In recent years, economic, political and ecological crises throughout the world have created a monumental human flux, forming new migratory routes, spaces and challenges. As a result of these movements, distinct geographical, political, and social borders are formed and crossed, giving life to unique journeys with distinct stories. The current paper presents observations from field research and a creative expression intervention (conducted in 2015–2016) with Syrian displaced people in Turkey to illustrate the mutual relationship between Turkish asylum policies and the movements of Syrian migrants in and away from Turkey. It unpacks three different routes to contextualize the ways in which the availability and the characteristics of labour shape the mobility of displaced Syrians in Turkey. In examining the movements of people and communities through the lens of political and economic dynamics, the paper argues that displaced Syrians’ mobility is largely shaped by Turkish refugee policies, which deny migrants access to legal work and condemn them to vulnerability and destitution.
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