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.

Evolved from a grant-giving program into an established and reputable research center, Migration Research Center conducts and participates in a range of research projects in order to motivate national and international networks and to strengthen research capacity in the field of migration. MiReKoc also organizes international conferences, workshops and seminars to discuss various research agendas in the field of migration. With the objective of connecting the migration debate in Turkey to the ongoing debates and research in different contexts and settings, MiReKoc endeavors to develop collaboration between migration scholars, civil society organizations and policy makers to stimulate dialogue on existing and new research. Since 2011, MiReKoc organizes the annual International Summer School, a flagship program bringing together migration experts from all over the world.

While MiReKoc’ research initially focused exclusively on the Turkish context, this scope has steadily widened to other countries and  regions over the years with a theoretical and empirical contribution to migration literature. The Center intends to advocate multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research on various aspects of migration. Past projects have considered the causes and consequences of international migration and transnationalism, the integration of migrants into receiving settings, transit migration including the mobility of irregular migrants and refugees, human smuggling and trafficking, migration-security, and the migration-citizenship nexus.

History

MiReKoc was founded as a grant-giving program in August 2004 to provide grants for research on migration issues in Turkey, in collaboration with Koç University (Istanbul) and the Foundation for Population, Migration and Environment (Zurich). Between 2004 and 2010, MiReKoç hosted numerous Turkish and international scholars and researchers and granted 43 research projects on various migration issues with a total budget of over 500,000 USD. Recognized by The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) of Turkey with the name of Koç Üniversitesi Göç Araştırmaları Uygulama ve Araştırma Merkezi in 2010, MiReKoc officially became a fully functioning research center aimed at strengthening the research capacity to address migration issues in Turkey. That same year, MiReKoc announced the Post-Graduate Student Research Grant Competition to support outstanding and innovative research by junior scholars in the field of migration studies. Over the past years, MiReKoc has become a hub for the systematic research on migration in Turkey, encouraging and bolstering the high quality research, as well as organizing seminars, conferences and training activities for reaching out to stakeholders and future researchers in the field.

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