Page 180 - MIGRATION

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178
MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
on the two sides of the border. These considerations prompted by our preliminary research gave us
grounds to posit the hypothesis that the educational strategies of part of young people with dual
citizenship who have chosen to study in Bulgaria present a case of mobility after migration.
Educational strategies
4
are a fundamental resource for ‘inheriting’ as well as for the
transformations both of different types of capital and of the different spatial dimensions in which
these types of capital bear a symbolic significance. They underpin similar forms of
‘cross-border
returns’
for the greater part of young people born in Bulgaria or in Turkey. The changes in the
institutional reference to the border and to the change in the place of residence as part of life
strategies related to education, career, marriage, etc. reveal a
specific form of “liminality”
which is
dual. The ‘going to’ Bulgaria or the ‘return’ to Turkey are returns of the relatives as foreigners, the
choosing of a marriage partner on ‘the other side of the border’,
5
the completion of education
‘abroad’, the pipe-dream of a peaceful retirement to the house in Bulgaria and so on and so forth.
The methods used in this study involved preliminary research into the educational policies
and practices currently in place in Bulgaria and Turkey.
6
We conducted
standardized
and
semi-
structured interviews
as well as
focus groups
with students,
7
children of out-migrants to Turkey who
currently study at the Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv, the Medical University, the Technical
University – Plovdiv branch, the University of Food and Flavour Industries – Plovdiv, the Medical
University Professor Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov – Varna, and the Technical University in Varna. We
organized and conducted fruitful consultation meetings with a number of representatives of the
Registrars’ Offices in these institutions of HE. Our team focused mainly on the following target
groups:
Turkish students
at Bulgarian universities who – being children of Bulgarian out-migrants –
make use of their dual citizenship and study paying preferential fees for their education;
8
parents
of children who already study or are about to begin studying at institutions of HE in Bulgaria;
experts
at various levels in the educational institutions on both sides of the border. In Edirne, using
the methods of standardized and free format interviews, we interviewed the children of out-
migrants who would like to come to Bulgaria for their HE studies and the children of out-migrants
of the same age group who have chosen to study in this university and are currently pursuing a
BA degree in “Bulgarian Language and Translation”. We also conducted a survey questionnaire
and semi-structured interviews with peers of our target group who are currently students at the
Kirdjali branch of the Paissii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv and who have relatives settled in
4 The term strategy entails activist connotations and is to be understood as the “practical mastery of the logic
of the game” discussed by Bourdieu (1990), as a practical intuition which is not a result of a conscious act but of an
intuition for rightness, for “knowledge” with regard to the right act. Therefore we have in mind that level of the act
which is connected with “silent knowledge” (doxa).
5 For family models and marital strategies of immigrants from Bulgaria to Turkey consult Cesur-Kılıçaslan, S.
and R. Günsel Terzioğlu (2009).
6 During the pilot study conducted at the University of Thrace in Edirnewhere our teamhad a series of meetings
with children of settlers who have already been admitted to Bulgarian institutions of higher education and are now
studying in the course in Bulgarian language, organized by the Medical university Professor Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov in
Varna, we developed our theoretical model and the key theoretical and empirical
indicators
.
7 In the above-mentioned HE institutions we conducted questionnaire surveys with 55 students. Also, we
conducted 20 semi-structured interviews and two focus groups.
8 They are exempt from admission exams and pay a fee to the amount of half of the fee for foreign students,
but are required to undertake a year of Bulgarian language study.