This paper focuses on the global governance of migration and the problem of migrant representation and migration-related problems within its framework. It concerns an analysis of the participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the summit of Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) which took place in Istanbul in 2015. The authors analyse the Turkish chair’s presentation of migration-related problems and how this relates to the representation of migrants in Turkey by Turkish CSOs. Thus, the 2015 GFMD in Turkey is utilized as a case to reflect upon problems of representation. Furthermore, its democratizing potential as an informal, multi-sited framework for deliberations on new global migration governance avenues is recognized. Based on the participant observation, the authors maintain a critical stance concerning the inherent problems of the GFMD framework as a space for representing civil society in general and migrants and their organizations in particular.