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Syrian Refugees in Turkey and Integration Problem Ahead


  • Sevda Akar

    (Bandirma Onyedi Eylul University)

  • M. Mustafa Erdoğdu

    (Marmara University)


In this study, the Syrian refugees’ integration problems are examined, and the main challenges such as learning the tongue, finding jobs, housing, education, and vulnerability to abuse are analyzed. Moreover, some measures for social integration were proposed. Because of the civil war that broke out in Syria in 2011, many Syrians had to leave their homes and find shelter in neighboring countries. Turkey applied an open door policy from the beginning and received an influx of Syrian refugees and asylum seekers. Turkey is now de facto home to over 3.5 million registered Syrians, along with non-registered ones. Refugee influx has initially been regarded as temporary and Syrian refugees are seen as “guests.” Especially after the influx in 2014–2015, however, the positive emotions began gradually fading and some started to pronounce refugees as “overstaying guests.” Eventually, perspectives have shifted from short-term protection and humanitarian assistance to longer-term social and economic integration of Syrian refugees. Long-term integration and settlement of the refugees necessitate a comprehensive, unified, and rigorous approach. It also requires greater cooperation between policymakers, practitioners, and civil society organizations in different areas such as employment, education, and health. In addition, it calls robust international cooperation and support.

Suggested Citation

  • Sevda Akar & M. Mustafa Erdoğdu, 2019. "Syrian Refugees in Turkey and Integration Problem Ahead," Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 925-940, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joimai:v:20:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s12134-018-0639-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s12134-018-0639-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sebnem Koser Akcapar & Dogus Simsek, 2018. "The Politics of Syrian Refugees in Turkey: A Question of Inclusion and Exclusion through Citizenship," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 6(1), pages 176-187.
    2. Kuhlman, T., 1990. "The economic integration of refugees in developing countries : a research model," Serie Research Memoranda 0035, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    3. Pieter Bevelander, 2020. "Integrating refugees into labor markets," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 269-269, September.
    4. Per Lundborg, 2013. "Refugees' Employment Integration in Sweden: Cultural Distance and Labor Market Performance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 219-232, May.
    5. David N. F. Bell & David G. Blanchflower, 2011. "Young people and the Great Recession," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press and Oxford Review of Economic Policy Limited, vol. 27(2), pages 241-267.
    6. Omer Yavuz & Sefa Mizrak, 2016. "Education of School-age Children in Emergencies: The Case of Syrian Refugees in Turkey," Goc Dergisi, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 3(2), pages 175-199, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven Gronau & Brigitte Ruesink, 2021. "What Makes Me Want You Here? Refugee Integration in a Zambian Settlement Setting," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(15), pages 1-19, July.
    2. Islam, Md. Tariqul & Sikder, Sujit Kumar & Charlesworth, Mark & Rabbi, Atta, 2023. "Spatial transition dynamics of urbanization and Rohingya refugees’ settlements in Bangladesh," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    3. Emmanuel Achiri & Mustapha D. Ibrahim, 2022. "Efficiency Analysis of Syrian Refugees’ Healthcare Services in Turkey and Other 3RP States," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(22), pages 1-16, November.

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    More about this item


    Syrian refugees; Integration; Turkey;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination


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