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Cooperating at local level to ensure coherence between migration and development

25 April 2016


The fifth in a series of workshops on the migration and development nexus, organised by ICMPD for the Directorate General of Migration Management, took place in Istanbul on 31 March – 1 April.

“Turkey has a test to pass”, said Professor Deniz Yükseker from İstanbul Aydın University in her introductory remarks. The current migratory situation could be turned into an opportunity if all stakeholders in Turkey act together to achieve a common goal.


The workshop brought together 40 stakeholders representing Turkish central and local level government institutions, international organisations, academia and civil society organisations working in the field of migration to exchange and enhance the understanding of the opportunities and challenges surrounding migration and development.

During the first day, five regional development agencies from regions highly affected by migration in different ways engaged in discussion with DGMM’s provincial offices from Istanbul, Gaziantep, Izmir, Adana and Edirne. The discussions showed that regional development agencies, mandated to increase productivity of regions and reduce regional disparities, became de-factor actors working on migration.

Representatives from DGMM’s provincial offices underlined that currently their focus lies on addressing the immediate needs and managing the migration situation through registering Syrians and other refugee groups and processing applications for residence permits. While regional development agencies work on the key development sectors such as employment, education, business environment, they are often lacking detailed information and data on the migration situation to understand the profile and main needs of migrants. Hence, many complementarities in the work of these two groups of actors could be found to address migration in a coherent manner.

The workshop resulted in a list of recommendations to bring migration and development policies, practices and actors closer together and enhancing the positive impact of migration and development by integrating migration in regional development plans and finding ways to better connect policy making at central level with reality at regional and provincial level.

The next training, planned for July 2016, will look at the impact of forced migration on development. These capacity building events are part of the project ‘Sessiz Destek’– Support of a Development-sensitive and Coherent Turkish Migration Policy.