The Geopolitics of Returns: Geopolitical Reasoning and Space-Making in Turkey’s Repatriation Regime

Release date: 2022-06

Despite growing interest in the return of rejected asylum seekers, irregular migrants, and refugees, we do not know enough about how geopolitics affects returns governance. This article addresses this knowledge gap by analysing the case of Turkey, exploring how positions in the global migration regime and relations with countries of origin influence return policies. It first argues that Turkey’s geopolitical reasoning has led it to design an asylum regime, including repatriation and deportation procedures, centred on temporariness. Second, it contends that Turkey’s extraterritorial space-making strategies – namely, military intervention in Syria and humanitarian/development projects in Afghanistan – guide return policies. Examining the Turkish case contributes to our understanding of national returns governance in transit-turned-host countries, which increasingly emphasise repatriation over long-term protection. Finally, the paper contributes more generally to our understanding of the geopolitics of returns by focusing on specific mechanisms that link geopolitical concerns with policy instruments at the state level.

Please find the article here