What initiates, what postpones return migration intention? The case of Turkish immigrants residing in Germany

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This study endeavours to identify the determinants of return migration intentions of Turks living in Germany. The decision-making patterns of potential return migrants are examined by seeking to answer three main research questions: (a) what are the main factors that push Turkish immigrants to consider return migration? (b) What are the main challenges postponing or promoting hesitation in the return decision? (c) what strategies are adopted to overcome those challenges? I conducted in-depth interviews with 20 Turks living in Germany. Findings show that return migration intentions are associated with economic conditions, stigmatisation in both countries, social networks, commitment to the homeland, and perceived discriminatory attitudes. This study provides evidence that return migration intentions are formed through complex decision-making processes based on economic and noneconomic factors. Although these factors may cause hesitation or postpone plans to return, all detected challenges were managed through specific coping strategies.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalPopulation Space and Place
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Germany
  • intentions
  • international migration
  • return migration
  • Turkish migrants


  • Sociology
  • Growth and Development
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

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