@theAAG 2019: Mert Peksen on Displacing the border in Turkey: New strategies, new spaces, and new actors

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Date(s) - 04/03/2019
3:35 pm

Virginia A, Marriott, Lobby Level


Authors: Mert Peksen*,┬áCUNY – Graduate Center
This paper addresses the spatial expansion and inward mobility of borders and bordering practices in Turkey. As an important destination and transit country between the Middle East and Europe, Turkey currently hosts around 3.5 million Syrian refugees, and it continues to be an important transit migration hub within the European migration system. Especially after the agreement that the European Union and Turkey reached in March 2016, regulating and stemming the mobility of refugees have been an important part of the political agenda. While control at the land border between Turkey and Greece, as well as at the maritime border in the Aegean Sea has increased since the agreement, this paper argues, bordering practices -and the border itself- actually moved inward to the Turkish territory, thus creating various spaces of containment, control, and (im)mobility at different geographical scales. These intermittent and dispersed borders and bordering practices, involving various actors and societal processes, create a large network that aims to contain migrants, control their mobility, as well as restrict their access to stable rights and statuses. In order to analyze how bordering practices, encompassing a large geography, create new control and containment spaces, this paper examines three cases from Turkey: (1) the requirement for a travel permit to travel inside Turkey, (2) checkpoints along the highways and roads within Turkey, and (3) the involvement of non-conventional actors in bordering practices, such as employees of domestic bus companies, fishermen, or tourists.

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