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Nativism and Anti-Immigration in Turkey

Project Summary

This project aims to analyze nativism and anti-immigration and criticize the Western-centric definitions of nativism and anti-immigration using Turkey as a case study. The rise of nativist parties and leaders in Europe and the United States paved the way for increasing concerns about democracy, tolerance, and polarization. While nativism and anti-immigration have been treated as similar concepts, the reduction of nativism to anti-immigration led to falling short of analyses. Thus, this project will analyze two versions of nativism: secular nativism and populist nativism.


This study has seven contributions to the academic literature. First, we aim to analyze the nativism typologies and how such typologies occur. Second, we will develop scales to analyze such typologies using quantitative and qualitative methods. Third, we will discuss the similarities and differences between Turkey and Western cases to make theoretical contributions to the nativism literature. Fourth, while determining the social groups that have the characteristics of secular and populist nativism, we will also question the variables that cause anti-immigration to put forward how out-groups are perceived as homogeneous entities. Fifth, we will integrate various quantitative and qualitative methods that underpin one another. Sixth, in addition to the theoretical contribution, our experimental modules contribute to methodological approaches to nativism and anti-immigration that can be applied to other case studies. Finally, we aim to determine and appease potential societal issues by analyzing anti-immigration and polarization.


We will use three different qualitative and quantitative methods. First, we will comparatively analyze the case of Turkey. Second, we will conduct focus groups in four provinces of Turkey. Third, we will field a representative survey with experiments to determine typologies of nativism. 

Project Team

  • Ezgi Elçi (Principal Investigator)

  • Evren Balta (Senior Researcher)

  • Deniz Sert (Senior Researcher)

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