1st Istanbul International Geography Congress Proceedings Book
Spatial analysis of migration from Macedonia to TurkeyGizem Sinan, Kaan Kapan
During an immigration process that started with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, expanded with the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey, and continues to the present day, Turkey has been the destination for immigrants from many regions, and particularly from the Balkans. Many Muslim Macedonians, feeling a sense of belonging to the Ottoman Empire and having descended from Turks, had already migrated to Turkey because of war, isolation, and exile apart from precipitating factors such the start of the Balkan Wars and the separation of the Balkans from the Ottoman Empire. The first wave of mass immigration from Macedonia to Turkey transpired between 1877 and 1878 as a result of the Russo-Turkish War; the second came to pass between 1912 and 1913 during the Balkan Wars; the third was the result of a process that started with the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey and ended in 1951; and the last came about between 1952 and 1967. In the last migration wave alone, 175,392 Muslim Macedonians migrated to Turkey as free immigrants. Following those waves of mass immigration, immigrants from Macedonia have continued to arrive in Turkey as individuals or family groups. This work of research explores the cities and regions that have been the destinations for those immigrants. Immigration from Macedonia has been centered on cities in western Turkey. Among cities where immigrants are concentrated, Istanbul is prominent because of its concentration rate (50%). It is, therefore, the main focus of this research. Data for this research were gathered by conducting in-depth interviews with Macedonian immigrants in İstanbul, organized through Macedonian associations in the city. Information was also obtained from scholarly literature research of theses, articles, and books regarding immigration from the Balkans and especially those related to Macedonian immigration. Official information, such as immigration data on families and total populations and accounts of how those mass immigrations unfolded, were acquired from government agencies and organizations. This research reveals that immigrants have settled in İstanbul, Edirne, Bursa, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, İzmit, Çanakkale, and Balıkesir in the Marmara region, and İzmir and Manisa in the Aegean region. In addition, they have settled in the Bayrampaşa, Küçükçekmece, Pendik, Esenler, and Alibeyköy districts of İstanbul, with these districts accounting for more than half of all immigrants. When the settlement geography of immigrants from Macedonia was examined, it was found that they chose to settle these cities and districts because of their similar climatic and geographical conditions to their home regions, because these are areas where relatives and acquaintances have already settled, and because of economic reasons.