Bulgarian Migrants Transnationalism and Reproduction of “Muhacir”

Bulgarian Migrants Transnationalism and Reproduction of “Muhacir”

Selda ADİLOĞLU*,  Sercan EKLEMEZLER**

Abstract: Each migration flow creates a new relationship pattern not only with the country which was left behind but also with the country which has been settled. The literature dwells upon these two types of relationships, but on the other hand it has been diversified by the studies which evaluates this subject from different point of views. However, as it is seen in the text, most of the studies examine the dependence to the country which is arrived by the migrants and the relationships with the country left behind of migrants on the politics and law basis. Whereas, as it is seen in this study, migrants (in this study, from Bulgaria) may establish or maintain relationships with the countries they left behind except from the purposes like voting and dual nationality. On this point, this study has interrogated what kind of relationships the migrants from Bulgaria have established apart from the political and lawful qualities. This study has based upon the idea which assumes migrants from Bulgaria maintain their relationships with the country they left behind through consumer goods. The connections in question have developed in what intensity level and content are the questions about which this study has seeked answers. In this study, major concepts were determined and explained in order to make understandable migrants’s (from Bulgaria) relationships with the country they left behind in terms of intensity and quality. To establish a relationship between immigrated country and the country was left behind through a migrant is described as transnational networks in literature. Thereby the first concept which will be examined within the context of this study is transnational networks. As it will be recalled, Glick Schiller et al. (1995) say that the concept had used to explain economical processes and also territorial boundries in 1960s and in recent times it has seen as the part of the globalisation phenomenon. The other important factor to support becoming wide spread and becoming accepted of the concept in question, as it is seen in the Hacısalihoğlu’s (2012) and Içduygu’s (2014) studies is the concept can not be conceptualized as the one way human movement for once and the concept reflects that sending countries and receiving countries have intertwined. As transnational immigration, concept of transnational migrant have being used frequently in literature. Transnational migrant, as Kaya pointed (2015), implies the people who are able to live two countries (receiving and sending countries) at the same time, in other words who are able to present on the two sides of the river. In addition to transnational immigration and transnational migrant, transnational social areas have been mentioned too. Faist (1998) points that the areas in question refer to the coexistence of social and symbolic connections of migrants rather than a pyshical place. Each three concepts are important in terms of helping to understand the point which is focused by the study, so to understand the intensity and quality of the relationships with the country left behind of migrants. This study assumes that migrants from Bulgaria don’t forget the country they left behind and their relationships with the country they left behind don’t take a shape only through the political purposes and goals, the relationships maintain on the level of mouth-pleasing habits. In order to test the trueness of this assumption, it has been efforted to determine the appropriate approach for the subject of the study and quantitative approach had chosen. Basic technique to collect data for this study is survey. Surveys applied to first, second and third generation adult migrant women and men who live in three central county (Yıldırım, Osmangazi, Nilüfer) in Bursa. Migrants from Bulgaria who migrated to Bursa establish the target population of the study but some troubles had been experienced to determine the sample of the study because of not having numerical data record. Research had completed between November 2017-February 2018, in the process 376 participants have been reached. After the faulty and unreachable surveys have eliminated, totally 356 surveys had been answered. To analyze the data, SPSS was used. As demographically, 182 of the participants are men, 172 of them are women. Most of the participants middle or upper age level (between 35-44 age are %25, 45-54 age are %28). The people who graduated from highschool are %36.5 and it is much. Most of the participants (%51.69) are salaried-paid workers. The number of housewifes are two. Only two of the 172 women don’t work and the other women work or retired from work. Variety about immigration history are very much. Intensity are in between 1980-1989 and 1990-1999. When the habits of the participants were examined, it has been seen that the participants who lived in the country house before immigration have lived detached houses after immigration. Important determination about the migrants from Bulgaria are they tend to carry the products which had given a good taste in their hometown to the new countries. Özgür Baklacıoğlu (2012) bases the situation of bringing products from their hometown upon dual nationality and upon dual nationality makes easier the access facilities. But the point which musn’t have forgotten is the migrants might have tended to bring product from their country before dual nationality too. In the Cahit and Nanae Kahraman and Ilhan Güneş’s collaborative study (2017), they expressed the migrants from Bulgaria supply their taste habits with the Bulgarian originating products which is sold in bazaars, markets and grocery stores. Similar attitudes can be seen in migrants from Bulgaria who use Balkan originating products. The usage rates of Balkan originating products are very high between participants (%84). The question whether there is difference between generations or not may come to the minds. In this point, the findings show there is no significant difference and second generation migrants have used Balkan originating products too. In a sense, this shows that being ‘muhajir’ which is applied for first generation migrants from Bulgaria have been produced again among the second generation migrants from Bulgaria. Research community use different types of Balkan originating products. The participants use the Bulgaria originating products like food, beverage, clothes, outfits, health equipments, apparels, cosmetics. Among these product range, usage rate of eatable products is approximately %42. Remarkable point about which foods have being used by migrants is that participants use the name of the food, beverage and clothes products as using the original country names. Milinka, Baniçka, Kırnaçe, Lukanka, Vafla, Lütenitsa, Domaçno, Mastika, Sukumriya, Sula pasta, Spek, Kremiş, Pastet, Kifla, Zakuska and krem Zdrave are the examples of this. Most of the participant frequently use Balkan originating products. As it is encountered daily users, there are weekly, monthly and rarely users. As it is mentioned before, bazaars and markets are the places which create opportunity to supply these products. On the other hand, to visit Bulgaria and the visits of relatives to Turkey are the opportunuties to reach Balkan originating products. And this finding reveals that the migrants be ‘there’ in symbolical level as consuming the products and can be ‘there’ in reality by visiting Bulgaria too. In addition to being there position, missing to familiar tastes and the habits turn migrants’s attention to Balkan originating products usage. All these findings reveal the usage of Balkan originating product is not because of material reasons (cheap), is because of moral reasons. The usage of Balkan originating product is useful to be ‘there’ (Bulgaria) in real and symbolic manner. After all, this gives an opportunity the continuation of a habit which is not remained limited by only one generation and can be transfered to second generation, in one sense it can carry the concept of being ‘muhajir’ which is memorialised as migrants from Bulgaria to the new generations.

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