Danièle Bélanger und Cenk Saracoglu haben im November 2018 einen Artikel in Mediterranean Politics über Flüchtlingsarbeiter*innen in mehreren türkischen Städten veröffentlicht.
This article argues that the convergence of state policies and the interests of capital and business owners are central to the understanding of the governance of Syrian refugees in Turkey. Drawing on fieldwork in Ankara, Gaziantep, Hatay and Izmir, collected between 2016 and 2018, this article shows that the terms of Turkish state’s temporary protection regime, the state’s ad hoc leniency towards the informal use of refugee labour and the disciplinary effects of the laws complies with the economic expectations of business and capital owners. This article also sheds light on the structural limitations that the state-market convergence places on civil actor’s ability to make improvements to the overall living and working conditions of Syrians in Turkey.
Because over 90per cent of the nearly 4 million Syrian refugees are not in camps and receive minimal assistance (if any), some form of employment is critical to their survival, a situation that creates a pool of cheap and vulnerable labour. According to Erdogdu, around 650,000 refugees are informally employed in agriculture, construction, textile and apparel sectors, as well as in small service and manufacturing businesses. As will be shown in this article, this form of economic contribution would not be possible without the state’s legal regulations as well as its particular practices regarding the employment of Syrians. Taken together, the legal terms and conditions of the Turkish state’s temporary protection regime, the state’s ad hoc leniency towards the use of refugee labour in the informal sector and the disciplinary effects of the state’s regulations
have formed the basis of the state-capital nexus in the governance of
Syrian refugees and created a favourable context for the Turkish business and capital owners to take advantage of the Syrian refugees.
For some employers owning businesses in sectors hit by an emerging domestic economic crisis and stiff global competition, access to the pool of cheap Syrian labour has been crucial. This ‘refugee supply shock’ offered a solution to their failing business. One employer who owns a medium-size garment firm and receives contracts with brand name jean companies explains how essential Syrian labour has become for entrepreneurs like him:
„If the Syrians were taken out from these sectors today, the textile sector would shrink by fifty percent. There are five floors in this building. Except the third floor – where they do office work- in all remaining four floors half of the workers are Syrians. I also hire Syrian workers in my workshop“