The Construction of Ahiska Identity in Migration Process: Ahiska Turks who Migrated to The United States

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BILIG, no.91, pp.187-216, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 91
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.12995/bilig.9108
  • Journal Name: BILIG
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.187-216
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, elements constituting identities of Ahiska Turks who migrated to Jacksonville, Florida, between 2005 and 2007 was tackled in terms of migration process. The objective of this study is to present the reasons why the Ahiska Turks migrated to United States, the problems they faced before migration, and the effects of migration process on their identities. Data are obtained during January-March, 2016 from Ahiska Turks who live in Jacksonville, Florida. In-depth interviews with 9 Ahiska Turks and the participant observation was conducted in spaces where they spend their daily lives by forming an interaction in order to comprehend their social realities from their own point of view. The study revealed that discrimination toward Ahiska Turks before their migration to the United States was the most important problem they had. Further, It was observed that the Ahiska Turks involuntarily migrated to the United States with their families and they preserved the fundamental elements of their identities after their migration. Moreover, the basic elements determining the identity of Ahiska Turks are found to be Turkishness, Turkish, and Islam.