May 9, 2018 - 1:00 pm



Koc University Rumelifeneri Campus, Faculty of Social Sciences Building, SOS143   View map

MiReKoc Seminar Series continues with Irena Grigoryan’s presentation on “Armenian Labor Migrants in Istanbul: Reality Check”. The presentation and discussion will take place on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018, at 13:00, in SOS143. Registration is required for participants not affiliated with Koç University.


Armenian Labor Migrants in Istanbul: Reality Check


The presentation is based on a descriptive report about the realities of Armenian labor migrants in Istanbul carried out within “Beyond Borders” Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme. With the absence of open borders, diplomatic relations, formal economic ties and compromising historical narratives between Armanian and Turkish states the report finds the situation of Armenian labor migrants in Istanbul to be of particular precariousness, volatility and vulnerability. The report looks at the human fabric, migration trajectories, settlement and employment patterns of the Armenian migrants in Kumkapı and Şişli districts of Istanbul, based on profiling questionnaires of 40 migrants and semi-structured in-depth interviews of 15 migrants. The paper also reflects on the incorporation of the migrants in the local labor market and in the community of Istanbulite Armenians.  


Irena Grigoryan is a visiting fellow from Armenia at the Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc) in Istanbul within Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme implemented by Hrant Dink Foundation and funded by the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

Irena received her BA in Philology of English Language from “Gladzor” University of Yerevan, Armenia, in 2007. Her joint MA degree in Migration and Intercultural Relations she received from the universities of Oldenburg (Germany), Stavanger (Norway) and Nova Gorica (Slovenia) during an Erasmus Mundus programme in 2011-2013, conducting a thesis on highly-skilled returnees in Armenia (available in English here: As a grantee of the OSI Think Tank Young Professional Development Program, Irena has conducted an independent research on policies and practices of return migration in Armenia at the Civilitas Foundation (available in English here: Besides, she has carried out the fieldwork for a state-commissioned research on integration practices of ethnic Armenian Syrian refugee/repatriates, working with Repat Armenia Foundation (available in Armenian here:

Irena has also worked within socio-economic development and educational projects at the British Council and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) offices in Yerevan. Apart from the formal employment, Irena was also an intern at different intecultural projects, such as the Migrant Film Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Ochota Cultural Center in Warsaw, Poland.