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Project News: The Kick-off Conference on the SIDEM Project in Turkey

21 December 2017

The Kick-off Conference on the Support the Implementation of Development-sensitive Migration Policies in Turkey (SIDEM) Project was held in Ankara, Turkey on 7 December 2017. The Conference marked the launch of SIDEM Project activities in Ankara and in the pilot regions.

Being funded by State Secretary for Migration, Switzerland for the period from May 2017 to May 2019, SIDEM aims to contribute to the establishment of an integrated, long-term, development-sensitive and sustainable migration policy framework taking into account Turkey’s socio-economic and human development context. Counterparts in Turkey are the Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM), the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS) and the Ministry of Development in Turkey (MoD).

The Kick-off Conference “The Migration & Development Nexus and the Role of Public Policies” was organised to improve the understanding of the interconnections between migration, development and public policies. The Conference also provided a platform for the discussion on the present, and future impact of migrant flows on Turkey’s development as well as policies addressing development aspects in the context of migration, migrants’ integration and the utilisation of development potentials for the benefit of local communities.

Following the opening speeches from Tamer KILIÇ, the ICMPD Turkey and Western Balkans Regional Coordinator; the Ambassador Urs von ARB, Delegate for the Middle East for the Switzerland State Secretariat for Migration (SEM); and Abdullah AYAZ, the Acting Director General of the Ministry of Interior Directorate General of Migration Management, the conference started with the keynote speech of Melissa Siegel from the Maastricht University Graduate School of Governance on the migration and development nexus which was followed by three discussion panels. The first panel focused on the international dimension of migration and development nexus and the role of public policies based on various country examples whereas the second panel’s focus was on how much migration has been and will be addressed in development policies and plans of related institutions at different planning levels of Turkey. Lastly, in the third panel, how development policies in Turkey can be steered for an effective migration management was discussed by the head of departments of the beneficiary public institutions, namely the Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM), the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS), the Ministry of Development in Turkey (MoD).

The Conference hosted 97 participants who all initiated a multi-stakeholder discussion with the involvement of the respective ministries that oversee the process of development policy formulation and implementation, central institutions, local actors, universities, national and international academicians, and international organisations.