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The international migration and foreign policy nexus: the case of Syrian refugee crisis and Turkey

Abstract

The relationship between foreign and immigration and asylum policy is complex and has significant consequences beyond these policy areas. Despite their ever increasing importance, migration and refugee studies have been rarely tackled within the foreign policy dimension of states responses, in particular regarding refugee crisis. This paper both demonstrates the importance for and impact of foreign policy orientations on immigration and asylum policies. It questions how foreign policy and asylum policy are intertwined and generate differences in coping with the mass influx with a focus on the Syrian refugee crisis and Turkeys policy responses. We argue that assertive foreign policy of Turkey, particularly willingness to be the actor establishing the order in the Middle East which led to the open-door and humanitarian asylum policy at the initial stages of refugee flow. However, the isolation of Turkish foreign policy along with the increase in the numbers of refugees necessitated recalibration of the adopted policy towards the one based on non-arrival, and security emphasizing temporary protection, voluntary return and the burden share.

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