Accepted paper:

Female migrants across the Bulgarian-Turkish border: Adaptation to Contradictory Gender Regimes

Author:

Magdalena Elchinova (New Bulgarian University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper discusses the forms of adaptation of the 1989 female re-settlers from Bulgaria to Turkey, focusing on the role of gender in the processes of adaptation in the society of arrival.

Paper long abstract:

The paper discusses the forms of adaptation of the 1989 female re-settlers from Bulgaria to Turkey. It tackles the issue of how gender has become the key concept through which the identities of the Bulgarian-born Turks who fled to Turkey in the summer of 1989 were re-assessed and re-defined in the society of arrival. In 1989, Bulgaria's Turks massively fled from Bulgaria to Turkey, thus crossing the border between two conflicting states and two antagonistic ideologies. They entered a country, where they were welcomed as 'ethnic kin', only to face soon another form of differentiation and exclusion, based on the discrepancy between gender regimes in the society of origin and the host society. In the years after 1989, migration from Bulgaria to Turkey has continued, this time driven by economic forces and the exclusion of the labour migrants by local Turks on the grounds of different understanding of gender roles and patterns has become even sharper. I will discuss how migrant Turkish women from Bulgaria try to balance between their image of 'impure women' in the host society and bread winners in the family. The discussion draws upon fieldwork conducted in the cities of Istanbul, Izmir and Edirne.

panel MMM32
Management of mobility in contemporary Europe: experiences and strategies of migration