Turkey© UNHCR

Nearly 670,000 Syrians have taken refugee in Turkey since the outbreak of the crisis in March 2011.

Around 30 percent of these live in 22 government-run camps near the Syrian-Turkish border (see visualziation below). The rest do their best to make ends meet in communities across the country.

Such a response has come with substantial cost, and by May 2013 the Turkish government had spent around $1.5 billion (€1.6 billion) on accommodating Syrian refugees. The rising price tag has now forced the Turkish government to seek international support for an operation that, at the beginning, was guarded as a government responsibility. Now UNHCR and other groups have much greater access to the refugees than they did at the beginning, but the Turkish government still maintains a large degree of control over the camps.

Turkey has accorded temporary protection to Syrians on their territory, which precludes forced repatriation, however legally they are not refugees in Turkey but ‘guests’. Turkey is a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, however because of a geographic exception written into the original document it is only obligated to accept refugees from European nations. Thus, Syrians in Turkey do not have access to all the legal safeguards accorded to refugees elsewhere, and those seeking permanent resettlement must look to a third nation. Turkey long-maintained an open border for fleeing Syrians, although that policy has changed somewhat as the crisis has grown. For this reason, a substantial number of people are now camped on the Syrian side of the border, waiting for an opportunity to cross.

Turkey country study

Researcher Şenay Özden used qualitative research methods, conducting open-ended interviews with Syrian activists, Free Syrian Army members and collected the life stories of displaced Syrians residing in the camps and in cities in Turkey.

Download the full Turkey case study (298 KB)

With the influx of huge numbers of Syrians into Turkey, anti-immigrant, anti-Arab discourses have surfaced among the Turkish public.

Şenay Özden, May 2013

 

 

 

 

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9 comments on “Turkey
  1. I saw numerous Syrian refugees on the streets of Istanbul. What can be done to help?

    • Raadiyah Ameer says:

      I saw many syria refugees while on holiday in Istanbul last week. Have you received a response as to what you could do to help?

  2. Sajjad Tanveer says:

    I want to help Syrian in their camps. I served volunteerly.

  3. jamil M Abdi says:

    I thank Turkey ,government and people for helping the Syrian refugees,but one issue I want to draw the attention of the authorities to it is the long long duration of work they do in the( private workshops for making clothes) in all Turkey for little sum of money.Indeed, They go to their work at 8:00 am and come home back at 7:30 pm

    . Despite this long period of work,they get only from(600 to 750)TL a month in comparison with the Turkish citizens who get three times more.Thus, their troubles double simply because of the high price of hiring a house and the high expense of living in Istanbul .I wish the authorities put these poor people in justice to lessen somehow their tragic situations.
    many thanks

  4. Deniz says:

    While I understand these people had to flee the war I dont think, as. turkish citizen wanting to have a decent life working and kiving in my country have to suffer. Syrian refugees beg for money at almost every street corner and if you do not comply they get violent. A child to whom I did not respond to when I stopped at a red light in Mecidiyekoy called me a whore and threw a rather large stone at my driver side window. This is totally unacceptable and I hate the fact that Syrian refugees think us Turks owe them something.

  5. Abdullah Talukder says:

    I can provide a Syrian small family in my country. Contact me abdullah1380@outlook.com

  6. Abdullah Talukder says:

    InshaAllah!

  7. charles cooray says:

    It was a sad story that Syrians face today specially women & children.
    so what shall i do..?
    I can provide a proper life if anyone who interest.
    I’m a interior decorator,53 Old Unmarred,christian, work my own, live in my own house.
    I think that’s the best way that I can help.
    This will be the best opportunity when someone who seeks real ,proper, safety life in a peacefull country like srilanka.
    I wish to visit istanbul next month for 10 days. So please write me anyone who lost life and who seeks life.
    Charles Cooray

  8. charles cooray says:

    It was a sad story that Syrians face today specially women & children.
    so what shall i do..?
    I can provide a proper life if anyone who interest.
    I’m a interior decorator,53 Old Unmarred,christian, work my own, live in my own house.
    I think that’s the best way that I can help.
    This will be the best opportunity when someone who seeks real ,proper, safety life in a peacefull country like srilanka.
    I wish to visit istanbul next month for 10 days. So please write me anyone who lost life and who seeks life.
    Charles Cooray
    furniplan@gmail.com

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