OMNES : The Journal of multicultural society

Current Issue

OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 11 , No. 1

[ Article ]
OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural SocietyVol. 11, No. 1, pp.46-86
ISSN: 2093-5498 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2021
Received 10 Nov 2020 Revised 07 Dec 2020 Accepted 17 Dec 2020

The Geopolitical Effects of Turkey’s Diaspora: An International Perspective
Ben Duke
University College London, United Kingdom


This paper provides a conceptual theoretical review of the multiple aspects of Turkey’s diaspora. The analysis of the geopolitical influence of Turkey’s diaspora reveals a complex geopolitical mosaic, which is often a combination of many different diaspora. A political analysis of Turkey’s diaspora would include the consideration of internationalization, investment, expansion, and remittance transfers from the destination country to Turkey. This paper informs us of some of the political determinants that have influenced present-day Turkish diaspora since the year 2000. For example, Turkey’s transition from an inward-oriented to an outward-oriented economy, reinforced by financial liberalization legislation in the early 2000s. This paper discusses the effect of clicktivism, a social actor, which has enabled the political mobilization of a significant proportion of Turkey’s diaspora. The countries providing the most outward migration flows from Turkey are identified e.g., Albania and Montenegro. There are also positive reasons why a significant number of Turkish citizens have chosen to leave their birth land. The paper discusses the educational, business, socio-economic, and cultural reasons why people from Turkey now form part of the Turkish diaspora.

Keywords: Turkey’s diaspora, integration, soft power, clicktivism, political mobilization

1. Akcay, E., & Alimukhamedov, F. (2013). Revaluating contemporary “diaspora policy” of Turkey. The Journal of Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, 18(1), 103–115. Retrieved from
2. All about Turkey. (2019, May 25). GAP project. Retrieved from
3. Adamson, F. B. (2019). Sending states and the making of intra-diaspora politics: Turkey and its diaspora(s). International Migration Review, 53(1), 210–236. Retrieved from
4. Atli, A. (2019, May 20). The road to settling Turkey’s and China’s Uyghur differences. Retrieved from
5. Aydin, Y. (2016). The Germany-Turkey migration corridor: Refitting policies for a transnational Age. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved from Transatlantic council on migration website:
6. Aydin, Y. (2019). Turkey’s diaspora policy and the “DITIB” challenge. Turkeyscope, 3(8), 1–6. Retrieved from
7. Aydin, S., & Østergaard-Nielsen, E. (2020). Diaspora policies, consular services and social protection abroad. In J. M. LaFleur and D. Vintila, (Eds.), Migration and Social Protection in Europe and Beyond (pp. 401–418). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. Retrieved from
8. Ayhan, E. (2018). The new public diplomacy and soft power in developing countries: The case of Turkey. The Journal of Macro Trends in Social Science, 4(1), 45–65. Retrieved from
9. Balci, B., & Liles, T. (2019, June 15). What remains from Turkish soft power in the Caucasus? Retrieved from
10. Borger, J. (2020, September 19). US to break with UN security council and reimpose Iran snapback sanctions. The Guardian, Retrieved from
11. Brah, A. (1996). Cartographies of diaspora: Contesting identities. New York, NY: Routledge.
12. Budenbender, M., & Golubchikov, O. (2017). The geopolitics of real estate: assembling soft power via property markets. The International Journal of Housing Policy, 17(1), 75–96. Retrieved from https://doi. org/10.1080/14616718.2016.1248646
13. Buyuk, H. F., Clapp, A., & Haxhiaj, S. (2019, May 6). Diaspora politics: Turkey’s new Balkan ambassadors. Balkan Insight, Retrieved from
14. Caglayan, C. (2019, July 7). Turkish citizenship offer, weak lira draw foreign property buyers. Reuters, Retrieved from
15. Cengiz, S. (2018, October 5). The intentions behind Turkey’s use of ‘mosque diplomacy.’ Arab News, Retrieved from
16. Central Intelligence Agency (2019, April 30). The World Factbook. Retrieved from
17. Charalambous, B. (2019, April 10). Turkey: Treatment of Kurds. Hansard 658, Retrieved, from
18. Charities Aid Foundation (2018). CAF World Giving Index 2018: A global view of giving trends. London, UK: Charities Aid Foundation. Retrieved from
19. Christ, K. L., & Burritt, R. L. (2018). Current perceptions on the problem of modern slavery in business. Business Strategy and Development, 1(2), 103–114. Retrieved from
20. Clark, A. (2019, November 8). China will overtake the US by 2030. Australian Financial Review, Retrieved from
21. Cohen, R. (2008). Global diasporas: An introduction second edition, New York, NY: Routledge.
22. Cordesman, A. H. (2019). Shaping effective strategic partnerships in the MENA region (Working Draft). Retrieved from Centre for Strategic International Studies website:
23. Dreyfer, J. T. (2019). The not at all autonomous Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region: An international human rights embarrassment and pothole on China’s belt and road. Foreign Policy Research Institute, Retrieved from
24. Elo, M. (2014). Diaspora networks in international business and entrepreneurship – a literature review. ZenTra Working Papers in Transnational Studies, 40, 1–18.
25. Ercilasun, G. K., & Ercilasun, K. (Eds.), (2018). The Uyghur community: Diaspora, identity and geopolitics. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
26. Erdemir, A. (2019). The impact of demographic and digital transformations on Turkey’s governance deficit. [DX Reader version]. Retrieved from
27. Ertukel, D. (2019). Turkey’s civil society: Playing the long game (2019 report No. 02). Retrieved from German Marshall Fund of the United States website:
28. European Commission. (2019). Key findings of the 2019 report on Turkey (COUNTRY/19/2781). Retrieved from
29. European Commission (2018). Key findings of the 2018 report on Turkey (MEMO/18/3407). Retrieved from
30. European Parliament. (2019). Report on the 2018 commission report on Turkey (A8-0091/2019). Retrieved from
31. Falk, R. (2012). Turkey’s foreign policy: Zero problems with neighbors revisited. Foreign Policy Journal, February 9, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2019, from
32. (2020, November 8). The Turkish military: In numbers., Retrieved from
33. Freedom in the World Report. (2019). Turkey Report 2019. Washington, DC: Freedom House. Retrieved from
34. Garrie, A. (2019, June 9). The Arab league’s insulting statement about Turkey is a symptom of desperation leading to foolishness. Retrieved from
35. Gafarli, O. (2014). The role of north Caucasus diaspora groups in Turkey-Russian relations. Turkish Policy Quarterly, 13(1), 171–182. Retrieved from
36. Giglou, R. I., d’Haenens, L., & Ogan C. (2017). Turkish diasporic responses to the Taksim square protests: Legacy media and social media uses in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Telematics and Information, 34(2), 548–559. Retrieved from
37. Gilroy, P. (1987). ‘There ain’t no black in the union Jack’: The cultural politics of race and nation. London, UK: Hutchinson.
38. Geopolitical Intelligence Services (2018, November 8). Opinion: Turkey changing the dynamics in the Horn of Africa. Retrieved from,politics,2485.html
39. Green, D. (2016). Accountability, political parties, and the Media. In D. Green, (Ed.), How Change Happens, (pp. 112–134). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
40. Gurini, F. (2019, July 7). Turkey’s lack of vision in Syria. Retrieved from
41. Huijgh, E. & Warlick, J. (2016). Part 1: The Case of Turkey, The Public Diplomacy of Emerging Power. Los Angeles, LA: Figueroa Press. Retrieved from
42. Human Rights Watch (2019). Lawyers on trial: Abusive Prosecutions and erosion fair trial rights in Turkey. Retrieved from
43. International Centre for Migration Policy and Development (2019). Western Balkans and Turkey: Completed Projects, Retrieved from
44. ICNL & TUSEV (2019). Civic freedom monitor: Turkey. NGO Law Monitor, Retrieved from
45. Institute for Economics and Peace (2019). Global Peace Index 2019. Sydney, Australia: Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). Retrieved from
46. International Crisis Project (2010). The Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora after the LTTE. Asia Report No. 186, Retrieved from
47. International Organization for Migration (2018). World Migration Report 2018. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Migration (IOM). Retrieved from
48. Kamrava, M. (2017). The great game in West Asia. In Kamrava, M. (Ed.), The Great Game in West Asia: Iran, Turkey, and the South Caucasus (pp. 1–30). London, UK: C. Hurst & Company (Publishers) Ltd.
49. Karasik, T., & Cafiero, G. (2018, January 17). Turkey’s move into the Red Sea unsettles Egypt, Middle East Institute, Retrieved from
50. Kaya, A. (2002). Aesthetics of diaspora: contemporary minstrels in Turkish Berlin. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 28(1), January 2002, 43–62. Retrieved from 103921
51. Kaya, A. (2014). The Circassian diaspora in and outside Turkey. Problems of Post-Communism, 61(4), 50–65. Retrieved from 10.2753/PPC1075-8216610404
52. Kaymaz, I. (2013). Urban landscapes and identity. In Ozyavuz, M. (Ed), Advances in Landscape Architecture (pp. 739–760). London, UK: InTech Open. Retrieved from
53. Kenny, C., Reddan, F., & Geraghty, D. (2018, August 21). Planning a move to the Middle East? Here’s everything you need to know. Irish Times. Retrieved from
54. Koinova, M. (2010). Diasporas and international politics: utilizing the universalistic creed of liberalism for particularistic and nationalist purposes. In R. Baubock, and T. Faust, (Eds.), Diaspora and Transnationalism: Concepts, Theories and Methods. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press. 149–165.
55. Kunczer, V., Lidner, T., & Puck, J. (2019). Benefitting from immigration: The value of immigrants’ country knowledge for firm internalization, Journal of International Business Policy, 2, 35–375.
56. Lavanex, S. (2018). Failing forward’ towards which Europe? Organized hypocrisy in the common European asylum system. Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS), 56(5), 1195–1212.
57. Lecha, E. S. (2018). The World in 2019: Ten Issues That Will Shape the Global Ggenda (CIDOB. Notes 2018). Retrieved from
58. Levin Institute (2019, May 6). Factors influencing foreign investment decisions. Retrieved from
59. Makovsky, A. (2019). Turkey’s refugee dilemma: Tiptoeing towards integration. Retrieved from Centre for American Progress website:
60. McAuliffe, M., Kitimbo, A., Goosens, A. M., & Ullah, A. A. (2018). Understanding migration journey’s from migration perspectives. In World Migration Report 2018(1), 170–189. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Migration (IOM). Retrieved from
61. McManus, J. (2018a). Welcome to Hell? In search of the real Turkish football. London, UK: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
62. McManus, J. (2018b). Modern enchantments: media, fandom and distraction amongst diaspora Turkish football supporters. Ethnos, 83(4), 762–781. Retrieved from
63. MD Staff. (2019, February 20). Turkey needs to step up investments in renewables to curb emissions. Modern Diplomacy, Retrieved from
64. Mencutek, Z. S., & Baser, B. (2018). Mobilizing diasporas: Insights from Turkey’s attempts to reach Turkish citizens abroad. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 20(1), 86–105.
65. Musically. (2019, May 6). Country profile board: Market profile Turkey. Retrieved from
66. Nakou, G. (2017, November 11). Diaspora was the route of the ‘Greek miracle’, says Edith Hall., Retrieved from
67. Neagu, O., & Teodoru, M. C. (2019). The relationship between economic complexity, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission: Heterogenous panel evidence from the EU countries. MDPI Sustainability, 11(497), 1–29. Retrieved from
68. Ozaltin, D., Shakir, F., & Loizides, N. (2019). Why do people flee? Revisiting forced migration in post-Saddam Bagdad. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 1–24. Retrieved from
69. Ozturk, A. E. (2018). Transformation of the Turkish Diyanet both at home and abroad: Three stages. European Journal of Turkish Studies, 27, 1–14. Retrieved from
70. Ozturk, A. E., & Gozaydin, I. (2018). A frame for Turkey’s foreign policy via the Diyanet in the Balkans, Journal of Muslims in Europe, 7(3), 331–350. Retrieved from 370
71. Ozturk, A. E. (2019, June). Turkey: An ambivalent religious soft power, Berkley Forum. Symposium conducted at the meeting of Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Retrieved from
72. Pedrosa, L., & Palop-Garcia, P. (2017). Diaspora policies in comparison: An application of the emigrant policies index (EMIX) for the Latin American and Caribbean region. Political Geography, 60, 165–178. Retrieved May 18, 2019, from 07.006
73. Pierini, M. (2019). Options for the EU-Turkey relationship. Carnegie Europe, 3. Retrieved from
74. Postill, J. (2018). The rise of nerd politics: Digital activism and political change. London, UK: Pluto Press. Retrieved from 2307/j.ctv4ncp67
75. Pratt, M. L. (2007). Imperial eyes: Travel writing and transculturation second edition. New York, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from 10.4324/9780203932933
76. Regazzi, F. (2014). A comparative analysis of diaspora policies. Political Geography, 41, 74–89. Retrieved from polgeo.2013.12.004
77. Rogers, J. (compiled by). (2019). Audit of geopolitical capability: An assessment of twenty major powers, January 2019. London, UK: The Henry Jackson Society. Retrieved from
78. Sagi, J., & Engelberth, I. (2018). The belt and road initiative–a way forward to China’s expansion. In I. C. Moldicz, (Guest Editor). Special issue: Geopolitics of belt and road initiative and China’s international strategic relations. Contemporary Chinese Political Economy and Strategic Relations: An International Journal, 4(1), 9–37. Retrieved from
79. Sasnal, P. (2018). Domesticating the giant: The global governance of migration. Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Retrieved from
80. Simon, D., Griffiths, C., & Nagendra, H. (2018). Rethinking urban sustainability and resilience. In T. Elmqvist, X. Bai, N. Frantzeskaki, C. Griffiths, D. Maddox, T. McPhearson, S. Parnell, P. Romero-Lankao, D. Simon, and M. Watkins (Eds.), Urban Planet: Knowledgeable towards Sustainable Cities, April 2018, (pp. 149–162). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from
81. The World Bank. (2019a, April 10). The World Bank in Turkey. Turkey Overview, Retrieved July 6, 2019, from
82. The World Bank. (2019b, May 26). Turkey Irrigation Modernization. Project ID P158418, Retrieved from
83. Tol, G. (2019, January 10). Turkey’s bid for religious leadership. Foreign Affairs, Retrieved from
84. Tsourapas, G. (2019). The Syrian refugee crisis and foreign policy decision- making in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Journal of Global Security Studies, 4(4), 1–18. Retrieved from
85. Turkish Cultural Foundation. (2019, May 25). A Brief Outline of Turkish History. Retrieved from
86. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2020, November 11). Performing arts (such as traditional music, dance and theatre). Retrieved from
87. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, United Nations High Commission for Refugees., & International Organization for Migration. (2018). Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees (UNCTAD/DIAE/2018/2). Geneva, Switzerland: UNCTAD, UNHCR and IOM. Retrieved from
88. United Nations Development Programme. (2009). Country: Turkey, Project Document. Retrieved from United Nations Development Programme website:
89. United Nations Development Program. (2016). Turkey: Development approaches to displacement (Issue Brief). New York, NY: United Nations Development Program. Retrieved from
90. United Nations High Commission for Refugees. (2018). Desperate Journeys: Refugees and Migrants arriving in Europe and at Europe’s borders. Retrieved from United Nations High Commission for Refugees website: 2.45583396.109432286.1562529968-1630139433.1562529968
91. Ünlühisarcıklı, O. (2019). A new political landscape out of Turkey’s municipal elections. Retrieved from German Marshall Fund of the United States website:
92. Wintour, P. (2020, October 18). Iran hails lifting of 13-year arms embargo as ‘momentous day. The Guardian, Retrieved from
93. World Geostrategic Insights. (2018, August 12). Turkey’s geopolitical challenges under president Erdogan. WGI.WORLD, Retrieved from
94. Wood, C. (2019, February 28). Meeting the Kazakh diaspora. The Diplomat, Retrieved from
95. Zihnioglu, O. (2017, December 13). Resuming civic activism in Turkey. Civic Research Network, Retrieved from

Biographical Note

Ben Duke has research interests in higher education and political science. He works as a researcher for UCL, University College London UK, on the Global Disability Innovation Hub research project. He has worked as research fellow in the Department of Modern Languages and Culture, University of Nottingham, UK. He has worked as researcher in the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology, University of Northampton, UK. Ben Duke has had eight discussion papers published including a book chapter, his most recent article being printed in July 2020. He is an NHS UK Governor and does voluntary work for an anti-human trafficking project and other UK charities. Email: