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Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2856-2873; doi:10.3390/su5072856
Article

From Transit Migrants to Trading Migrants: Development Opportunities for Nigerians in the Transnational Trade Sector of Istanbul

Received: 4 May 2013; in revised form: 10 June 2013 / Accepted: 19 June 2013 / Published: 27 June 2013
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Abstract: This paper critically discusses the relation between human mobility and development. It moves away from conventional migration-development policy discussions that mainly focus on diaspora-like actors, who have established a stable and integrated socio-economic position in the destination countries. Instead, it looks at mobility-development dynamics in the context of less privileged and less integrated migrants; Nigerian migrants who are (or have been) living in transit-like situations in the city of Istanbul (Turkey). Based on in-depth interviews with Nigerian migrants, it analyses migrants’ personal developments in the light of their migration trajectories. The analysis particularly shows how upward social mobility is not so much found in onward migration to Europe, but in getting involved in a different form of mobility; informally arranged transnational trade between Turkey and West Africa. It outlines the diverse roles of migrants in this informal trade sector and elaborates on their relations with fly in/fly out traders originating from Africa. With these empirical insights, I conclude that these migrants do not belong to settled diaspora communities, but nevertheless, act as bridges between “here” and “there” and contribute to the creation of (new) development corridors.
Keywords: migration-trade nexus; translocal development; Istanbul; Nigeria; migration hub; informal trade; transit migration; transnationalism migration-trade nexus; translocal development; Istanbul; Nigeria; migration hub; informal trade; transit migration; transnationalism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schapendonk, J. From Transit Migrants to Trading Migrants: Development Opportunities for Nigerians in the Transnational Trade Sector of Istanbul. Sustainability 2013, 5, 2856-2873.

AMA Style

Schapendonk J. From Transit Migrants to Trading Migrants: Development Opportunities for Nigerians in the Transnational Trade Sector of Istanbul. Sustainability. 2013; 5(7):2856-2873.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schapendonk, Joris. 2013. "From Transit Migrants to Trading Migrants: Development Opportunities for Nigerians in the Transnational Trade Sector of Istanbul." Sustainability 5, no. 7: 2856-2873.


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