Everyday Boundaries and `Queer` Experiences in the Transit Migratory Space of Turkey

Monday, July 14, 2014: 6:18 PM
Room: 501
Oral Presentation
Eda Hatice FARSAKOGLU , Sociology, Lund University, Sweden
Looking at the everyday as a crucial site for being and becoming as well as for (re)shaping belonging(s) of marginalized social groups (Manalansan, 2003), this paper seeks to examine the everyday worlds of Iranian queer refugees in Turkey. The paper draws on findings from a doctoral dissertation project, which is based on 11-months of fieldwork consisting of key-informant interviews as well as on ethnographic data and narratives collected through in-depth interviews with 43 Iranian sexual refugees living in different “refugee” cities in Turkey.

 Turkey is a transit locality for non-European refugee communities due to its `geographical` limitation to the 1951 Geneva Convention. Among other irregular migrants and transit refugees, Turkey hosts many Iranian queer subjects, who are seeking asylum based on sexual orientation and gender identity persecution and waiting for resettlement to a third country in the global North. Time they spend between `home` and `final` destination affects and inflects their everyday life struggles and experiences as they shift across multiple boundaries and hierarchical axes of difference within the conditions of cross-border mobility as well as of asylum seeking while living in the transit migratory space of Turkey. In that sense, the main aim of the paper is to go beyond a panoramic snapshot of what the mundane activities of Iranian sexual refugee population in transit in Turkey looks like, toward a sociological analysis of how race/ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality intersect and create borderlands in the daily life struggles and experiences of migrating Iranian sexual dissidents.