Birth of a virtual community: Supporting Turkish couples' migration during COVID-19

Kolbaşı-Muyan G., Rittersberger-Tılıç H. İ.

Family Relations, vol.72, no.2, pp.478-494, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 72 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/fare.12832
  • Journal Name: Family Relations
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, AgeLine, ATLA Religion Database, Communication Abstracts, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Gender Studies Database, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, vLex
  • Page Numbers: pp.478-494
  • Keywords: autonomy of migration, COVID-19 pandemic, EU law, Turkish marriage migration in the Netherlands, virtual community, FAMILY REUNIFICATION, MARRIAGE MIGRATION
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2023 National Council on Family Relations.Objective: This research aimed to understand legal and bureaucratic intricacies couples from Turkey and the Netherlands had to face in their marriage migration processes during the COVID-19 pandemic by analyzing the role of a virtual community in developing coping strategies of multiple agents (partners, as well as lawyers and moderators as third parties). Background: The restrictive requirements for family migration in the Netherlands, which reflect a nation-state–centered point of view, had consequences on the marriage migration of Turks. Methods: Legal and policy analysis between the years 2004 and 2021 and a netnography covering March 2021 through April 2022 are used. Dutch and EU case law analysis, participant observation in the Facebook group “Hollanda Aile Birleşimi/Gezinshereniging” (The Netherlands Family Reunification), and semistructured interviews with the members of the group are employed. Results: The interactions in the Facebook group went beyond simple information dissemination and led to the emergence of a virtual community. It served for the development of intimacy and informal expertise and constituted a venue for developing strategies to cope with bureaucratic, legal, and personal hurdles. Conclusion: During COVID-19, the virtual community enabled individuals involved in marriage migration to counter the legal and policy framework.