The Right of Vote to Syrian Migrants, The Rise and Fragmentation of Anti-Migrant Sentiments in Turkey


Hosting more than 3 million Syrian migrants, Turkey has a serious migrant issue with an increasing level of anti-migrant sentiments. In migrant hosting countries, the anti-migrant sentiments are mostly associated with unemployment, social and cultural issues, etc. However, Turkish people face an additional migrant issue, which is unique to Turkey: According to officials, more than 50.000 Syrian migrants (who are already Turkish Citizens) are going to vote in the general elections in June 2018. However, spreading especially in social media, there are news and rumors that Turkish Government accepts a huge number of Syrian migrants to Turkish Citizenship with the right of voting in the elections, in order to vote for Erdogan. In this work, we ask whether the spreading news have a contribution to the anti-migrant sentiments in Turkey and study the fragmentation of anti-migrant sentiments. We retrieved random 25.097 tweets containing the word 'Syrian' (in Turkish). Among them, we found that while 595 tweets are about unemployment and economic issues and 501 tweets are about criminal and violence issues, 3789 tweets are about the participation of Syrian migrants to the elections. We conclude that the spreading news that Syrian migrants are going to vote in the selections have a serious contribution to the rise of anti-migrant sentiments in Turkey.

Author Information
Seval Yurtcicek Ozaydin, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2018
Stream: Social Media & Communication Technology

This paper is part of the MediAsia2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon