Marriage Migration from Turkey to Germany: How Underprivileged Couples Cope with Immigration Regulations or Not.

Marriage Migration from Turkey to Germany: How Underprivileged Couples Cope with Immigration Regulations or Not.

In: Heikkilä, Elli and Daniel Rauhut (eds.). 2015. Marriage Migration und Multicultural Relationships. Turku: Institute of Migration (together with Gaby Straßburger)

This chapter presents a case study on the development of a border-crossing marriage relationship between two individuals  and discusses this relationship in terms of the effects that are brought about by spatial distance and immigration regulations. The data for this case study come from a research project on the dynamics of marriage migration between Turkey and Germany and consist of repeated interviews with individuals engaged in a border-crossing relationship over a time period of eight months covering the pre- and post-migration phases. The overall goal was to develop a thorough understanding of the conditions of each partner before a marriage migration actually took place, and the ways by which couples facilitate their relationship within a transnational social space during this period.

Departing from this broader perspective, the focus of this chapter is on the following questions: How do spatial distance and legal regulations concerning the family migration to Germany potentially affect the relationship of a couple? How do couples try to cope with upcoming challenges? Our case study illustrates that both spatial distance and legal requirements can create stress factors for a relationship and a marriage – particularly if the individuals leading this relationship have insufficient material, cultural and social resources and lack experience of how to deal with bureaucratic hurdles and immigration legislation.The lengthy period of separation and insecurity, induced to an important degree by conditions to be fulfilled in order to be eligible for family unification visa may – as illustrated in the case study – even result in a separation.