Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

From the Desk of the Editor

From the Desk of the Editor

The conflict in Syria, entering its seventh year, has spawned one of the most pro- tracted and complex humanitarian crises of modern times. Grappling with the over- whelming influx of people has highlighted key gaps in international governance architecture. It has also exacerbated preexisting political fault lines and accelerated the widespread rise of populist/nationalist movements. Values that have long been the anchor of the West’s liberal order – tolerance and openness –...

Süreya Martha Köprülü | 20 December 2016

Turkey and the Syrian Refugee Crisis: An Example for Humanity

Turkey and the Syrian Refugee Crisis: An Example for Humanity

There are currently over 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees who have been granted temporary protection status in Turkey. Within this context, the author addresses the country’s heavy responsibility in hosting this refugee population. On the domestic front, introducing harmonization policies are key to facilitating the successful integration of Syrians into Turkish society. Regionally, the author highlights the importance of the Turkey-EU agreement, and in particular the necessity of...

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu | 20 December 2016

CHP’S Policy Recommendations for the Refugee Question in Turkey

CHP’S Policy Recommendations for the Refugee Question in Turkey

This article presents a summary of the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) policy recommendations for Turkey’s refugee crisis, originally published in June 2016, in a book titled Sınırlar Arasında: İnsanlık Dramından İnsanlık Sınavına (In Between Borders: From A Human Tragedy to a Trial of Humanity). The author offers concrete recommendations on a structural, humanitarian, and practical level, as well as parses the domestic and foreign policy implications of inadequately taking...

Veli Ağbaba | 20 December 2016

Keeping the Aegean Agreement Afloat

Keeping the Aegean Agreement Afloat

The EU-Turkey agreement on refugees that was reached on 18 March 2016 has led to the relative slowing of refugee and migrant flows into Europe, with crossings across the Aegean from Turkey dropping significantly since it went into effect. However, due to several unresolved aspects of the agreement as well as the overall lack of effective implementation, it faces pressure from both sides and could risk collapse. In this article, the author argues that the EU needs to take several key steps:...

Gerald Knaus | 20 December 2016

Promoting Decent Work for Syrians: The ILO Experience

Promoting Decent Work for Syrians: The ILO Experience

Turkey has become the major refugee-hosting country due to the displacement of Syrian refugees since 2011. In order to mitigate the impact of the refugee crisis, the focus is increasingly shifting from humanitarian aids to livelihoods support. For this purpose, the ILO Office for Turkey has introduced a comprehensive strategy as a response to the Syrian refugee crisis within the framework of the wider UN response. The ILO’s strategy aims to support the livelihood opportunities for Syrian...

Numan Özcan | 20 December 2016

The Fall of Aleppo Calls for New Approaches to the Refugee Crisis

The Fall of Aleppo Calls for New Approaches to the Refugee Crisis

Turkey hosts more than three million refugees, which presents an unprecedented number of problems. Refugees need protection as well as durable solutions. By maintaining the geographical limitation to the 1951 Refugee Convention, Turkey has based its asylum system on the assumption of the ongoing possibility of the resettlement of refugees to third countries. Resettlement policies worked well for years, however, for the last 10 years, it has been increasingly difficult to find countries willing...

Metin Çorabatır | 20 December 2016

Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Towards Integration Policies

Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Towards Integration Policies

The presence of refugees, particularly of Syrians in Turkey, will not only require a long-term solution but also a recognition of the long-term economic, social, and political responsibility of supporting this community. Dealing with refugees in Turkey at present is not a question of halting the influx of refugees and reversing their movement, but requires practical measures aimed at providing them with better settlement and integration opportunities. This article focuses on how the Turkish...

Ahmet İçduygu & Doğuş Şimşek | 20 December 2016

Syrian Refugees’ Status in the Jordanian Labor Market

Syrian Refugees’ Status in the Jordanian Labor Market

Owing to the protracted nature of the ongoing refugee crisis, Jordan has adopted a resilience-based development approach with assistance from the international community in order to appropriately deal with the large influx of Syrian refugees into the country. The growing informal economy due to the increased number of unofficial workers is feeding the segmentation of the Jordanian labor market. As a result, the formalization of Syrian refugees’ jobs is a necessity. The author highlights a...

Maha Kattaa | 20 December 2016

A Greek Perspective of the European Refugee Crisis

A Greek Perspective of the European Refugee Crisis

This article attempts to reflect on the so-called European refugee crisis, with a focus on the impact of the closure of the Western Balkan route and the subsequent creation of a number of national refugee crises. One consequence has been the Greek crisis, which was “solved” at its initial stages by the creation of informal refugee camps. The article focuses on the Port of Piraeus camp in Athens and the rise of a transnational civil society to cater to the needs of the people who...

George Mavrommatis | 20 December 2016

Syrian Child Workers in Turkey

Syrian Child Workers in Turkey

The war which erupted in Syria in 2011 caused an ever-growing humanitarian crisis in the region. This article focuses on the economic exploitation faced by children who fled Syria along with the multifaceted problem of child labor predating Syrians’ arrival to Turkey based on data provided by field researches conducted by Hayata Destek/Support to Life (STL), a humanitarian aid agency carrying out operations for Syrian refugees since 2012. The author argues that it would not be accurate to...

Sezen Yalçın | 20 December 2016

Perceptions between Syrian Refugees and Their Host Community

Perceptions between Syrian Refugees and Their Host Community

Perceptions shape the attitudes and behavior of individuals, which in turn drive and influence policies. The situation of Syrian refugees in Turkey will not improve as long as the public attitudes continue to be enflamed by the short-sighted ad haphazardly-put policies of the government, the sensationalism of the media, and the dire economic situation the refugees are facing. In order to find sustainable, sound solutions to this complicated and unprecedented phenomenon in Turkey, people can...

Selin Yıldız Nielsen | 20 December 2016

Saving Syria’s Lost Generation through Education

Saving Syria’s Lost Generation through Education

Meeting the educational needs of the approximately one million Syrian children of school age in Turkey presents a complex set of challenges for state policymakers, educators, and civil society organizations. However, ensuring access to education is a necessity in order to save Syrian children from becoming a lost generation. In this article, the author analyzes the shortcomings of the options currently available to Syrians – the option to enroll in Turkish state schools or enrolling in...

Yasser M. Dallal | 20 December 2016

Syrians in Turkey: A Grassroots Perspective

Syrians in Turkey: A Grassroots Perspective

90 percent of the 2.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey are living in urban areas throughout the country, and are grappling with the challenges of building meaningful lives for themselves even as their future remains uncertain. While the refugee crisis has overwhelmed policymaking at the national level, through grassroots initiatives, people who have been displaced by the war in Syria have begun to find the support and resources that they need. In this article, the author draws upon her personal...

Shannon Kay | 20 December 2016

Ziad’s Story of Finding Home

Ziad’s Story of Finding Home

I filmed Ziad Al-Taha’s journey from Chios, Greece, to Norway last fall. Ziad was friends with my friends in Istanbul and, after seeing some of my work, invited me to document his journey. We became close along the way and eventually fell in love. I have lived through the past year with him –sometimes in person, like when we celebrated his birthday, other times via cell phone screens, like when he told me he received his residency. Ziad is one of more than 1.3 million refugees to...

Elie Gardner | 20 December 2016

Reducing the Risk of Militarization in Turkey’s Refugee Camps

Reducing the Risk of Militarization in Turkey’s Refugee Camps

The militarization of refugee camps is a pressing issue that is not granted enough international attention. By definition, refugee camps are intended to be temporary settlements which provide refuge to those fleeing violence. However, there have been a number of cases in which armed elements have indeed infiltrated refugee camps, and thus endangered their civilian nature. In this article, the author argues that in contrast to cases in Kenya and Jordan, Turkey’s camps have so far not become...

Nathalie Versavel | 20 December 2016

The Syrian Conflict and Turkey’s Humanitarian Response

The Syrian Conflict and Turkey’s Humanitarian Response

Turkey has followed an open-door policy towards the Syrian refugees since the start of the conflict in Syria in 2011. With the intensification of violence, Syria has now replaced Afghanistan as the state that generates the most refugees in the world. Currently, Turkey hosts more than 2.7 million refugees. In this paper, an analysis of Turkey’s response to the refugee crisis is presented, by shedding light on the living and working conditions of Syrian refugees. The second part of the...

Laçin Idil Öztığ | 20 December 2016

FROM THE DESK OF THE EDITOR
From the Desk of the Editor Over the last couple of years, Turkey has weathered multiples storms in close succession: two general elections that took place in a polarized political climate, an escalation of the Turkey-PKK conflict, a crisis with Russia, the 2016 failed coup attempt followed by state of emergency measures, and the continued threat of terrorist attacks. The aftermath of the constitutional referendum in April...
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