Workers cannot hold strikes. It notes that an over-centralised state apparatus can stifle local initiatives for defusing intercommunal tensions. [fn]Crisis Group field observations, Istanbul and Izmir, July and August 2017.Hide Footnote Social media such as WhatsApp or other messaging platforms helps spread rumours rapidly through both the Turkish and refugee communities. Much as in Europe, absorption involves not merely administrative and financial matters, but also cultural and political values. See Crisis Group Europe Report N230. Neighbourhood headmen are often the first to identify which groups are vulnerable and where tensions are brewing. The common European assumption that Turkey is a natural environment for Syrians tends to neglect the complexities of its society. Some other Sunni-Arab Syrians asserted that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) were scared of the Arabisation of Turkey, that MHP would only protect Turkmen Syrians and the HDP only Kurdish Syrians or Iraqis, leaving out Arab Syrians. Failing to use the human capital represented by Turkish NGOs makes it harder to address the countrys enormous refugee challenge. Jihadists connected to radical networks active in the war are suspected to have penetrated Turkey, taking advantage of the open border policy. Distrust of security services is deeply rooted among Kurdish movement sympathisers, whose anger toward the state is sometimes channelled toward Syrian refugees. The risk of changes to the character of their hometowns is commonly voiced, such as our women feel like they have to dress more conservatively; if they vote in local elections this place will fall under AKP control; they are ruining our social cohesion. Repeated reshuffling of the officials responsible for devising policies and coordination have hindered accumulation of know-how and strategy development. Investigative authority is established to question marriages between Turkish citizens and foreigners for the reasonable suspicions of fraud. [fn]Crisis Group telephone interview, UNICEF, 1 November 2016.Hide Footnote Addressing Syrian childrens psychological problems also must become a priority.
[fn]Trade with Syria was restored at some border gates, as Turkish commercial trucks were able to unload at the border (primarily food items and construction materials) and subsequently reload on to Syrian trucks. [fn]Crisis Group interview, manager of a shoemaking workshop, Izmir, August 2017.Hide Footnote, The replacement of local Kurds by Syrian Turkmens and Arabs in Ikkent has increased ethnic friction, resulting in small clashes and two large-scale protests in 2013 and 2014 mainly led by Kurds who had lost their jobs. However, they are distinct in historical evolution, culture, and religious practices. A middle-aged Turkish man in Ankaras Altnda summed up this sentiment: It is as if all these distributors of aid and the state only realised that this neighbourhood had a poverty problem after the Syrians settled here. [fn]http://www.hdp.org.tr/images/UserFiles/Documents/Editor/HDP%20Se%C3%A7im%20Bildirgesi%20Tam%20Metin.pdfHide Footnote Reflecting concerns of Kurdish host communities, however, it has also alleged that Ankara does demographic engineering by settling Sunni-Arab Syrians in majority Kurdish and Alevi provincial centres and rural areas and cited concerns of jihadist activity in camps.
Ankara policymakers should develop mechanisms and public messaging aimed at defusing refugee-related tensions at the local level. The next major incident occurred in Kahramanmara, where an attack on a right-wing cinema on 19 December 1978 escalated into a week of reprisals on Alevi neighbourhoods and establishments during which 100 lives, 100 homes and 200 shops were lost. An expert and an NGO worker estimated in December 2017 that 25,000-30,000 Syrians had received Turkish citizenship. [fn]www.igamder.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SINIRLAR-ARASINDA-BASKI2.pdfHide Footnote, The MHP has grappled with a similar dilemma: to be supportive of Ankaras open door policy while appealing to its nationalist, security-conscious, West-sceptic constituency. Violence peaked in July 2017 and increased nearly three-fold over the second half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. In Gaziantep, some schools, including Mnifpaa Middle School, have begun offering Turkish courses for Syrian students to help them adapt to a non-Syrian curriculum. The ad hoc temporary protection regime established at the beginning of the crisis was enshrined in law in 2014. The final tally for Gulf War was at least 1 Million people fled (almost 30% of the population) to Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan. Alevis, Kurdish nationalists, liberals, secularists and some Turkish nationalists worry that political leaders are using refugees to transform national identity, consolidate power and reframe Turkeys role in the Middle East as more Arab, Sunni and hegemonic. Turkeys economy grew by an unexpected 6.7 per cent in 2017, one of the worlds highest rates. Bitterness toward the West has swelled over the Syria conflict as well as the refugee crisis. This concept of faith-based solidarity has been at the centre of its efforts to contain and counter negative sentiments toward refugees. The only options for acquiring long-term residency are to apply for a legal short-term residence permit or find an employer willing to sponsor a work permit. Crisis Group interview, chairman of an Alevi association based in Ankara, 15 June 2016. The dispute is delicate, because coming across as anti-refugee is also a turn-off for voters. Integration policies need to consider host community concerns of a zero sum equation between their and Syrians interests and be coupled with communication strategies alongside other efforts to foster dialogue between refugees and hosts. For more information about this program see FAQ on Emergency Social Safety Net, World Food Programme (WFP) Turkey, December 2016. Workplaces need to apply for work permits for the Syrians. This is exacerbated by social polarisation. Crisis Group interviews, Ankara, September 2016; Afif Demirkran, AKP MP, Istanbul, September 2016; Syrian refugee, Istanbul, October 2016. AFAD: Afet ve Acil Durum Ynetimi Bakanl (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency). Border provinces are particularly prone to tensions, though there have been efforts to restrain and hush them. Refugees of the Syrian Civil War in Turkey are the Syrian refugees originated from Syrian Civil War, Turkey is hosting over 3.6 million (2019 number) "registered" refugees and delivered aid reaching $30 billion (total between 2011 and 2018) on refugee assistance. [fn]Crisis Group interview, Istanbul, July 2017.Hide Footnote. Those in Istanbul recalled fear that a military government, traditionally more nationalistic and secularist, could mean rule similar to what they fled in Syria or harsh backlash against refugees, as in Egypt after the Morsi government was deposed in 2013. DGMM The Directorate-General of Migration Management. Up-to-date figures available on the website of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: http://bit.ly/2mNa3cO.Hide Footnote. Crisis Group interviews, expert and NGO worker, Istanbul, December 2017. If it were, it would have shown more support for AKPs positive policies. The AKP looks at the refugee issue only from a humanitarian and protective point of view, not a political gains perspective. [fn]Article 28 reads: 1. Most were then unable to find jobs, however, because there was no demand. to achieve a sectarian change . UNDP representatives said, municipalities tried to extend services but some got overstretched . [fn]CHP Istanbul parliamentary deputy Erdoan Toprak in his report on Turkeys refugees. The remaining 38 per cent did not attend school at all. It is uncertain whether the government will open fast-track naturalisation, but it is clear that doing so could cause problems. low-paid refugees increased the unemployment rate (southern Turkey). [fn]Crisis Group interviews, business owners, Istanbuls Sultangazi, Ankaras Altnda and Izmirs Bornova districts, July-August 2017.Hide Footnote These informal enterprises operate without supervision by tax officers, municipal controllers or health inspectors, giving them an unfair advantage, according to Turkish shopkeepers. The agreement was intended to limit the influx of irregular migrants entering the EU through Turkey. The challenges that keep many Syrians out of school or work and without command of Turkish are also at the core of their being perceived by host communities as a negative influence on the economy and potential security threat. Crisis Group interviews, Ankara, October 2016.Hide Footnote. To mitigate domestic tensions and spillover from regional conflicts, Ankara needs to develop, and find support for, new policies that open refugees routes to jobs, education and permanent legal status. The number of incidents began rising in spring 2017 with seventeen in May, 25 in June, 30 in July, 25 in August, 27 in September, twelve in October, and fourteen in November. Ankaras policy has been criticised as preferential based on migrant groups ethnic and religious traits. Moreover, the government should engage with local communities that have identity-related fears about refugee infiltration into their neighbourhoods. [fn]CHPs latest election promise of sending back Syrian refugees in Turkey comes under criticism, Daily Sabah, 23 April 2016. Recognising the risk of creating a marginalised community as a result of parallel education systems, Ankara plans to absorb Syrian children into the national structure by phasing out TECs in the next three years. [fn]Turkish Perceptions Survey, GMF, 2015, pp. Why does it matter? Locally elected officials and grassroots civil society play vital roles in refugee integration: they can assess needs and defuse tensions; they can also help monitor and coordinate the district work of national entities. In 2013 nearly 60 per cent of the population thought immigration negatively impacted tourism, labour and the economy broadly.  Law created an agency under the Turkish Ministry of Justice on international protection, which also implements related regulations. [fn]The labour ministrys Regulation on Work Permits of Foreigners Under Temporary Protection was put into effect in January 2016. The Turkish state is using the refugees to change the demographic structure of the population to benefit itself. In this video, our Project Director for Turkey Nigar Gksel explains the main findings of Crisis Group's report "Turkeys Refugee Crisis: The Politics of Permanence" and advocates a long-term strategy to integrate Syrian refugees into Turkish society. Another issue is whether to integrate the roughly 12,000 Syrian teachers still employed at TECs into the public-school system. Crisis Group interviews, ASAM representatives, Istanbul, July 2017. For the refugees, challenges include learning the language, finding meaningful jobs, housing and education, vulnerability to exploitation and navigating an unfamiliar, complicated bureaucracy. [fn]Crisis Group interviews, migration expert, Istanbul, September 2017; migration expert, Ankara, July 2017.Hide Footnote To encourage school attendance, the EU and UNICEF in partnership with the Turkish ministry of education, launched a Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) program in March 2017, designed to encourage an additional 230,000 Syrian refugee children to attend school and reduce dropout rates. [fn]Crisis Group interview, district governor, Istanbul, September 2017.Hide Footnote, Yet in some localities, there is little or no dialogue between state authorities and local elected officials or civil society organisations. Riot police used tear gas to break up ensuing violence.
The Golden Crescent Movement Association in Kilis province, for example, in cooperation with the local KUR office, implemented a project matching Syrians with employers and covering their expenses for six months. Teachers are desperate, said an NGO representative. [fn]Crisis Group interview, EU official, Ankara, September 2017.Hide Footnote A recent study confirms this trend: 63 per cent of Turkish citizens either feel far or very far to Syrians, while 72 per cent of Syrians feel close or very close to Turkish society. They were managed by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (FEMA type organization) along its borders. We have reached a stage where it does not make sense anymore to provide direct cash support, said an NGO representative. Crisis Group interview, Metin orabatr, ex-UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson, Ankara, 30 September 2016. For example, in Gaziantep, a city in south-eastern Turkey near the Syrian border, KUR, the labour agency, offered hairdressing classes to female Syrians because that was what most of them wanted. In Turkish people, emphasizing the negative forces created by hosting refugees, including their connection with militants, increases support for intervention. [fn]Crisis Group interview, NGO representative, Istanbul, November 2017.Hide Footnote Organisations aligned with the government obtained renewals quickly, while the process dragged on for more secular groups, fuelling suspicions that the ministry was using refugee assistance projects to boost conservative values. More resources must be channelled to Syrians in Turkey, with a focus on improving access to education and jobs. [fn]Crisis Group interviews, NGO representatives, Istanbul, December 2017 and January 2018.
[fn]New projects by the World Bank, UNDP, ILO, IOM, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), to be funded under the EU Facility for Refugees, are expected to be implemented in 2018. is concerned. At the peak of the refugee influx, some Alawite villages in the Samanda district of Hatay apparently armed themselves to prevent refugees from entering. [fn]Babakan Yldrmdan dlibe Ynelik Operasyona likin Aklama [Prime Minister Yldrms statement on Idlib operation], Milliyet, 10 October 2017.Hide Footnote If that were to happen, given existing strains on public services and growing domestic opposition to Syrians refugees, Ankara would be hard pressed to maintain its open-door policy. Germanys KfW also receives 20 million under the Facility for Refugees for a project providing high-quality vocational education and training for Syrians and hosts. Crisis Group interview, Istanbul, October 2017, Crisis Group interviews, representatives of international organisations, Ankara, September 2017. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other international donors have tried to foster social cohesion by creating or rehabilitating these public spaces. It also requires applicants to have a Turkish identification card (. Both sides understand the consequences should the March 2016 deal between Turkey and the EU unravel. First, the report examines violence between refugees and residents, though data is limited and many incidents may go unreported. They complain that law enforcement gives locals the benefit of the doubt when they are involved in brawls with refugees. ESSN The Emergency Social Safety Network: One of the EUs humanitarian aid projects in Turkey providing direct cash support to some one million Syrians in need. Construction began in March, and in April protestors clashed with the local gendarmerie. It is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU, the U.S. and a number of other countries. , The UNHCR (not a party) criticized and declined to be involved in returns. In addition to the sheer weight of the new situation with large numbers of for-eigners suddenly being highly visible in the communities, rumours, xenophobia and deeply rooted anti-Arab sentiments have most likely led to the misconception that Syrian refugees are violent and inclined to criminality. Treasury allocations are distributed among municipalities according to the number of Turkish citizens, without considering the refugee population, which means resources are especially stretched in communities with large numbers of Syrians. Syrian Barometer, op. Suriyeli barndran ehre Hazine teviki [Treasury incentive for cities hosting refugees].
See Turkey: Fact Sheet, UNHCR, October 2017. Minorities ranging from Alevis and Kurds to secularists worry that long-term refugee settlement will mean their own further marginalisation in neighbourhoods and districts where they have been dominant.