This study contextualizes the foreign policy strategies of Turkey and its responses to the two most recent mass refugee flows from Iraq (1989–1991) and Syria (since 2011). Considering migration policy as part of foreign policy, we argue that the foreign policy strategy of a receiving country toward a refugee-sending country is decisive in determining policies adopted for refugees. While the cases stress humanitarian need as a legitimizing tool to mobilize international coalitions to establish safe havens, the Iraqi case, however, did not correspond with any goal of using the refugee inflow to affect Iraq’s domestic policies. Therefore, the strategy focused on strict containment of refugees at camps and repatriation. In the Syrian case, the strategies simultaneously utilize idealistic and pragmatic paradigms to assert Turkey’s involvement in matters in Syria, while maintaining an emphasis on security that has become exclusionary over time.
Altıok, B., & Tosun, S. (2020). Understanding foreign policy strategies during migration movements: a comparative study of Iraqi and Syrian mass refugee inflows to Turkey. Turkish Studies, 21(5), 684–704. https://doi.org/10.1080/14683849.2019.1709055