Turkey is a bridge between some Middle East and Asian countries at east and west, where conflicts and unsustainability prevail, and the Euroepan Counties with high welfare and human rights standards at west. Turkey is a transit point for the migrants aiming at going to European Union (EU) countries for some reasons such as conflicts in Middle East, particularly in neighbour countries, political and economic instabilities, mountainous and hard-to-control esat borders, geographical structure of Aegean and Mediterranean Cost eligible for illegal transit. Turkey has become an attraction place for regular and irregular migration, particularly due to its recently-increasing economic and regional power. Given all these factors, migration deeply affects the economic, socio-cultural and demographic structure of Turkey, as well as its public order and security.
Due to its geographical and strategic position, our country has been the final stop of migration movements in a broad sense, including mass asylum movements and hosted millions of migrants. Historical migration movements to Turkey is chronologically summarised below:
2.1. Pre-Republic Period
The scientists express that, in Ottoman Empire, those coming to the country was welcomed regardless of their religion and race. Main examples for the mass and individual asylum movements in the mentioned era are as follows:
- In 1492, Thousands of Jewish people brought to the territories of Ottoman Empire by boat from Spain ,
- After Thököly Rebellion in1672, İbrahim Müteferrika, pioneer in printing and Cont Ödön Seçenyi (Seçenyi Paşa), pioneer in fire fighting, found asylum in Ottoman Empire, and in 1699 King of Hungary Thököly Imre and his wife found asylum in Ottoman Empire,
- In 1709, King of Sweden Charles found asylum in Ottoman Empire together with almost 2 thousand people,
- After Passarowitz Treaty of 1718King of Hungary II. Rakoczy Ferenc found asylum in Ottoman Empire,
- Prince Adam Czartorski, one of the Poland Revolution of 1830, found asylum in Ottoman Empire in 1841,
- Prince Lajos Kossuth and almost 3 thousand people loosing 1848 Hungary Freedom war came to the territories of Ottoman Empire in 1849,
- Despite of the different statistical data, almost 1.500.000 Caucasian People escaping from Russian Army were admitted to Ottoman Empire territory in 1856-1864 and settled in Balkans and various placed in the Anatolia.
- After Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Vrangel requested protection from the Ottoman Empire with almost 135 thousand people.
2.2. Republic Period
Mass migration flows to our country continued in the early republican period and later. The most concrete examples for these movements can be summarised as follows:
· 1922-1938: 384 thousand people came from Greece,
· 1923-1945: 800 thousand people came from Balkans,
· 1933-1945: 800 people came from Germany,
· 1988: 51.542 people came from Iraq,
· 1989: 345 thousand people came from Bulgaria,
· 1991: 467.489 people came from Iraq following the Gulf War I,
· 1992-1998: 20 thousand people came from Bosnia,
· 1999: 17.746 people came from Kosovo in the aftermath of the incidents,
· 2001: 10.500 people came from Macedonia,
· Between April 2011- September 2013: almost 500 thousand people came from Syria to Turkey due to the domestic turmoil.
In brief, Turkey has welcomed more than 2.5 million people since 1922, which does not include the foreigners coming for studying or working. Considering the number of foreigners coming to Turkey for the purposes such as studying, working and other purposes, totally 2.442.159 foreigners were granted with residence permit in 13 years.