Media Discussion on the Naturalization Policy for Syrians in Turkey

Atasu-Topcuoglu R.

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION, vol.57, no.2, pp.283-297, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 57 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/imig.12463
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.283-297
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This study focuses on the public opinion on the naturalization policy for Syrians in Turkey. It analyses news media coverage in the religious, far-right newspaper (Yeni Akit), a centre-right newspaper (Hurriyet), a social democrat newspaper (Cumhuriyet), and a socialist-left news portal (Solportal). The research question is: What are the metaphors, arguments, and omissions produced by media of different ideologies about the possible citizenship of Syrians in Turkey? The results show that metaphors and arguments differ according to ideological stance, suggesting that the current political polarization in Turkey affects the public's acceptance of Syrians and challenges Turkey's established migration policy. Each ideological stance accepts Syrians on a selective basis, implying that universal naturalization of Syrians is not welcome; instead, there seems to be consensus favouring naturalization according to socio-economic criteria. These results indicate a need for a change in migration policy, especially concerning disadvantaged Syrians.