Hatice Şule Oğuz – The Remote Possibility of Intercultural Encounters: The Case of Gaziantep in the Light of Asylum


Being an asylum seeker is an experience dealt in macro level and everyday life
aspect is ignored. Yet, forced emigration is not only a subject related to boundaries
of governments but also a process experienced by ordinary people in everyday life.
This study studies the experience of being an asylum-seeker in everyday life in the
context of intercultural communication in Gaziantep. The study mainly focused on
two questions: the perception of residents (defined as Turkish citizens) about the
foreigner who is coming from abroad as a result of forced migration. And how was the
intercultural communication between those asylum seekers coming from different
cultures and residents experienced in everyday life? The answers of these questions
were examined within the framework of the residents’ perceptions of the foreigner
in the context of banal nationalism, and the communication between the members of
different cultural groups in everyday life in the contexts of intercultural encounters,
social intercourse networks, the restraints of intercultural communication and the
role of uncertainty and anxiety in intercultural communication. The fieldwork of
the study was conducted between 20th July and 20th December 2011 in Gaziantep,
which is a designated satellite city for the asylum seekers coming to Turkey by the
Ministry of Interior. The methodology used for the paper is participatory observation
and informal and in-depth interviews both with the residents and asylum seekers.


Key words: Forced Migration, Everyday Life, Intercultural Encounters,
Banal Nationalism, Social Intercourse Networks, Uncertainty and Anxiety, Gaziantep.



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