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Abstract


THE RELATION OF SEASONAL MIGRATION AND POVERTY: THE CASE OF SEASONAL AGRICULTURAL WORKERS
A rapid transformation process has been introduced in agriculture via neoliberal policies being implemented in the world and Turkey. One of the important consequences of agricultural disintegration is that residents of rural areas have to withdraw from production and migrate to cities. Seasonal agricultural labor -as a form of labor that has existed since the Ottoman period and economic order- became more widespread in this new period. Seasonal work in agriculture has become vital as a strategy of survival for large groups living in a multitude of negativities such as dispossession, precarity, poverty and inadequate social-economic capital. The number of employees as seasonal agricultural workers in Turkey is estimated 3-4 million. In recent years the Syrian families who escaped the battle have also inclined to seasonal agricultural labor. A significant part of seasonal agricultural workers are composed of families migrating from Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions. In this study, demographic and socio-economic characteristics of seasonal agricultural workers as well as immigrant qualities and working relationships will be discussed from the data obtained from the field survey in Ankara Polatlı, where seasonal agricultural labor is intensively experienced and has a historical background. Using both quantitative and qualitative research techniques, in-depth interviews were carried out with a total of 47 people consisting of women, men, children who hoe and harvest and intermediaries, employers, local residents, local authority in two villages of Ankara-Polatlı (these villages are important attraction centers for seasonal agricultural workers). In addition, data obtained from surveys conducted with 310 agricultural workers in two villages were used.

Keywords
Seasonal agricultural labor, seasonal migration, rural poverty, informal employment, poverty


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