Perceptions and Experiences of Foreign University Students about Turkish Identity and Citizenship


YUKSEKOGRETIM DERGISI, vol.12, no.2, pp.245-256, 2022 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.2399/yod.20.736918
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), EBSCO Education Source
  • Page Numbers: pp.245-256
  • Keywords: Adaptation, belonging, citizenship, higher education, identity, migration
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


The phenomenon of migration, a form of geographical mobility, refers to the displacement of individuals and societies due to social, economic, political, or natural reasons. This study focuses on the experiences of immigrant students coming to Turkiye for their higher education. These experiences were structured by the dimensions of identity, belonging, citizenship, and harmony. 40 university students coming to Isparta and Bursa from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and European countries were included in the study. 26 of these participants are women and 14 of them are men. They were asked questions about identity, belonging, citizenship, and social participation through phenomenological face-to-face interviews. Based on their responses to these questions, some categories were obtained by applying the thematic analysis method. None of the participants had any problems in feeling a belonging to Turkiye, but stated that this belonging is different in various parts of their life, and they have no hesitations in returning to their own countries. Language and religion were found as two key factors in ensuring harmony and belonging. It can be concluded that the experiences of immigrants regarding identity, harmony, belonging, and ultimately citizenship are not independent of each other, but have undergone historically- and culturally-driven ethnic changes.