Human Rights
Education is compulsory for children aged eight to 14; until 1998, only five years of schooling was compulsory, and most of Turkey's 30,000 villages had schools that offered five years of instruction. After eight years of schooling, about two-thirds of children seek jobs, and one-third continue studying. Many of the children under 14 seen working are considered by their parents to be "apprentices" learning an occupation. Most schools require uniforms that cost $75, and parents are expected to pay another $75 for textbooks. Turkey has 525,000 teachers, and class sizes average 64— teachers earn $300 a month or $3,000 a year.

Government expenditure on education is equivalent to 10 percent of the GNP; expenditures on health are 2 percent of GDP, and 13 percent for social security. Many educated youth are unemployed-- about one-fourth of the high school graduates 15 to 24 were unemployed in late 1998.

The major minority rights issue involves Kurds, the 10 to 15 million people who have a separate language and culture, live in all parts of Turkey but are concentrated in the poorer southeastern part of Turkey, and are considered not to be a minority by the Turkish government. In 1984, the Kurdish Workers' Party or PKK began an armed struggle for an independent homeland for Kurds. The Turkish government says that Kurds have the same rights as other Turkish citizens, but to allow the establishment of Kurdish-language schools or television stations would weaken the unity of the state.

Some 30,000 people died in the struggle between 1984 and 1999, including 5,000 Turkish soldiers, and Turkey spent an estimated $100 billion trying to extirpate the rebels. In February 1999, Turkey arrested the most prominent Kurdish rebel, Abdullah Ocalan, head of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), and Ocalan called for an end to an armed struggle for an independent Kurdistan. Martial law, which had been imposed in 10 provinces, now applies in only four. Candidates associated with the Kurdish political party HADEP have run for office and been elected in local elections. March 2001, the Kurdish holiday Newruz was allowed to be celebrated in a more open manner than in the past.
Agenda and Participants

Migration and Development:
Focus on Turkey
March 29-31, 2001
Meeting and Lodging:
Hotel Mercure ISTANBUL
Tepebasi 80050 Istanbul
Tel (+90) 212-251-4646
Fax (+90) 212-249-8033

Sponsored by:
Migration Dialogue
with the support of
the German Marshall Fund of the United States
and IOM and the Summit and Compton Foundations

The purpose of this Migration Dialogue seminar is to provide a setting for 40 opinion leaders to learn about and discuss the major issues now facing migrant sending, transit and receiving countries. About half of the participants are from Europe, half from North America. Seminars are held in places that allow participants during a day-long field trip to discuss with migrants, employers and local leaders day-to-day and longer-term migration issues. Reports of past seminars are available at: //
Wednesday, March 28, 2001 Arrival Day
7:30-9:30PM Informal dinner at Yakup 2, Asmalimescit 35/37 (tel 249-2925).
Thursday, March 29, 2001
7-9AM Breakfast at the hotel

9AM Meeting
Welcome and Introductions: Philip Martin, University of California,Davis
9:15AM Migration and Development in Turkey: Past, Present, and Future
Speakers: Nermin Abadan-Unat, Bogazici University; Ishak Alaton, Alarko

There are about 70 million persons alive today who were born in Turkey; some three to four million of them live outside Turkey, including two million in Germany. Turkey has had changing policies toward emigration. Turks were recruited to work in Western Europe in the early 1960s, and there were one million Turks on the waiting list to work abroad when labor recruitment was stopped in 1973. In the mid-1970s and early 1980s, Turks continued to emigrate to Western Europe for family unification migration and asylum, but there was also a significant return migration. Turks also migrated for employment to the Middle East and the ex-USSR. The US admits about 5,000 Turks a year as immigrants, and 50,000 a year as non-immigrants, including 30,000 tourists.

In 2001, Turkey is a country of emigration, immigration, and transit migration: there are an estimated three to four million foreigners living in Turkey, including Bulgarians and Iranians, and at least as many Iranians, Iraqis, and others who are passing through Turkey en route to Western Europe.

* Turks have been migrating abroad for employment for four decades. How and why did Turkish policy toward labor emigration change from hopes that the 3-Rs of recruitment, remittances and returns would transform Turkey economically to European fears of large-scale Turkish migration? What is a realistic migration policy for Turkey?
* Turkey has changed from being primarily an emigration country to a country that is simultaneously an emigration, transit, and immigration country. How has the changing nature of migration into and through Turkey changed the perception of migration and its effects in government, research, and popular opinion?

11AM Break

11:15AM Migration and Economic Development
Speakers: Bilsay Kuruc, Ankara University
Discussants: Elmar Honekopp, Germany, Philip Martin, UC-Davis

What are the current challenges facing the Turkish economy, and how is Turkish economic growth and job creation likely to be affected by eventual entry into the EU?

Between 1961 and 1973, about a million Turks emigrated to work in Western European nations, and at least half returned to Turkey. The ILO in 1974 established two broad goals for labor emigration: the departure of workers should relieve unemployment pressures, and remittances and returns should improve the well-being of migrant families and accelerate the economic development of the labor-sending country.

Remittances to Turkey ranged from $1 billion to $3 billion a year between 1965 and 1995. When short of foreign exchange, the Turkish government tried to maximize remittances with a variety of incentives and regulations. Most studies concluded that remittances were determined largely by migrant perceptions of: (1) the stability of the Turkish lira; and (2) opportunities for investment in Turkey.

Labor migration accelerated changes already underway in Turkey, including rural-urban migration and east-west migration. Many migrants from rural areas of Turkey returned to cities in an urbanizing Turkey, which sometimes brought criticism that Turkey was not benefiting from the return of migrants who would expand and improve their farms.

* How successful were Turkish efforts to organize recruitment (during the 1960s, the Turkish Employment Service (ES) cooperated with foreign ES's and employers to recruit and screen young men for foreign jobs)? How is recruitment for overseas jobs handled today?
* How successful were mechanisms created by the Turkish government to increase the amount and development impact of remittances, especially with Turkish Workers Companies, under which migrants exchanged their savings for stock in TWCs in their areas of origin?
* To what extent did the return of migrants accelerate internal migration, and how did returns affect economic development and attitudes in rural and urban areas?

12:30PM Lunch in the hotel

1:30PM Case Studies: Transit Migration and Refugees, Migrants in Urban Areas, Turks in Europe
Chair: Michael Teitelbaum, Sloan Foundation
Speakers: Kemal Kirisci, Bogazici University, Sema Erder, Marmara University, Gamze Avci, Bogazici University
Discussants: Agustin Escobar, Mexico, Susan Martin, US, and Phillipe Bernard, France

Turkey has the fastest population growth rate in Europe, about 1.5 percent a year, but fertility and population growth rates are dropping sharply (Turkey's population increased 2.5 times between 1945 and 1980). As in most upper middle income developing countries, there is rapid socio-economic change, including internal migration from rural to urban areas and from east to west within Turkey. Turkey is urbanizing rapidly: in 1950, the population was 82 percent rural; in 1990, 50 percent rural; and in 1998, 27 percent rural.

1. What are the consequences of rapid urbanization for the likelihood that Turks will emigrate? Are urban women more or less likely to emigrate (or wish to emigrate)?
2. Turkey accepted from Bulgaria over 300,000 ethnic Turks resisting forced assimilation in 1989, and is host to several million Iranians and others, many of whom are seeking to pass through Turkey to other countries. How does Turkey deal with persons requesting refugee status and transit aliens?
3. Turkey has dramatically changed its poorer southeastern area with dams and other projects to expand irrigation and develop agriculture and related industries (GAP project). What impacts have these development efforts had on the environment, economy and migration?
4. Turkey has become a transit country, smugglers have become active. What is known about smugglers, and the role they play in immigration, transit migration, and emigration?

3:00PM Break

3:15PM Discussion

4:30PM Adjourn

7PM Dinner at German Consulate (20 minute walk or taxi from hotel), Selim Hatun Camii Sok 46, 60073 Istanbul Beyoglu, tel 251 5404, Hon. Herbert Hoffmann-Loss
Friday, March 30, 2001

7:00 –8:30 AM Breakfast

9AM Arrive at German Consulate (walk or taxi), Selim Hatun Camii Sok 46, 60073 Istanbul Beyoglu, tel 251 5404, Hon. Herbert Hoffmann-Loss. Discuss and observe the procedures used to evaluate Turkish applications for family unification and other visas, and the consulate's experience, for example, work load, acceptance/rejection, etc.

11AM Depart Consulate to Kabatas

11:30AM Ferry departs Kabatas to Kadikoy, Ms Inci Bespinar (cell tel 0535-325-7819), Prof. Necla Pur, Marmara University

12PM Depart Kadikoy by bus for Center of Female Labor by the E-5 highway

12:30PM Lunch in the center with women who have migrated from southeastern Turkey and have established restaurant businesses with help from the city of Kadikoy

1:30PM Depart Center for school to discuss student goals migration plans, Europe, etc

2:45PM Depart school for factory district to discuss with employers the ease or difficulty hiring workers, and, with workers, whether they would emigrate to EU nations

3:45PM Depart for Kadikoy City Hall, Mayor Selami Ozturk

4:45PM Depart for private boat at Kadikoy ferry

5PM Boat departs for tour of Bosporus with Turkish Coast Guard Control, with stop at Çengelköy. Reception hosted by TESEV, Dr.Can Paker

7:30PM Boat returns to Karakoy pier near hotel; taxi, Tunel subway, or walk to hotel

8:30pm Dinner at Hacibaba, Istiklal Caddesi 49, Taksim, tel 212-244-1866

Saturday, March 31, 2001
7-9:00AM Breakfast

9-10:30 AM Turkish Migration and the EU
Chair: Cem Oezdemir, German Parliament
Speaker: Hon. Volkan Vural, Turkish Foreign Ministry, Secretary General for European Union Affairs

Turkey applied for EU entry in April 1987, and its application was rebuffed. In December 1999, EU leaders announced that Turkey was eligible for EU membership, but that political and economic reforms in Turkey were required before accession negotiations can begin.

In November 2000 the EU released a report with a list of issues Turkey must deal with before negotiations can begin, including guaranteeing minority rights, reducing torture and the role of the military in politics, and supporting efforts to find a solution to the division of Cyprus. If admitted by 2010, Germany and Turkey would be the two largest EU countries, each with about 80 million residents.

* What priority does the Turkish government attach to EU entry? How soon does Turkey believe it can fulfill EU criteria and begin entry negotiations?
* What are Turkish and EU concerns about freedom of movement? How are they likely to be resolved, e.g. extra-long transition etc?
* What is the current status of Turkey-EU initiatives to manage the migration of Turks and non-Turks who pass through Turkey?

10:30-10:45 AM Break

10:45-12:30 PM Economic Integration and Migration: Comparative Perspectives
Chair: Philip Martin, University of California
Speakers (10 minutes each)
Nermin Abadan-Unat, Bogazici University
Cem Ozdemir, German Parliament
Thomas Straubhaar, Germany
Patrick Weil, France
Michael Teitelbaum, US

Turkey is integrating economically with most of its neighbors. What are the current and future migration implications of closer economic integration in Turkey and Western Europe? Are the migration implications of economic integration between the EU and Eastern Europe different than between the EU and Turkey? Why? Did Turkish migration to the EU hasten or slow Turkish entry into the EU?

12:30PM Adjourn