European Union Initiative
An Island within an Island: Educational Needs assessment of Armenian Migrants in Turkey
Armenia, Turkey |

Though for Armenian migration potential Russian Federation was and is the most attractive destination country, however, since independence of Armenia, there is some outflow to Turkey, especially to Istanbul. Due to the reason that this direction is considered to have been too small within desirable destination countries for Armenian migrants, the RA National Statistics Service had not collected any data before. Meanwhile, owing to the absence of the Armenian-Turkish diplomatic relations, Armenian migrants are completely out of paying any attention and there are not much researches being done in this field - the last one was done in 2009.


This research somehow fills the gap existing in the literature about Armenian migrants’ life or residential conditions. Aiming at revealing the educational needs of Armenian migrants, it at the same time contains a lot of information about their age, gender, social status, future plans and other statistical data.


The main aim of the present research is to evaluate the educational needs of the Armenian migrants and understand how these problems can be addressed and changed.


This research touches upon the following two questions:

  1. To describe the overall picture of the lifestyle and issues of the citizens of Armenia living in Istanbul, focusing on their lifestyle tendencies recorded since 2010, as Armenians who came to Istanbul  fifteen years ago differ from those who came one or two years ago.
  2. Through an educational needs assessment of the Armenian migrants, to indicate what specific initiatives should be undertaken to bring about change to the existing situation.


In the research Armenian migrants are classified to four groups: a) lonely women whose families are in Armenia and working in Istanbul they take care of them, b) married women who are in Istanbul with their families, c) men and children, d) prostitutes and victims of trafficking. The target of this research is women who represent the groups of a) and b).

This research material makes it possible to come to the following conclusion: the condition of Armenian labor workers residing in Istanbul has changed compared with the situation before 2010 and those changes are expressed by three indicators:

  • Migration flow from Armenia is decreasing
  • The number of regular migrants has been increasing
  • A tendency of residing in Turkey and not returning to Armenia has been registered

As a result of the evaluation of migrants’ educational needs it became evident that they have no short-term educational needs—their primary goal is to find a well-paid job and earn money. Instead, they need specific knowledge and information in the long run, especially the women of b) group who work partially since they have to take care of their husbands and children. At the same time, children of this group achieving the age of school graduation and having no possibility to gain any profession or to continue education, carry on doing the same job as their parents do, e.g. housecleaning, taking care of old people or kids.


In this regard, the research implies the need of a migration resource center  the primary function of which is to serve different kind of information. The main need Armenian migrants expressed is to learn about the rights they have, especially about residence permit but the resource centre is thought to be a placeto provide trainings and information according to preferemces and needs of migrants. 

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