This Policy Brief focuses on reception and integration policies, practices and humanitarian responses to refugee immigration between 2011 and 2017 in Turkey. Protection under international law is limited for migrants, since Turkey does not grant refugee status to non-European refugees (instead granting “conditional refugee status” or “temporary protection status.”) This Policy Brief addresses the main challenges of reception and integration for migrants under temporary protection (mainly Syrians) in Turkey and offers some policy recommendations for different stakeholders. Our research is primarily based on interviews with stakeholders and forced migrants conducted in İstanbul, İzmir, Şanlıurfa and Ankara in 2018.

Overall, Turkey’s forced migrants face a very challenging situation, as they are frequently subject to new regulations due to the country’s rapidly changing, polarized political climate; policy shifts; securitization; they are pressed into the lowest social classes, making due with sub-standard living conditions and suffer from mental and physical health conditions brought on by their journeys and on-going daily struggles. Yet, they do make a home in Turkey, finding ways to support their families, enrol their children in schools and access healthcare. They become integrated even without a coherent national policy. Most wish for greater political and social rights, the possibility of long-term, secure settlement, as well as increased societal acceptance in their communities. Recent geopolitical developments as well as the start of the global pandemic, Covid-19, make the possibility of attaining these basic goals seem further away than ever before.

Please find the entire Policy Brief here: Policy Brief 2