Why don’t refugees just stay in Turkey or Greece? We asked them
As the current migration and refugee crisis has unfolded, one question has frequently been asked: why don’t refugees just stay in Turkey or Greece?
Because migration research tends to focus on why people leave their home countries in the first place, we often miss the critical in-between step. Indeed, migrants may try to establish a life in an intended destination country, such as Turkey or Greece, but then be compelled for different reasons to move on. Alternatively, refugees may become “stuck” in a country that was intended to be a stop-over on a longer journey.
We wanted to find out how migrants in Greece and Turkey viewed their current situations and planned for the future. From May to June 2015, we interviewed more than 1,000 migrants from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria. The respondents included both migrants who had only recently arrived at Turkish or Greek refugee camps as well as people who had lived there for several years.