An Alternative Imagining of Europeanness: Turkish-Dutch Migrants

    • IMG_0904 - Copie
    • Presentation speakers
      • Guldeniz Kibris, Leiden University, The Netherlands


    Turkish hometown associations in the Netherlands have a history of less than ten years despite the fact the Turkish migration to Europe started at the end of the 1960s. Interestingly, the latest years have witnessed to mushrooming of them. A crude examination on the Internet even shows that there are more than twenty hometown associations established by the Turks. Through informal and voluntary gatherings, these newly born associations provide connections between people of the same hometown in the Netherlands and also preserve links with the hometowns. This bi-locality produces a multiple layered identity which primarily emphasizes the hometown-related elements through reinventing the ‘homeland.’ How do the members of Turkish hometown associations imagin their identities? In what way they consider themselves different than Turks living in Turkey? Why do they embrace their local ties and created their identities as such in Netherlands? The answer to these questions lies in an examination of global economic and political forces. In this paper, I aim to take an initial step to understand the reasons behind the emergence of hometown associations and establishment of identity as such. At first, I attempt to bring a theoretical aspect and place Turkish hometown associations in the history of European migration. Then in the second part I document those associations.The third part is an analysis of the identity formation of the hometown associations through their websites, journals, participant observation to some activities, and interviews with the board members of three associations. What this study aims at the end is to present an alternative imagining of Turkish and European identities in the context of Turkish migrants in the Netherlands. How inclusion and exclusion function in their adaptation process is the main focus.