Provided Opportunities for immigrants in Turkey


Turkey accepted quite a significant number of immigrants in a relatively short period of time. The educational  and professional status of the immigrants became an influential factor in their social adaptations. Naturally, the immigrants were supported and provided with assistance by the relatives and friends already living in Turkey and this facilitated their adaptation. Furthermore, the assistance and aid provided by the Turkish state -in cooperation with international institutions-, both in immigrant camps and temporary housings, alleviated the adaptation problem of the immigrants. However, changes experienced in financial and social conditions in Bulgaria caused various cultural problems for the young immigrants.[1]

Some migrants, who entered the country in a relatively short span of time after the opening of the border gates, were soon located in temporary residential areas in Kırklareli, Edirne, Tekirdağ, Balıkesir, Istanbul and Bursa. Some were located in school buildings, dormitories and guesthouses of public institutions. 850 houses were built for the first group of immigrants arriving in 1989 and of these, 450 were in Kırklareli, 200 in Edirne, 100 in Tekirdağ and the remaining 100 were in Manisa. Later, in accordance with the decree of Supreme Planning Council, it was decided that 40,000 houses were to be built or bought for the immigrants. All expenses to this end were provided by the Collective Housing Fund.[2]

While 11,742 houses were built for the immigrants coming from Bulgaria between 1951 and 1960 and delivered to the owners.44,250 families coming in 1989 applied for houses.  Although the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI) planned to build 40,000 houses, only 23,495 were completed and delivered to owners.[3]

The great problem of immigrants was unemployment. In Bulgarin they have earned almost 440.000 Turkish Lira but in Turkey they could earn only 100-150.000 Turkish Lira per month. Because of this they worried about livelihood. Some immigrants did not want to work with this low wage  than Bulgarian.[4]

As of May 31, 1990, 154,937 of the immigrants had returned to Bulgaria. According to the unpublished statistics of the Federation of Balkan Immigrants Headquarters, the remaining 212,688 were still residing in 41 provinces of Turkey as of May 31, 1990. After this date, some obviously relocated but since no statistical data were kept about these relocations, sufficient information is not available.[5]

49% of immigrants living in Turkey live in Istanbul and Bursa and the 74% live in the Marmara region. The most important reason for this is again the fact that families, relatives and friends arriving in earlier periods had been living in these provinces and these assisted and supported the newcomers in finding shelter and jobs and social and cultural affairs.

[1] Çetin, 2009; 618

[2] DPT,1990; 32

[3] Migrant housing coordinator (Göçmen Konutları Koordinatörlüğü), 2006

[4] Cumhuriyet Journal, 6 August 1989; 1-9

[5] Çetin, 2009; 621

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