Migration from Bulgaria to Turkey as a Practice of Cultural Interaction

  • This project is being funded by TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey)
  • The project is being carried out by Istanbul University.
  • Start and Finish Dates: 15 March 2020 - 15 March 2021

Analysis of “1969-1978 Close Relative Migration” and “1989 Forced Migration via Narratives of Migration”


The Project analyses the migration experiences of Turkish immigrants who have migrated from Bulgaria to Turkey. It focuses on two different periods: “1969-1978 Close Relative Migration” and “1989 Forced Migration” from Bulgaria to Turkey. In the Project, these migration waves are examined as a process of interaction and encounter between immigrants and the host society at a micro level.


With the impact of having experienced the collapse of the Ottoman Empire,Turkey, since its establishment, has been a region to which many different groups have migrated. After the Ottoman Empire lost control of the Balkans (beginning in 1878 with The 93 War), the Turkish minority in Bulgaria, which is one of the largest immigrant groups in this region, was subject to a continuous migration movement to the Ottoman territory and following its establishment to the Republic of Turkey. This process which occassionally includes a small percentage of those who move due to personel preferences, has periodically involved mass migration during certain


Autobiographic narratives are about connecting with the past to make present and future meaningful (Bruner, 1990). They are verbal expressions of the experiences that the individual lives within the framework of subjectivity, or that he/she configures within his/her own individuality. Narratives are part of everyday life. However, they are not only built in everyday experience but on many levels. Therefore, narratives give information about the relationship between subjects and structures.


In every wave of migration, migration experience is based on many practices and regulations at the macro level, such as international agreements, migration and citizenship laws, and economic and social integration practices. However, beyond that, every migration practice includes a range of cultural interaction and encounter practices that arise from everyday life at a micro or individual level. New values, norms and attitudes are developed through these practices. This contributes to the co-existence of various groups within society.