Return Aspirations of Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Aysegul Kayaoglu*, Zeynep Şahin-Mencütek, M. Murat Erdoğan

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12 Atıf (Scopus)


Voluntary return is proposed as a durable solution for mass displacements, but little is known about how refugees perceive their options. This article discusses what drives the return aspirations of Syrian refugees in Turkey. Based on the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data (2017–18), it shows that many Syrians condition their return on the provision of security, regime change and livelihood opportunities in Syria. However, their integration in Turkey also matters, albeit paradoxically, for return aspirations. Specifically, perceived and experienced discrimination and socio-cultural distance influence aspirations. These emerge as indirect implications of the economic, social and cultural integration. This article shows the complexity behind the return issue by advancing the discussion on the role of origin country-related factors in refugees’ aspirations on the one hand, and the relevance of the integration into the host country on the other. Our findings contribute to further understanding of the return-integration nexus, particularly the impact of refugees’ socio-psychological experiences, in the protracted refugee situations.

Orijinal dilİngilizce
Sayfa (başlangıç-bitiş)561-583
Sayfa sayısı23
DergiJournal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies
Basın numarası4
Yayın durumuYayınlandı - 2022

Bibliyografik not

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


This paper hugely benefited from the suggestions and comments of four anonymous reviewers and the editor, Prof. Anna Triandafyllidou. The usual disclaimer applies. ZSM conducted the field research under the European Commission funded Horizon 2020 project ‘RESPOND Multilevel Governance of Migration in Europe and Beyond’ (770564), and her writing period was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Experienced Researcher Fellowship (2020–21), Germany.

FinansörlerFinansör numarası
European Commission funded Horizon 2020770564
Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung

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