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The Turks of Bulgaria: An Outlier Case of Forced Migration and Voluntary Return

Kutlay, Muzaffer (2017) The Turks of Bulgaria: An Outlier Case of Forced Migration and Voluntary Return. International Migration, 55 (5). pp. 162-179. ISSN 0020-7985. (doi:10.1111/imig.12381)

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Abstract

The Turks of Bulgaria have a particular place in displacement scholarship. As the largest minority group in the country, they were subjected to ethnic cleansing in the 1980s. Anti-Turkish sentiments culminated in state-led systematic exclusion and more than 340,000 Turks were forcefully migrated to Turkey in 1989. After the collapse of Communism and the transition to democracy, almost 40 per cent of them voluntarily returned to Bulgaria, making it an outlier case in displacement literature. Drawing on 46 semi-structured interviews, this study contributes to the literature by offering a grounded conceptual framework which explains the macro-dynamics of voluntary and sustainable return through an in-depth study of the Bulgarian case. The findings suggest that three-factors account for the voluntary return: (i) the peaceful transition to inclusive democracy and power-sharing; (ii) the dual moderation between majority and minority representatives; and (iii) the enabling role of international actors, primarily the EU-anchor.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/imig.12381
Uncontrolled keywords: Turks of Bulgaria, assimilation, forced migration, displacement, voluntary return
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Muzaffer Kutlay
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2017 15:18 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:43 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/64108 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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