Editors’ introduction: Precarious lives and Syrian refugees in Turkey
Derya Ozkul, Mine Eder
[introductory paragraph] This special issue aims to map out different dimensions of the economic, social, and political uncertainties, the precariousness, the insecurity, and the “othering” that migrants, particularly Syrian refugees, are currently facing in Turkey. As of April 2016, Turkey hosts 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees, making it the largest recipient of refugees in the world in the post-World War II era; this is also the biggest influx of refugees in republican history. It is a serious humanitarian crisis as well, with nearly half of the Syrian population having either been internally displaced (at least 7.6 million) or become refugees (4.8 million). Despite the Turkish government’s “open door” policy since the start of the Syrian conflict and the ten billion dollars spent on refugee camps and public service provisions, Syrian refugees and other migrants into Turkey enter into an already precarious and informal labor market: their legal status is in limbo and their “incorporation” into society has remained slow and insufficient at best. Understanding their precariousness or the attendant “modalities of dehumanization” can help us rethink not only Turkey’s migration regime in particular, but also the broader context of the failure of the international community to protect migrants and refugees.