Citizenship and Migration from Turkey to Israel: A Comparative Study on Turkish Jews in Israel

By Toktas, Sule | East European Quarterly, Summer 2007 | Go to article overview

Citizenship and Migration from Turkey to Israel: A Comparative Study on Turkish Jews in Israel


Toktas, Sule, East European Quarterly


Introduction: Citizenship and International Migration

As there are various forms and types of international migration, there is a corresponding variety of statuses of immigrants and hence citizenships. (1) For instance, regarding the relationship between citizen status and immigration, Baubock historically categorizes three typologies, namely dependent immigration, colonizing immigration and citizen immigration (Baubock, 1991: 26-32). In dependent immigration, the immigrants lack the right to immigrate and settle in the country for an extended period. In most cases of dependent immigration, neither the sending country nor the receiving country entitles individuals the rights of immigration, but when they enter the receiving state, for instance as guest workers, these immigrants find themselves under a reduced citizenship status within the new country's legal and political system. In colonizing immigration, the sovereignty of the country of immigration is severely restricted by the country of emigration, as in the colonization schemes of sub-Saharan Africa. In citizen immigration, individuals hold an independent right to immigrate, generally by obtaining an internationally valid passport. The countries of immigration grant these individuals immigration rights, even to people who have not been formally registered citizens before immigration. The best-known cases of such countries are Germany and Israel, both of which grant immigration rights to people who meet certain criteria of ethnic origin (Baubock, 1991: 26-32). Apart from the status of formal citizens, citizen immigration-type immigrants may be given the status of dual citizens or denizens.

Dual citizenship in citizen immigration may be granted to immigrants if both of the states in question legally allow dual citizenship. Prior to recent decades, dual citizenship was generally legally prohibited by most states, and corresponding measures were taken to discourage it. Despite these international efforts to limit dual citizenship, the number of people holding more than one citizenship has climbed in recent decades, with international migration being one of the key reasons for this. The opposition to dual citizenship is rooted in conceptions of the well-ordered international world as follows: every person belongs to one and only one state; dual citizenship is to be avoided in order to protect the unity, cohesion and strength of the state; dual citizenship is incompatible with loyalty to the state; dual citizenship may cause problems in cultural and national identification; dual identifications may threaten both national unity and nations themselves; and dual citizenship threatens national security and democracy. Traditional antipathy to dual citizenship springs from a tendency to evaluate the relationship between citizens and the state from the latter's point of view. From the point of view of individuals, however, it is contended that the inconveniences of dual citizenship are minimal and outweighed by its advantages (Hammar, 1989: 86-93).

Another status category of immigrants in cases of citizen immigration is denizens. Citizens are members of a state who have certain rights and duties in their relationship with it. However, apart from formal citizens, there may be other individuals in the society who have rights and duties similar to those of other citizens, yet may not be endowed with formal citizenship status. In some cases, either the sending or the receiving countries may not allow dual citizenship. In order not to lose their citizenship rights in the sending country, these immigrants may opt for permanent residency. They may have the right to enter the state's territory from abroad, to settle in the country, to take up work there, to receive social benefits and to vote in local elections. These "privileged non-citizens" are called, in Tomas Hammar's definition, "denizens" who have certain work, residence and welfare rights just like ordinary citizens (Hammar, 1989: 83). …

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Citizenship and Migration from Turkey to Israel: A Comparative Study on Turkish Jews in Israel
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