BELGIUM - In 2014 it will be exactly fifty years ago that the first Turkish labour migrants arrived in Ghent to work in the defunct textile factories. Today, more than 20,000 inhabitants of Ghent (about one in twelve) have their roots in Turkey. How Ghent became a small 'Turkey on the Leie' in half a century is the central question in this book about the people behind those numbers.

How were the migrant workers and their children in Belgium doing? What about the marriage migration in the nineties? And how did the local residents react to all those strange people in the street? What does Ghent have to do with Emirdag and vice versa? 'Turkey on the Lys' offers the reader not only a chronology of the migration, but also an enlightening insight into the way it took place in the twentieth century. With attention to major evolutions, small stories and the people who lived them.

Tina De Gendt

Tina De Gendt is a freelance journalist, historian and city guide in Ghent.
€ 5.200, allocated on 23/04/2012.


  • Title: Turkije aan de Leie
  • Subtitle: 50 jaar migratie in Gent
  • Author: Tina De Gendt
  • Editor: Lannoo
  • Date of publication: 15/03/2014