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Accepted Paper:

Inherited Social and Cultural Capital in Immigration: The Second Generation of 1989 Refugees from Bulgaria to Turkey  
Magdalena Elchinova (New Bulgarian University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper examines how the second generation of 1989 refugees from Bulgaria to Turkey understand the dramatic migratory experience of their parents, what kinds of relationship they develop with the country of origin and what kind of social and cultural capital brought in from there they inherit.

Paper long abstract:

In the summer of 1989 about 350 000 people, mostly ethnic Turks fled from Bulgaria to Turkey within three months. Above 200 000 of them permanently settled in Turkey. This paper examines the perceptions of the second generation - people who were small children during the exodus or were born in immigration in Turkey - of their parents' traumatic migratory experience. One of the issues of discussion is their controversial relationship with Bulgaria - the country of origin of their parents and grandparents, and even of some of them. For many Bulgaria symbolizes the unfair treatment of their family by the communist regime in the 1980s; they feel no loyalty to the Bulgarian state but pick the fruits of Bulgarian citizenship which gives then advantage to other Turkish co-nationals and opens various possibilities for study and professional realization in the EU. Many other feel loyalty and affection not to the country but to their extended family members who live there; a lot of their sweetest childhood memories are related to Bulgaria or, rather, to the village or town where their parents grew up and where their grandparents, uncles and aunts still live. For yet others Bulgaria is the place with which they associate their aspirations - to study, launch a business or find a good job. In addition, the paper discusses the social and cultural capital from the country of origin the second generation of 1989 migrants from Bulgaria to Turkey inherit from their parents.

Panel P144
New horizons: second generation perspectives on experiences of migration