The number of Armenians illegally working in Turkey might actually be several times smaller than claimed by the Turkish authorities. There are between 12,000 and 13,000 Armenian citizens working illegally in Turkey, according to the study by the Eurasia Partnership Foundation, which will be made available to the public next month.
|Researcher Alin Ozinian, a Turkish Armenian, interviewed Armenians living in Turkey for the study.|
This study is very important, because up until now the Turkish authorities have been claiming there are from 70,000–100,000 Armenians illegally working in Turkey, and using it as a bargaining chip in their bi-lateral relations with Armenia, hinting they might send those illegal migrants back home if Armenia continues to encourage Armenian-Diaspora efforts for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and doesn’t make concessions in the Karabakh conflict.
Head researcher Alin Ozinian, an İstanbul native of Armenian descent, worked for two years on the project, which culminated in a 150-page report to be released in Istanbul next month. I personally know Alin Ozinian and am sure, that the study is accurate and thoroughly done.
According to the study, 94% of the Armenians working in Turkey are women, with very few Armenian men accompanying their spouses to Turkey or working here. Armenian women tend to work as childcare and homecare providers, and cleaning and sales staff. Most of the Armenian men who accompany their wives here choose not to work at all, while those who do tend to work in the jewelry business.
Meanwhile, here’s a video about immigrants from former Soviet Union working in Istanbul’s flee markets.