Turkey is a country with relatively recent and ongoing experience of labour emigration. Starting with the signing of the bilateral Turkish-West German labour recruitment agreement in October 1961, it has been a country of emigration, a trend that significantly influenced part of its economic, social, and political history. This essay elaborates the last fifty-year history of labour emigration from Turkey, and its consequences for the country in the economic, social and political spheres. It aims to sketch briefly the trends and patterns of emigration flows with reference mainly to the changing nature of these flows over time. More specifically, the essay offers an overview of the main impacts of labour migration for the country. It concludes that neither the positive nor the negative consequences of emigratory flows for the country should be overestimated.