British Migration to Mugla-Gökova Region in Turkey: In the Search of Authenticity
Sociology Mugla University Mugla, Turkey
International migration is usually associated with the mobility of the people of the "underdeveloped" countries to the "developed" world in search of work and/ or political security. Therefore integration and adaptation have been the main issues regarding the cultural dimensions of this kind of transnational migration. However, recently we are witnessing a different pattern of international migration, of the migration of the people from the Western/Northern Europe to the Southeast Europe. Spain, Portugese, Greece and Malta have witnessed this migration earlier than Turkey, and especially in the case Spain, are about to consume the process. This migration flow is now moving to Turkey mainly because Turkey is not a part of EU and Turkey's Aegean and Mediterranean coasts are attracting many migrants in the search of not work or security but an escape from an overly-rationalized world.
This kind of migration has been studied as "retirement migration" of the elderly people who are in search of a place which could both provide suitable climate and economically advantageous conditions. Also since the term "migrant" has connotations of "backwardness" and "necessity", these new migration pattern has led researchers to discuss this migration in terms of international tourism and postmodern transnational life-styles.
This presentation is based on a fieldwork conducted on British migrants settling in Turkish villages away from touristic centres and away from other British migrants who prefer to live in a ghetto-like communities with other British migrants. The findings from this case study show that it is an oversimplification to conceptualize this migration as a retirement migration. This presentation aims to discuss the findings from the fieldwork, especially in terms of how the migrants articulate their experiences with reference to their social and political frustrations toward Britain and EU and to their search of authenticity.