International Migrants Day

You could be one of them!   Author: Busra Sentepe


Did you know that 232 million of the world’s population are migrants. Rusia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, UK, France, Canada, Australia and Spain are the countries which hosts most of the migrants. Most of migrants come from  Asia, Latin America and Caribbian (UN Migrants Data of 2013).

Every year, 18th of December is celebrated as official International Migrants Day since 2000. Social and economic problems are the main reasons to immigrate. In the past most of migrants were unskilled workers but after 1970 we can say that, people immigrate for education and also people who have good skills immigrate for better job offers. The biggest problem is that policies are alienating and discriminating migrants. The developed countries are afraid of illegal migrants because this is also a big problem. Most of them runnig out from civil war and immigrate to Europe countries by illegal ways. This doesn’t mean that the migrants (coming by legal ways), don’t have human rights. Countries have to develop policies to create awareness in public about migrants rights and to create projects to develop sustaniable cultural adaptation.

In Turkey, the situation is different. Turkey was known as a country from which people were immigrating to another countries but after 1990 Turkey has become the field of immigration and transition country for migrants. Turkey gives refugee status only to refugees from Europe because of Geneva Convention in 1951. That’s why, refugees who are coming from Middle East, Asia and Africa, they have only temporarily refugee status but we have legal migrants. Especially during the problems in Syria, a lot of people immigrated to Turkey and for now, the official estimates shows that, there are 700000 refugees  in Turkey from Syria. Because of political issues between Turkey and Syria, some of  Turkish people attacked by Syrian people but this doesn’t mean all Syrian people are guilty. Between Syrian refugees, there are innocents also children and women. Most of them want to go back to their country but they are afraid. Now we have a lot of tent cities, close to borders in Turkey for them. Young people from Syria have the right to go to university without any exam or payment. They have also rights to apply for  work permit or residence permit inTurkey but this is theoretical for now. A lot of associations and foundations give them voluntary help (food, clothes…). The problem is that they started to search for refuge for first time in 2011 and they are still coming. Syrian population in Turkey is getting bigger everyyear and this is causing still many problems for Turkey.  

No matter happens between the countries, We are human and we have to protect each other. Creating awareness for migrants in public can help them and countires have to change their policies to understand them and to help them. We could be one of them!

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