Business people in war times, the ‘fluid capital’ and the ‘shy diaspora’: The case of Syrians in Turkey
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CitationAkÇalI, E., & GörmüŞ, E. (2021). Business people in war times, the ‘fluid capital’and the ‘shy diaspora’: The case of Syrians in Turkey. Journal of Refugee Studies. p.1-21.
Due to intensive conflict, a significant amount of Syrian capital flight has funnelled to Turkey since 2011. Drawing upon fieldwork conducted in five major Turkish cities which have hosted the highest number of Syrian business people, this paper first reveals the convergence of the interests of the host state and of the displaced capital owners, as well as the increasing transnationalization of Syrian economic practices. It then assesses the capacity and/or willingness of the Syrian business people to organize themselves as an interest group regarding their interests in Turkey and to assist the process of conflict resolution in Syria. Finally, the paper reflects upon whether a hybrid identity is in the making within the Syrian business diaspora in Turkey. Our findings suggest that the Syrian business diaspora in Turkey is evolving itself into a transnational business community, and developing hybrid socio-economic practices. Yet, we delineate this flourishing community as ‘shy’ because the issues concerning both domestic and Syrian politics are carefully being avoided to keep stability and unity within. This consequently hinders the Syrian business community to form itself as an interest group in Turkey focused on conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction in Syria.