November 13, 2019 - 12:00 pm



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

MiReKoc Seminar Series of Fall 2019 continues with Judith Lynn Woods’ presentation on ‘Cross-border marriage migration in Turkey’. The presentation and discussion will take place on Wednesday, November 13th, 2019, at 12:00, in SOS143. Registration is required for participants not affiliated with Koç University.

Title: Cross-border marriage migration in Turkey

Abstract: In Turkey, Law 4866 (2003) represented a significant turning point in naturalized citizenship through marriage, simultaneously restricting and enabling access. While it permitted naturalization through marriage for men for the first time, it also revoked the automatic grant of citizenship through marriage and imposed a three-year waiting period along with other conditions for those applying by dint of marriage. In imposing restrictions and conditions to naturalization through marriage, Turkey allowed for bureaucratic discretion to take a role in determining whether an individual should be permitted to belong to the state. Fieldwork, consisting of responses to an online demographic survey and in-depth interviews with those applying for or granted citizenship through marriage as well as attorneys and consultants working with citizenship applicants, allows an examination of this role. Bureaucratic discretion, which in Turkey may be observed in imposition of additional application requirements, police or gendarme interviews with applicants and their neighbors, and in interviews with the Citizenship Application Review Commission, has been highlighted within the international literature on naturalization through marriage as having the potential to result in discrimination with regard to citizenship access. Fieldwork conducted in Turkey thus seeks to determine whether and to what extent access to naturalized citizenship for cross-border marriage migrants may be facilitated or obstructed based on demographic characteristics due to the beliefs and /or practices of street-level bureaucrats.

Short-bio: Judith Woods is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of International Relations / Political Science whose research interests include citizenship, migrant integration and local government; her dissertation focuses on the acquisition of Turkish citizenship through marriage.