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Syrians Barometer 2019: A Framework for achieving social cohesion with Syrians in Turkey (July 2020)

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The number, complexity and protracted nature of today’s conflicts have resulted in forced displacement at an unprecedented level. Almost 80 million people are now uprooted around the world as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence or human rights violations. The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict either within the borders of their country of origin or across international borders reached close to 80 million in 2019. This means, that forced displacement is now affecting more than one per cent of humanity – 1 in every 97 people. While most of those forcibly displaced are internally displaced persons, some 30 million are refugees, who crossed international borders in search of safety and protection.

Syrians make up the world’s largest refugee population. Half of the pre-war population of Syria has been affected by displacement, and more than 5.5 million Syrians had to seek safety in neighbouring countries. Located in a geography where large migration and refugee movements throughout history have taken place, Turkey is home to the largest refugee population in the world, with close to 4 million refugees and asylum-seekers, some 3.6 million of whom are Syrians under temporary protection. Turkey has a comprehensive legal framework for international and temporary protection: The Law on Foreigners and International Protection and the Temporary Protection Regulation, which provide the basis for the legal stay, the registration and international protection procedures, and access to rights and services by persons in need of international protection. The public system and national institutions have expanded their services to enable access of persons seeking international protection in Turkey to health care, education and social services and to provide for opportunities for self-reliance.

In this context, the Syrian Barometer 2019 aims at analyzing social perceptions of Turkish citizens and Syrians through the lenses of their interactions, relationships and experiences which have been shaped and evolved over the years of living together. The study provides a comprehensive assessment on a broad range of topics, looks into the aspirations as expressed by individuals and brings forward recommendations, based on the analysis of opinions and evidence expressed by persons who participated in the study by means of the focus group discussions and surveys.

UNHCR Turkey hopes that the Syrian Barometer 2019 provides a valuable reference for many who are interested to work in this field and would like to express sincere thanks to Professor M. Murat Erdogan and his team for their commitment and work with the study. Our thanks also go to the Academic Board for their contribution to the Syrian Barometer 2019.

Katharina Lumpp

UNHCR Representative