Strategizing citizenship: Turkish immigrants in Amsterdam
Özkepir, Ömer Görkem
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This thesis aims to reveal the perspectives of Turkish immigrants in Amsterdam on the issue of citizenship, asking about their positions regarding Dutch and Turkish citizenship. The concepts of substantive citizenship and formal citizenship are used to frame the discussions. The study is based on the data collected by face to face interviews with 15 immigrants living in Amsterdam. They are categorized in four different groups, namely, a mosque community (Ayasofya/Westermoskee mosque), an Alevi community (Alevi Cultural Center), attendees of a traditional Turkish cafe (kahvehane) (Stichting Kızılırmak, and those active in running their own businesses. I found out that, in terms of the perspectives of substantive and formal citizenship, most of the Turkish immigrants in my study approach Dutch citizenship not with the qualities of the substantive or thick conception of citizenship, but based on individual benefits. They strategize their position to Dutch citizenship based on personal advantages and employ pragmatist approach, with some exceptions.