Immigrants are often pressed to show how they will contribute to a host country, thus proving through their conditions of entry and human capital whether they will be perceived as an asset or burden, and this is juxtaposed with the host country’s institutions offering an improved quality of life, mainly through employment. Seeking employment is often a key factor to be economically assimilated, and in the case of highly educated Turkish migrants, the opportunity to reclaim their previous professional and quality of life statuses. Based on qualitative research, we have examined the experiences of highly educated Turkish people (n = 42) in the recently forced migrant population. Following events including terrorism and the coup on 15 July 2016, Türkiye experienced the highest forced migration in her history. With exiled Turkish migrants, the forced aspect of their migration prompts them to seek a host country that provides safety, and they are also driven to transfer their educational degrees and professional credentials. However, changing careers to become educated and certified in new fields takes time and resources, contributing to a fluctuating economic status and loss of well-being. Once this is regained, their economic situation is improved, but there is still the lost time from the immigration and transfer period. Thus, the process has positive and negative components, but understanding this nuanced process provides opportunities for policy reform that can shorten the time of re-education, increase employability, and support well-being.
Keywords: forced migration; exile; well-being; highly educated migrants