Page 87 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
of working women with a profession and their independent contribution to the family budget.
Our interviewees shared that it was difficult for them to be consistently taking part in the
gün
’s
because they were usually held in day time, during office hours, and the refusal of a gift exchange
could often mean exclusion, i.e. ‘social death’.
Social capital and network exchange
Another form of joining social networks through network exchange and double-play
strategies, possible because of the professional status of the out-migrants, is the family business
of distributing the products of well known companies, by means of direct sales, making use
of the so called “multilevel marketing,” which means face-to-face marketing. It is the access to
positions that allow a permanent increase of the social capital, many of them being teachers,
doctors, or state officials, and an accumulation of economic capital that define the specificity of
some of the out-migrants in Edirne. This aspect deserves additional research, but at this stage our
observations allow the hypothesis that this is another strategy of ‘utilising the inheritance’, which
allows acquiring prestige in both societies. The distribution of the products of the
XYZ
company,
predominantly cosmetics, detergents, and cleaning materials, which target women as consumers,
has become a family business.
Some twenty years after re-settling, an interpretation of the role of out-migrants from
Bulgaria inTurkishsocietycouldclaimthat theyhavemadeamajor contributiontothedevelopment
of Edirne because they stood out of and changed themodel of housewives. I’ll use F.’s auto-reflexive
formulation, which she shared as representative of the point of view of out-migrants:
Do you know what the locals say about us, out-migrants... Now about the 1978 wave
they used to say, “They taught us to construct houses.” In other words, to hold on to one’s
money, to construct houses, and to finish them off. 1989, that is us,... we taught them to work.
Because, by the way, when we arrived in 1989, there were no women to be seen walking in the
streets. Let alone like this [she shows herself ]. All were veiled. We wouldn’t mention that those
with the yashmaks... They say about us, “They taught us to work.” This is how it is indeed, no? ...
when in difficulty ... well, you have no money, you need to eat ... to earn your bread ... you fight
...
(from an interview with F., a woman, 2010).
With reference to those, who arrived after 1990, when the border was closed and most
of them were illegal immigrants, the locals say that they taught them to celebrate. F. gives the
example of the cafes that were opened in Çorlu, where her parents moved after she left Istanbul
andwhere there is a large out-migrant community. These entrepreneurs got licenses to sell alcohol
and developed the alcohol business.
52
Lévi-Strauss (1950) was further elaborated on by Pierre Bourdieu, who included it in his theory of capitals and the
economics of symbolic goods (Bourdieu 1998).
52 It is possible for a similar image of the out-migrants from Bulgaria to exist in Edirne too but our team did not
come across any such information, due to the specific point of view we had and because of the characteristics and
peculiarities of the out-migrant community in the town.