Turkey currently hosts the largest refugee population in the world (Officials estimate more than 4 million refugees in Turkey, most of whom are from Syria in wake of the turmoil erupted in 2011).

Despite its crucial importance for the global politics, the refugee phenomenon in Turkey is surprisingly an understudied domain within the scholarship. It is fair to argue that almost none of the mostly cited 20 European academics with a focus on refugee studies has a specific publication on the developments in Turkey. 

In particular, the governance of the refugee situation in Turkey appears to be a neglected field of study. Therefore, it lacks innovative and efficient dialog platforms among practitioners and academics. Furthermore, there has been a rising lack of coordination and confidence between Turkish authorities and foreign institutions which substantially inhibits the operational capacities of the transnational actors in Turkey. A non-partisan and neutral forum is highly needed.

AIMS Turkey, the Ankara Initiative for Migration Studies, is a boutique policy-oriented project  with a critical perspective intended to bridge the above mentioned gap to better analyze the problems pertaining to the governance of the refugee situation in Turkey. It also attempts to bring about more awareness and knowledge-based approaches toward the neglected aspects.We believe that more dialog between Turkish authorities and international institutions would alleviate the ongoing communication-based shortcomings. Similarly, international and local NGOs would improve their dialog and partnership prospects.

An Effort To Generate A Critical Approach with Policy-Oriented Analysis
It is quite common to see policy-oriented projects around the mainstream circles and they often turn out to be descriptive and empirical, restricting themselves with limited ontological claims. Critical perspectives, on the other hand, are generally more capable of and interested in theoretical and conceptual debates, frequently lacking the capacity to update themselves with accurate and new empirical knowledge. AIMS Turkey aims hereby to bring both of these ambitions under the same umbrella: We intend to unpack and understand the recent migration-related developments by innovative and robust research techniques; but we also move on to ask some difficult questions as well: 

What are the underlying power dynamics beneath the surface of these news stories, recent events and occurrences? Who are the winners and losers of these developments? What do the mainstream media and academy mostly underline and what do they happen to miss out? 

In light of these considerations, AIMS Turkey aspires to produce policy briefs, digests, fact sheets and interviews regarding the migration situation in Turkey with a particular focus on the governance aspects. It will also create various dialog channels among the related professionals and researchers through events.

AIMS Weekly Briefs: The Weekly Briefs remain the flagship of the AIMS Turkey project. They provide short digests in English to summarize the most crucial recent events regarding the refugee situation in and around Turkey. Reaching dozens of practitioners and academics almost every week, these briefs are 5-minute reads. While the briefs attempt to cover the top stories, they also intend to touch upon overlooked but significant issues.

For more information and partnership opportunities: info@aimsturkey.org


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