Framing Syrians in Turkey: State Control and No Crisis Discourse

SERT D., Danis D.

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION, vol.59, no.1, pp.197-214, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 59 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/imig.12753
  • Page Numbers: pp.197-214


The mass arrival of Syrian refugees and their continuing presence have triggered many new debates regarding migration in Turkey, which - as a result of its open-door policy - now hosts the highest number of refugees in the world. Yet, when we investigate the ways political institutions and actors have framed migration, we observe, unlike in European discourses, the complete absence of the word "crisis". In public statements by politicians, "control" emerges instead as a recurrent (albeit implicit) theme. Here, management of the refugee issue becomes a sign of state power, exercised through various mechanisms. Through analysis of state discourse on Syrians in the Turkish media, we find that crisis framing has been deliberately avoided, which we contend is a sign of an implicit "silencing" via media control. This choice of discourse reflects a clear policy to manage public reactions to the mass arrival of refugees.