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From Exit to Voice: Reflections on Exile through the Accounts of Turkey’s Intelligentsia

Baser, Bahar; Ozturk, Ahmet Erdi

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Ahmet Erdi Ozturk


The authoritarian turn in Turkey compelled many citizens to change life trajectories which included extreme majors such as migration and exile. Thousands of people left Turkey in the last decade, this recent wave constituting one of the largest Turkish migrations to Europe and beyond. The profile of the migrants included those who were comfortable with and/or opposed the current regime’s political and social policies, members of oppressed minority groups, Gülen movement members who are accused of orchestrating the failed 2016 coup attempt as well as white collar and secular Turkish citizens who made lifestyle migration choices because of the political and economic developments in the country. The article focuses on the narratives of a specific group within this new wave, those whom we refer to as Turkey’s intelligentsia in exile, and who decided to leave Turkey following the Gezi protests in 2013. The findings are based on 25 interviews conducted in 2021 with former academics, activists, artists, journalists and politicians who migrated to a variety of locations as a result of pending trials or arrest warrants against them, dehumanization discourse that pro-regime politicians directed toward them, as well as lack of freedom of speech and assembly.


Baser, B., & Ozturk, A. E. (2022). From Exit to Voice: Reflections on Exile through the Accounts of Turkey’s Intelligentsia. Middle East Critique, 31(4), 401-415.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 26, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 10, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Oct 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 6, 2022
Journal Middle East Critique
Print ISSN 1943-6149
Electronic ISSN 1943-6157
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 4
Pages 401-415


Published Journal Article (674 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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