Key Points

  • International migration in Turkey reflects the country’s geographic position between Europe and Asia. Generally, people from Turkey migrate to the West, especially Europe. At the same time, Turkey has become increasingly linked with Asia through migration.
  • In recent years, migrants to Turkey have originated mainly from Central Asian countries, Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The reasons for migrating are mostly to work or study or as refugees but some also use the country as a transit point to Europe.
  • Turkey has a large diaspora, especially in Europe, due to migratory movements that occurred mainly from the 1960s to the late 1980s. In the past decade, an increasing number of migrants returned to Turkey from Europe.
  • Labour migration to Turkey is expected to increase due to the country’s declining fertility and low population growth of the 15–39 years age group.