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    COMMIGRATION: Developing A Complete Approach For Employees Who Communicate With Immigrants And An Effective Communication Strategy

    Ulusal Ajans ab başk. Eu

    Project Reference: 2020-1-TR01-KA202-093848

    Start and End Dates: 31.12.2020 / 30.12.2023

    EU Grant: 211.274,00 €

    Programme: Erasmus+

    Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

    Action Type: Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training

    Website: www.commigration.com


    Antalya Provincial Directorate of Migration Management - Coordinator (Turkey)

    Akdenız Unıversıty (Turkey)

    Antalya Metropolıtan Munıcıpalıty (Turkey)

    Asociatia de Dezvoltare Intercomunitara Judetul Satu Mare (Romania)

    Learning for Integration ry (Finland)

    Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)

    Project Topic:          

              COMMIGRATION Project is a project for the development and sharing of professional skills that address the communication difficulties faced by migrants in Turkey and Europe during their interactions with the staff working in provincial directorates of migration management and equivalent qualified work offices; aims to make migrants more adaptable to society and rules by preventing the impressions they develop due to the difficulties they experience in these institutions from turning into a prejudice attributed to the public, and in this direction, together with partners, aims to improve the communication of professional staff with migrants.

    The starting point of the project: (The following description was written in 2020, the year of writing the project, taking into account the data of that year)

              The 2020 Migration Report of the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM) mentions that the number of international migrants in 2019 was 272 million, which is 3.5% of the world population. Even so, the current number is above the IOM's 2050 target.

              The number of migrants arriving in Europe from outside the continent reached 38 million in 2019, with internal migration in Europe bringing the total to 82 million.

              Worldwide, the Syrian Arab Republic is the largest source of asylum-seekers, with 6.7 million asylum-seekers, while the Republic of Turkey is the largest recipient, with 3.7 million asylum-seekers. Turkey hosts approximately 5.2 million migrants, about 13.5% of the total number of migrants arriving in Europe, including regular, irregular, refugee, and asylum-seeker migrants.

              Antalya shares this great responsibility of Turkey, with 110,000 migrants (around 2%) from nearly 170 nationalities. This is more than the number of foreign migrants in 24 of the 28 EU member states, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, according to the migration report statistics published by Eurostat in March 2019, based on 2017 figures.

              The city, which is a center of attraction worldwide with its history and tourism, attracts the attention of foreigners not only for tourism but also for settlement purposes. In this context, residence permit applications are made by foreigners to our Directorate. In addition, Antalya Provincial Directorate of Migration Management serves 1000 foreigners daily, including residence applications and extensions, information updates, biometric data collection, and temporary and international protection procedures, to carry out the work and transactions of foreigners who live and will live in Antalya. In this respect, the first and most intensive contact of foreigners with public institutions usually takes place in our Directorate.

              Turkey started to modernize its migration regime in 2006 and enacted the Law No. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection in 2013, under which the Directorate General of Migration Management was established in 2014. Initially serving in Ankara with a staff of around 400, the Directorate General of Migration Management has since expanded rapidly to 81 provinces, with a large proportion of its staff consisting of young and newly graduated university students. This situation has been seen to have negative as well as positive aspects, and many trainings have been provided by the Directorate General to improve the quality of migration personnel and the services provided.

              However, today, it is still observed that there may be communication problems between staff and foreigners during the processing of foreigners' affairs and procedures due to reasons such as the lack of a common language between staff and foreigners, employees being affected by daily stress factors, employees evaluating foreigners according to their own value judgments, low awareness of employees about "the psychology of being a foreigner," and employees are unable to manage this situation professionally. It is observed that a significant portion of the written and verbal complaints submitted to the Communication Center For Foreigners (YİMER) - 157 emergency call line, the Presidency's Communication Center (CİMER), and directly to our Directorate include issues based on miscommunication, such as rude behavior, incomplete information, incorrect guidance. It is understood that this situation, especially the difficulties caused by the administration, may turn into a prejudice attributed to the public due to the impressions they develop because of the experience of foreigners, which may make it difficult for migrants to integrate into society and rules.

              To work together to solve this problem, the websites of similar migration offices and bureaus serving in Europe were examined, and the experiences of service recipients through google review were observed. Without ignoring the possibility of manipulation, however, when we take into account the average scores of service offices with hundreds or thousands of reviews, and moreover, when we see that even in different countries and cities, the comments meet on a common denominator, we have seen that the communication problems experienced are not only local and national but also regional and even global problems.

    A few of the noteworthy comments, each from a different city, are as follows:

    • "Disrespectful authority / treated like a third class person."
    • "Place of hate and racism"
    • "The staff is very rude / They should understand that this process is stressful for foreigners and even worse with the inefficient system they have."
    • "If you work in an immigration office, you should probably know that many foreign people will try to clarify their questions since they are foreigners and don't know much about the bureaucracy in the country. Do not disrespect people who politely approach you to ask questions about things they really have no idea about."
    • "With a lot of arrogance, the person at the desk treated me like I was an idiot who was there to pass the time, not as a person who needed help."
    • "Displaying a passive-aggressive attitude to strangers five minutes after starting work / what people remember most from visiting such a place is customer relations. If you are treated respectfully and humanely, you can really don't mind the fact that the process is slow."

    Project Objectives:

    1. Establish effective communication channels between foreigners and employees,
    2. The reduced conflict between employees and foreigners,
    3. Reduced complaints about staff behavior,
    4. Ensuring that employees consider the concept of "Being a Foreigner" during their communication with foreigners,
    5. Establishing a standard of behavior in communicating with foreigners,
    6. Improving communication alternatives between foreigners and employees who do not speak a common language,
    7. Strengthening employees' ability to cope with stress,
    8. Reducing the effect of prejudices on employees' attitudes and behaviors toward foreigners,

    Target Group:

              The group we aim to create change with the project is the employees who communicate with migrants one-to-one.

              First of all, a change is expected in the employees of the Provincial Directorate and the employees of the units that are our project partners. With these trainings, it is aimed to establish a standard of behavior based on human rights and effective communication among employees working in the field of migration in our country and all European countries.

              It is envisaged that the change in the target group will be created by ensuring that a certain number of employees are given the status of trainers through the training to be provided within the project and that employees working in the field and related institutions receive the training within the project period.