“I will Enter the Suitcase and I will not Make a Sound until we Pass the Border…”


Özgür Baklacioğlu N., Altıntop A. K., Hocaoglu O.

Balkanistic Forum, vol.30, no.2, pp.112-137, 2021 (ESCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.37708/bf.swu.v30i2.7
  • Journal Name: Balkanistic Forum
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Linguistic Bibliography
  • Page Numbers: pp.112-137
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

The article elaborates the crossborder experiences and strategies of family divide and unaccompanied childhoods in the context of crossborder migrations and smuggling across Bulgaria-Turkey border between the years of 1990-2001. The authors dig into the longrun impact of smuggling and imposed illegality on the migrant children and the means, manners, strategies and dangers hidden within crossborder cyclical mobility and administrative construction of illegality under the political and economic transitions and turbulence across sending and receiving countries. Left to the forgetfulness of the history unaccompanied child migration experiences between Bulgaria and Turkey contain significant lessons in regard to the role of restrictive and security based visa and migration policies. Our study aims at further investigation and understanding of these experiences via fieldwork containing semistructured interviews with 13 smuggled children and their parents. The article begins with introduction to the political and economic conditions that led to irregularization of child migrations across Bulgaria-Turkey border between 1990-2001. It follows presentation of data collected during the Istanbul University BAP Research Center supported fieldwork and follows elaboration on the memories, experiences and prevailing perceptions of these crossborder experiences by the trafficked children and their parents.The article elaborates the crossborder experiences and strategies of family divide and unaccompanied childhoods in the context of crossborder migrations and smuggling across Bulgaria-Turkey border between the years of 1990-2001. The authors dig into the longrun impact of smuggling and imposed illegality on the migrant children and the means, manners, strategies and dangers hidden within crossborder cyclical mobility and administrative construction of illegality under the political and economic transitions and turbulence across sending and receiving countries. Left to the forgetfulness of the history unaccompanied child migration experiences between Bulgaria and Turkey contain significant lessons in regard to the role of restrictive and security based visa and migration policies. Our study aims at further investigation and under-standing of these experiences via fieldwork containing semi-structured interviews with 13 smuggled children and their parents. The article begins with introduction to the political and economic conditions that led to irregularization of child migrations across Bulgaria-Turkey border between 1990-2001. It follows presentation of data collected during the Istanbul University BAP Research Center supported fieldwork and follows elaboration on the memories, experiences and prevailing perceptions of these crossborder experiences by the trafficked children and their parents.