Brief Overview of the Syrians in Turkey

Brief Overview of the Syrians in Turkey

The Syrian War Crisis began in 2011 displacing millions of civilians inside Syria and forcing millions more to flee the war torn country. Most of the Syrian refugees fled to neighboring countries of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Today, Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees around the globe with over 3 million Syrian refugees. In Turkey, the Syrians are registered under the Temporary Protection Status (TPS). Although slow to begin with, the Government of Turkey has progressed in providing basic facilities and rights to the Syrians in Turkey. Most of the Syrians in Turkey live outside of camps, out of the total registered Syrians only 244, 609 are in camps (UNHCR, 2017). The Syrians in the camps account for only about 8% of the total Syrians in Turkey. There are many Syrian children that are going to Turkish schools and a large number that has enrolled in universities.

However, the economic integration has been a very slow process with the regulation for granting work permits to TPS holders coming only in January of 2016. Yet still, the number of work permits granted to Syrians is minute compared to their population. Among all of this, we have seen the Syrian entrepreneur community to be at the forefront of establishing businesses in Turkey. The number of businesses with Syrian partners has been increasing since 2011. Over 6,000 businesses with Syrian partners have been established in Turkey. The numbers are astonishing especially because they tend to hire other Syrians as employees. A recent report by Building Markets (2017) showed that on average Syrian SMEs hire 9 people. The Syrian established businesses are facilitating the Turkish Labor Market by providing employment opportunities and also assisting Syrians in economic integration.

It will take a much greater effort to assist and integrate Syrians into their host societies. Turkey is no different; the integration so far is low and can be improved over time. All organizations and institutes working with the refugees need to come together to find better solutions that can help the refugees in becoming self-sufficient and becoming more harmonized into their host communities.

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