Adaptation Strategies to Turkish Society of Europeans Married to Turkish Citizens

Open access


Accelerated and increasingly complex patterns of international migration are correlated with the emergence of various types of transnational families and an ever-rising number of culturally and ethnically mixed couples. Once a typical emigration country, Turkey has recently been established as a transit and receiving society, where numerous Europeans settle due to emotional ties with Turkish citizens. This paper is based on a qualitative study of 10 mixed European-Turkish families based in Istanbul, carried out through in-depth interviews. The paper is divided into three parts. First, it examines the social characteristics of the research participants. Second, it analyses the reactions of family and friends to the mixed relationship. Third, it discusses four adaptation strategies of foreign partners to Turkish society – namely, integration, assimilation, separation, and marginalization.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • AKGÜNDÜZ Ahmet. 1998. Migration to and from Turkey 1783–1960: Types Numbers and Ethnoreligious Dimensions. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 24(1): 97–120.

  • BENET-MARTÍNEZ Verónica–HARITATOS Jana. 2005. Bicultural Identity Integration (BII): Components and Psychosocial Antecedents. Journal of Personality 73(4): 1015–1047.

  • BERRY John W. 1997. Immigration Acculturation and Adaptation. Applied Psychology: an International Review 46(1): 5–68.

  • BERRY John W. 2005. Acculturation: Living Successfully in Two Cultures. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 29: 697–712.

  • BÜRGELT Petra T.–MORGAN Mandy–PERNICE Regina. 2008. Staying or Returning: Pre-Migration Influences on the Migration Process of German Migrants to New Zealand. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology 18: 282–298.

  • CAROL Sarah. 2013. Intermarriage Attitudes among Minority and Majority Groups in Western Europe: The Role of Attachment to the Religious In-Group. International Migration 51: 67–83.

  • DEMIRALP Seda. 2012. White Turks Black Turks? Fault Lines beyond Islamism versus Secularism. Third World Quarterly 33(3): 511–524.

  • DRIBE Martin–LUNDH Christer. 2008. Intermarriage and Immigrant Integration in Sweden: an Explanatory Analysis. Acta Sociologica 51(4): 329–354.

  • DRIBE Martin–LUNDH Christer. 2011. Cultural Dissimilarity and Intermarriage: a Longitudinal Study of Immigrants in Sweden 1990–2005. International Migration Review 45(2): 297–324.

  • FURTADO Delia–THEODOROPOULOS Nikolaos. 2008. Interethnic Marriage: a Choice between Ethnic and Educational Similarities. IZA Discussion Papers 3448.

  • GARRIDO Angeles Arjona–OLMOS Juan Carlos Checa. 2014. The Marriage Market in Spain. Analysis of the Structure of Opportunity in Mixed Marriage. Sociológia 4(3): 300–319.

  • GASPAR Sofia. 2009. Mixed Marriages between European Free Movers. CIES e-Working Papers.

  • KALMIJN Matthijs. 1991. Shifting Boundaries: Trends in Religious and Educational Homogamy. American Sociological Review 56: 786–800.

  • KALMIJN Matthijs. 1998. Intermarriage and Homogamy: Causes Patterns Trends. Annual Review of Sociology 24: 395–421.

  • KASTROYANO Riva. 2002. Negotiating Identities: States and Immigrants in France and Germany. Princeton University Press.

  • KAYA Ayhan. 2012. Turkey as an Emerging Destination Country for Immigration: Challenges and Prospects for the Future in Europe Turkey and the Mediterranean. Bertelsmann Stiftung 85–95.

  • KLEIN Thomas. 2001. Intermarriages between Germans and Foreigners in Germany. Journal of Comparative Family Studies 32(3): 325–346.

  • LUCASSEN Leo–LAARMAN Charlotte. 2009 Immigration Intermarriage and the Changing Face of Europe in the Post War Period. History of the Family 14: 52–68.

  • LUCIANA Silva C.–CAMPBELL Kelly–WRIGHT David W. 2012. Intercultural Relationships: Entry Adjustment and Cultural Negotiations. Journal of Comparative Family Studies 43(6): 857–870.

  • MAI Nicola–KING Russell. 2009. Introduction. Love Sexuality and Migration: Mapping the Issue(s). Mobilities 4(3): 295–307.

  • MAHLER Sarah J.–PESSA Patricia R. 2006. Gender Matters: Ethnographers Bring Gender from the Periphery toward the Core of Migration Studies. International Migration Review 40(1): 28–63.

  • MASON Jennifer. 2002. Qualitative Researching. SAGE London.

  • McPHERSON Miller–SMITH-LOVIN Lyn–COOK James M. 2001. Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks. Annual Review of Sociology 27: 415–444.

  • MENG Xin–GREGORY Robert G. 2005. Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants. Journal of Labor Economics 23(1): 135–175.

  • MUNNIKSMA Anke–FLACHE Andreas–VERKUYTEN Maykel–VEENSTRA Ren. 2012. Parental Acceptance of Children’s Intimate Ethnic Outgroup Relations: the Role of Culture Status and Family Reputation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 36: 575–585.

  • MUTTARAK Raya–HEATH Anthony. 2010. Who Intermarries in Britain? Explaining Ethnic Diversity in Intermarriage Patterns. The British Journal of Sociology 61(2): 275–305.

  • QIAN Zhenchao–LICHTER Daniel T. 2007. Social Boundaries and Marital Assimilation: Interpreting Trends in Racial and Ethnic Intermarriage. American Sociological Review 72: 68–94.

  • ROER-STRIER Dorit–BEN EZRA Dina. 2008. Intermarriages between Western Women and Palestinian Men: Multidirectional Adaptation Processes. Journal of Marriage and Family 68: 41–55.

  • SAFDAR Saba–LAY Clarry–STRUTHERS Ward. 2003. The Process of Acculturation and Basic Goals: Testing a Multidimensional Individual Difference Acculturation Model with Iranian Immigrants in Canada. Applied Psychology: an International Review 52(4): 555–579.

  • SAM David L.–BERRY John W. 2010. Acculturation: When Individuals and Groups of Different Cultural Backgrounds Meet. Perspectives on Psychological Science 5(4): 472–481.

  • SCOTT Sam–CARTLEDGE Kim H. 2009. Migrant Assimilation in Europe: a Transnational Family Affair. International Migration Review 43: 60–89.

  • SMART Carol–SHIPMAN Beccy. 2004. Visions in Monochrome: Families Marriage and the Individualization Thesis. The British Journal of Sociology 55(4): 491–509.

  • SONG Miri. 2009. Is Intermarriage a Good Indicator of Integration? Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 35: 331–348.

  • SONG Miri. 2010. What Happens after Segmented Assimilation? An Exploration of Intermarriage and ‘Mixed Race’ Young People in Britain. Ethnic and Racial Studies 33: 1194–1213.

  • TARTAKOVSKY Eugene. 2012. Factors Affecting Immigrants’ Acculturation Intentions: a Theoretical Model and its Assessment among Adolescent Immigrants from Russia and Ukraine in Israel. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 36: 83–99.

  • TOLAY Juliette. 2012. Discovering Immigration to Turkey: the Emergence of a Dynamic Field. International Migration 53(6): 1–17.

  • ÜLKER Erol. 2007. Assimilation of the Muslim Communities in the First Decade of the Turkish Republic (1923–1934). European Journal of Turkish Studies (online).

  • WALTER G. Stephan–COOKIE WHITE Stephan. 2000. An Integrated Threat Theory of Prejudice. In: S. Oskamp (ed.) Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination. Psychology Press. Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology Series 23–46.

Journal information
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 277 134 2
PDF Downloads 97 54 0