In an age of securitization, in which the movement of individuals across borders has become securitized, and in which borders themselves are being externalized in an attempt to curb migration flows, the conventional notion of a static citizen-state relationship within the nation-state system is increasingly becoming inapplicable. Central to this thesis is the question: In a climate of securitized migration, and against the backdrop of the refugee/migration "crisis" has the externalization of EU borders through its migration management partnership with Turkey contributed to or brought about alternative conceptualizations of foreignness, citizenship, and non-citizenship in Turkey? Protection for asylum seekers in Turkey, and increasingly in other countries, is governed by the understanding that the presence of non-citizens and non-nationals will be temporary. By focusing on Turkey, and the recent shifts in its legal landscape on foreigners, it is possible to examine how different conceptions of citizenship and membership could be theorized against the backdrop of both the securitization of migration and the externalization of EU borders through the proliferation of the non-entrance and containment policies central to its migration management. In order to understand more tangibly the impact of securitization and externalization, focusing on a particular country is necessary as the implications these ongoing processes become clearer. The thesis examines how borders shift and how non-citizens are conceptualized in Turkey, while considering the post-2001 global context. It argues that the recent formalization on how foreigners are legally governed in Turkey is connected to EU migration management, and more broadly, to the growing trend of non-entrance regimes and containment policies. Turkey's recent shifting legal landscape on foreigners and protection is a platform to examine how alternative theoretical conceptions of citizenship might emerge in Turkey.


Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

Degree Name

MA in Migration & Refugee Studies

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2018

First Advisor

Morrison, Ian

Committee Member 1

Awad, Ibrahim

Committee Member 2

Natarajan, Usha


126 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


This thesis developed out of years of interest in questions of borders, citizenship and population movements. It was during an M.A Sociology class with my advisor Dr. Ian Morrison that my ideas and questions on citizenship and migration came together, and I found myself deeply engaged in this topic. The time he has dedicated to discussing ideas and questions has been invaluable, as has his guidance, feedback and support throughout this process. This thesis would not have been possible without his continued effort for which I am grateful. I would like to thank my professors, Dr. Ibrahim Awad, Dr. Usha Natarajan and Dr. Alexandra Parrs in the Migration and Refugee Studies Program at the American University in Cairo for tackling this complex and ever evolving field from a variety of perspectives and disciplines; the inter-disciplinary nature of this program has been incredibly eye-opening and informative on multiple levels. I would also like to extend my specific gratitude to Dr. Awad and Dr. Natarajan for their time and effort as members of my thesis committee. I would also like to thank the researchers and coordinators working in the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, specifically Maysa Ayoub, Eman Moursy and Naseem Hashim, who have facilitated short-course trainings, conferences, and lectures and provided endless logistical support throughout my two years. Without the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund, this Master of Arts would not have been possible. I am grateful to have been awarded this opportunity to study and research such a critical field at the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies in Cairo. Lastly, I would like to thank my family for being my sounding board as I worked through ideas and questions and for having an endless amount of moral support, and my partner for his patience, support and encouragement through my research and writing.