Dynamics of exclusion and everyday bordering through Schengen visas

Ozdemir Z., AYATA A.

POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY, vol.66, pp.180-188, 2018 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 66
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2017.05.005
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.180-188
  • Keywords: Turkey-EU relations, Schengen visa, Bordering, Situated intersectional framework, TURKEY, EXPERIENCE, POWER
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Turkey is the only European Union candidate country whose citizens are obliged to obtain a Schengen visa. The difficult visa procedures, often seen as unjust and discriminatory, are a longstanding source of frustration and humiliation among Turkish citizens, as they reproduce both symbolic and physical borders between the EU and Turkey and seem to reiterate the 'Fortress Europe' thesis. These perceptions of the visa process and the consequent feeling of 'otherness/non-Europeanness' hinder the process of Turkish integration into the EU. Bordering no longer occurs merely in the border areas separating two states, but rather through a wide range of practices in multiple locations within and beyond the state's territory. This complexity has recently been augmented by the introduction of intermediary companies. The offices of these intermediaries have become an example of bordering sites located away from the border area. Moreover, in these offices border work is carried out by non-traditional actors: in other words, not by border guards or immigration officers of the EU but by Turkish employees. Treating those offices as significant nodes where border work is done, this paper draws on material collected at visa offices in Ankara to understand the multifaceted construction of borders between the EU and Turkey. Using a situated intersectional framework, this paper elucidates not only perceptions from both sides of the border - Turkish nationals applying for visas and Turkish nationals doing border work - but also how the differentiated social positionings and purposes of travel shape these interactions. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.