Ary unt Vol

Azeri Observer - - Azeri Observer - BY SU­LEY­MAN UNAL ZA­MAN AZER­BAI­JAN NEWS­PA­PER GEN­ERAL DI­REC­TOR

W e should ac­cept that the civ­i­liza­tion and de­vel­op­ment es­tab­lished by vol­un­tary im­mi­grants have been chang­ing the face of the world. Hav­ing vol­un­tary im­mi­grants in­creases a coun­try’s power and brand value. The twen­ti­eth cen­tury has been the age of labour mi­gra­tion, and it seems to be con­tin­u­ing in the 21st cen­tury as well.

Be­ing an im­mi­grant is not only a change of lo­ca­tion, but a re­set­ting of your life. Re­gard­less of the sim­i­lar­ity be­tween the source and tar­get coun­tries, im­mi­gra­tion is a dif­fi­cult ex­pe­ri­ence at all lo­ca­tions.

I be­lieve that those who have ex­pe­ri­enced im­mi­gra­tion would un­der­stand the prob­lems of im­mi­grants bet­ter and come up with more re­al­is­tic and last­ing so­lu­tions. So, we know that what lies in the suc­cess of Aus­tralian im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies for years is their ex­pe­ri­ences gained through lis­ten­ing to those im­mi­grants.

The psychology of mi­gra­tion and im­mi­gra­tion has a com­plex na­ture in­volv­ing a num­ber of is­sues like so­cial life and eco­nomic fac­tors. Im­mi­gra­tion is not a mere act of mov­ing from one coun­try to an­other and the life lived af­ter­wards. The im­mi­grants have a three­fold life: be­fore, dur­ing, and af­ter the im­mi­gra­tion. There are two main im­mi­grant groups, vol­un­tary and forced ones, who ex­pe­ri­ence these three lev­els in fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent ways.

It is es­sen­tial to know the pre-im­mi­gra­tion stage to un­der­stand the ex­pe­ri­ences of the im­mi­grants. The dif­fer­ence be­tween vol­un­tary and forced mi­gra­tion in the pre-im­mi­gra­tion pe­riod also af­fects the later im­mi­gra­tion stages. Forced im­mi­grants have a harder in­te­gra­tion pe­riod be­cause of the sud­den change of lo­ca­tion and the eco­nomic and psy­cho­log­i­cal un­pre­pared­ness in their tar­get coun­tries. The vol­un­tary im­mi­grants, on the other hand, are more pre­pared, first of all psy­cho­log­i­cally, and then eco­nom­i­cally, to be con- tent with all the con­di­tions in the tar­get coun­try. The neg­a­tive ef­fects of the im­mi­gra­tion is felt more if the forced im­mi­grants had to leave their close so­cial cir­cles, lan­guage, cul­ture, job, and a good life be­hind. The loss of these as­sets give them more pain if their im­mi­gra­tion process have

been trou­ble­some. And they can mend these losses and erase the neg­a­tive ef­fects more eas­ily if they re­ceive com­pas­sion and good treat­ment in the tar­get coun­try in the post-im­mi­gra­tion pe­riod.

It should be kept in mind that each case of im­mi­gra­tion causes some losses, big or small. What mat­ters is the abil­ity to gain in the tar­get coun­try, more than what has been lost. The more they gain, the faster the in­te­gra­tion process gets.

Those who are forced to mi­grate from their home coun­tries still carry neg­a­tive marks from their pre­vi­ous lives even if they get ev­ery op­por­tu­nity in the tar­get coun­try. This some­times af­fects their kids as well, but the traces of the past gets al­most erased with the third gen­er­a­tion.

If their pre­vi­ous losses have not been com­pen­sated enough, forced im­mi­grants can suf­fer from de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with peo­ple. Even if the gov­ern­ments are ready to han­dle fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties with such prob­lems, it still takes more time to deal with. There­fore, things that need to be done for eco­nomic and cul­tural in­te­gra­tion be­fore these prob­lems of the im­mi­grants get in­solv­able are cheaper and eas­ier. These are mea­sures to be taken to pre­vent loss of hu­man cap­i­tal, and to pro­tect the men­tal health of the im­mi­grants. In my opin­ion, the ma­te­rial and emo­tional sup­port that can be pro­vided to the im­mi­grants from the very first day they en­ter the coun­try un­til a cer­tain pe­riod can help solv­ing fu­ture prob­lems even be­fore they emerge.

For the im­mi­grants, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with peo­ple from their own eth­nic back­ground may help re­duc­ing the prob­lems faced in the new coun­try; but this may also lengthen the in­te­gra­tion process. The gen­eral at­ti­tude within the coun­try can help the im­mi­grant to go out­side of their nar­row cir­cle and in­te­grate with the over­all pop­u­la­tion. If this gen­eral at­ti­tude is per­ceived as ex­clu­sive, the im­mi­grant can opt for a ghet­tostyle life us­ing the idea of “not be­ing as­sim­i­lated” as an ex­cuse. Those groups and com­mu­ni­ties that re­main within nar­row cir­cles can create harm­ful re­sults for the so­ci­ety at times.

There­fore, the foun­da­tions, as­so­ci­a­tions and in­sti­ti­tu­tions es­tab­lished by the im­mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties should be sup­ported, as they are the ones who knows the im­mi­grants and im­mi­gra­tion best. They should be en­cour­aged to work on this is­sue if they are not do­ing it al­ready. In that re­spect, Aus­tralia is in a very good po­si­tion among the de­vel­oped states; but there can be ad­di­tional things to do. For ex­am­ple, it would be help­ful to have think tanks that would di­rect the so­cial and cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties of Turk­ish im­mi­grants to a larger so­lu­tion of im­mi­grant is­sues, that would guide them create new ideas to­wards the in­tro­duc­tion of Aus­tralia to Turkey and Turk­ish coun­tries, and that would pro­duce ideas that could con­duct pub­lic di­plo­macy and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween two coun­tries. The ac­tiv­i­ties done by im­mi­grants to im­prove the band value of Aus­tralia would be more gen­uine and last­ing, I be­lieve.

It should not be for­got­ten that the im­mi­grant might have prej­u­dices for the tar­get coun­try and its peo­ple. The de­struc­tion of this prej­u­dice is only de­ter­mined by the at­ti­tude the im­mi­grant re­ceives from those peo­ple. One of the big­gest trou­bles of forced im­mi­grants is the fact that they can never go back to their home coun­tries. There­fore, they may be­lieve that they have noth­ing to lose, which, in turn, makes their prob­lems dur­ing the in­te­gra­tion process sharper and in­solv­able.

If the prob­lems of the vol­un­tary and forced mi­grants are not solved in time, or if de­spair pre­vails among the im­mi­grants, the prob­lem of “rad­i­cal­iza­tion that causes ma­te­rial and moral dam­ages” can oc­cur. In ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing the ba­sic needs of the im­mi­grant such as food and ac­com­mo­da­tion, their le­gal needs, such as cit­i­zen­ship and res­i­dency, and so­cial needs such as lan­guage, ed­u­ca­tion, cul­tural adap­ta­tion should also be solved without de­lay in or­der to has­ten the in­te­gra­tion process.

It is nec­es­sary to di­ag­nose the prob­lems of the forced and vol­un­tary im­mi­grants, take each of them se­ri­ously and seek for so­lu­tions for each of them. Deal­ing with one prob­lem and to­tally ig­nor­ing oth­ers, also weak­ens the so­lu­tion for that spe­sific prob­lem. There­fore, the in­sti­tu­tions es­tab­lished within the im­mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties and sup­ported by the Aus­tralian state are im­por­tant even though their area of in­flu­ence is yet small.

We should ac­cept that the civ­i­liza­tion and de­vel­op­ment es­tab­lished by vol­un­tary im­mi­grants have been chang­ing the face of the world. Hav­ing vol­un­tary im­mi­grants in­creases a coun­try’s power and brand value. The twen­ti­eth cen­tury has been the age of labour mi­gra­tion, and it seems to be con­tin­u­ing in the 21st cen­tury as well. These mi­gra­tions have had po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and so­cial ef­fects for both the source and tar­get coun­tries. Even though mi­gra­tion gives short-term gains to the source coun­tries, in the long-term the tar­get coun­tries be­come the ones who gains most out of this mi­gra­tion process, with a cor­rect ad­min­is­tra­tion of im­mi­gra­tion and im­mi­grants.

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