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Abstract

In the last couple of decades, Turkey has become an important country of immigration. In parallel, a new scholarly field has developed to study this largely unrecognized phenomenon. In this paper, I take stock of this new literature. I first show how students of immigration into Turkey had to define the field in relation to the powerful existing fields studying emigration from Turkey and internal migration in Turkey, as well as how they distinguished between “old” and “new” immigration. I then study the emergence of this field under the lead of Ahmet İçduygu and Kemal Kirişci. Later, with the establishment of two central research centres (CARIM and MiReKoç), the field gained important institutional anchors and attracted many new scholars. Today, the field is characterized by a strong dynamism, a plurality of talented scholars and a diversity of concerns and approaches. Even though the field is still at an early stage, it is bound to grow rapidly, as the phenomenon of migration into Turkey remains a highly strategic and lasting phenomenon. It is therefore crucial for the field to become self-aware of its strength and weaknesses. Consequently, in the final section, I identify important future directions for the field, especially the need for scholars to better understand the diverse political ramifications (foreign and domestic politics) associated with immigration into Turkey.