The Migration Profile of Women Labor Turned Toward Turkey in the Post-Soviet Period: The Example of Female Sales Representatives in the Textile Sector in Kumkapı

Author/s: Hilâl Çakmak, Irmak Yaman

DOI: 10.12738/mejrs.2018.3.2.0005

Year: 2018 Vol: 3 Number: 2

Abstract

Following the independence of countries from the USSR at the beginning of the 1990s, intense immigrations from these countries beyond their borders were experienced for reasons such as the extreme poverty, declining wages, and political instability that emerged there. In these migrations, which are known as post- Soviet migrations, Turkey became an important target country for immigrants due to reasons like its demand for an actual work force, flexible visa applications, and geographical proximity. This study addresses the positions of female migrants originally from the former Soviet Union who work in Istanbul’s textile sector in Kumkapı. The scope of the research aims to examine these female migrants’ issues, such as the processes in choosing migration, the economic and social reasons for immigrating, work conditions, the support they provide to the family economy, evaluating the types of free time and locales, their inclination to go back, plans for the future, and their relationships with Kumkapı, which is an important center on labor market participation. In-depth interviews have been performed with six female immigrants in this qualitative study realized in Kumkapı. The participants generally see demand in the labor market for reasons such as their provision of cheap labor force in particular, they are educated and relatively qualified, many work illegally, and they reduce many employer expenses. The migrant women, who can be evaluated as the faded unseen faces of the city and the economy, are observed to work regularly or irregularly in not only the textile sector but also in home, maintenance, and office services, as well as to not work in jobs that are inimical to their social capital; the greatest sources of motivation in the migration processes is observed to be intermediaries.

Keywords
Female migrant labor to Turkey, Feminization of migration, Kumkapı, Undocumented and irregular migration, Profile of migrant women

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