Accepted paper:

Shifting Ideas of What Good Life Is among 1989 Turkish Re-settlers from Bulgaria to Turkey

Authors:

Magdalena Elchinova (New Bulgarian University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper describes and analyses how the ideas of 'good life' of Bulgarian-born Turks, who migrated enmass to Turkey in 1989 under political pressure, have been changing under the impact of political, economic, religious and other factors, as well as from generation to generation.

Paper long abstract:

There were two major reasons for the mass exodus of Bulgarian-born Turks to Turkey in 1989 - to escape from the assimilation policy of the Bulgarian communist authorities and to enjoy the fruits of an allegedly flourishing market economy. Those motives were what shaped the migrants' opinions of good life at the time. In the following years, the economic factor had become dominant. It was coupled with the strive for social prestige (through education, professional and economic achievements) and shadowed by nostalgic memories of what they left behind. Re-settlers' efforts to make their dreams of good life come true had often been faced with the disapproval of their immediate neighbors in Turkey and, sometimes, of their relatives in Bulgaria. Meanwhile, the leading trends in official Turkish politics had again brought forward the role of the political factor as a condition or impediment for achieving an individual's ideal of good life. The paper discusses how the ideas of good life of 1989 re-settlers from Bulgaria to Turkey have been changing under the impact of political, economic, religious and other factors, focusing on local and individual level, as well as on some generational variations.

panel P084
Migration and the imaginaries of 'good life' [ANTHROMOB]