Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc) aims to advance the state of the art in migration research through original and innovative scholarship, academic collaboration, and dialogue between researchers, policy-makers, international organizations and civil society actors. Based in Istanbul, MiReKoc provides a unique, institutionalized hub for migration research with a focus on Turkey and its close environment, with the objective of increasing research capacity and encouraging interinstitutional dialogue on the topic of migration.
Across the globe, migration issues have steadily grown in importance for societies and states alike. Turkey and its neighborhood including the Mediterranean Basin, Europe, and the Middle East are key to larger debates concerning migration, development, citizenship and security. The recent Syrian refugee situation, as one example, that began in 2011, demonstrates the ways migration has impacted this region as well as bring debates about migration to the forefront of policy and political decision.
At the crossroads of three old continents, Turkey is a space for diverse migration trends: a country of immigration, emigration and transit. Over six million Turkish citizens live abroad, principally in Europe, and since the early 2000s, Turkey has been receiving thousands of migrants and refugees every year from different countries and regions. While many of those may approach Turkey as a transit country, it has gradually become a destination country for many others. These migrations connect Turkey to every corner of the globe: from the distant USA and Australia to the closer Middle East, various African states and former USSR states.
Considering the growing significance of migration and the increasing importance of migration-related research, the Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc) aims to advance the state of the art in migration research through original and innovative scholarship, academic collaboration, and dialogue between researchers, policy makers, international organizations, and civil society actors. Based in Istanbul, MiReKoc was initially founded as a grant-giving program in 2004, providing funding for research on migration issues in Turkey and beyond, through a joint-initiative of Koç University (Istanbul) and the Foundation for Population, Migration and Environment (Zurich). Since its establishment, MiReKoc has increasingly become a hub for scholarly research on migration in Turkey, its neighborhood and the world.
MiReKoc research projects and programs are intended to contribute to research innovation within field of migration studies. It actively develops and participates in research projects with national and international research partners, providing opportunities for researchers at all levels. MiReKoc connects the migration debate in Turkey to ongoing debates and research in different contexts and settings around the world.
The Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc) was founded in Istanbul in 2004 to contribute to developing the field of migration studies in Turkey and beyond. In that endeavor, the Center initially focused on funding research projects on migration issues in Turkey and Turkish migrants abroad. Between 2004-2010, MiReKoc in conjunction with Koç University (Istanbul) and the Foundation for Population, Migration and Environment (PME, Zurich), provided grants for a total of 44 research projects exploring various migration issues.
Soon after its establishment, MiReKoc also began to conduct its own research with funding provided by other partner organizations such as the German Marshall Fund and the European Commission, UNHCR and IOM. Earlier projects considered a wide array of topics such as the causes and consequences of irregular migration and refugees issues, international migration and transnationalism, the integration of migrants into receiving settings, the brain drain, forced migration, and the migration-citizenship nexus. While MiReKoc research initially focused exclusively on the Turkish context, this scope has gradually expanded to other countries and regions over the years with theoretical and empirical contributions to the larger migration literature. The Center advocates for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research on various aspects of migration.
In 2010, MiReKoc was accredited by the Turkish Council of Higher Education as a research center focusing on migration issues. The Center began to play a bigger role in the burgeoning field of migration studies in Turkey as well establishing its position as an international research center. MiReKoc is a member of acclaimed international research and policy networks such as Metropolis and the IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion) network. Through these networks it endeavors to further academic knowledge and exchange.
Celebrating its 15-year anniversary in 2019, MiReKoc is currently a multi-disciplinary research institute on migration studies that seeks to promote scholarly work and collaboration in the field through research projects, publications, seminars, conferences, summer schools and other activities.
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