538.3 Turkish migrants' organizations in Germany - Remittances and humanitarian aid before and after 2011 van earthquake

Friday, August 3, 2012: 1:10 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Zeynep SEZGIN , Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
Various studies examined the aims, activities, functions and structures of Turkish migrant organizations in Germany. However, there is hardly any study on the role of these organizations in the flow of remittances to Turkey. There is even a complete silence when it comes to the role of these organizations in the humanitarian crises in Turkey (e.g., 1999 Gölcük Earthquake 1999 and 2011 Van Earthquake). Hence, it is not clear, how humanitarian crises influence the trends of these organizations in transferring remittances.

This paper aims to fill this research gap by systematically and empirically studying three Turkish migrant organizations in Germany (Islamic Community Milli Görüs: IGMG, the Federation of Alevi Community: AABF and Muslims Help: MH) and their activities in Turkey before and after 2011 Van Earthquake. 

First, it shows that some of these organizations have been playing an important role for Turkey by attracting and transferring collective remittances; supporting specific religious, cultural, and/or political movements; providing social and financial assistance to their counterparts and other local partners; contributing to the development of Turkish civil society by communicating ideas, values and practices; and/or promoting peace or conflict. Second, it illustrates that some of these organizations also started collecting donations for relief and reconstruction aid after 2011 Van Earthquake. Last but not least, it discusses why these organizations have different attitudes towards collective remittances and play differing roles in 2011 Van Earthquake.

By using organizational sociological approaches, this paper argues that the activities and strategies of these organizations differ due to their differing organizational characteristics and member interests.