The Role of contact in locals` attitudes towards refugees in Turkey

Kahya, Gülin.
The present study aims to give an understanding on citizens` attitudes towards refugees in Turkey. Specifically, the main purpose is to explain the role of contact in positive and negative attitudes towards refugees. Attitudes Towards Refugees Scale (ATRS) which is a 5-point Likert-Type scale and consisting of two subscales was developed for the current study. The data for current study were collected from locals in several cities where refugees live intensely and interact with locals. 377 participants who properly completed the scale used in the study were included in the study. Data analysis was performed by using SPSS for Windows, version 23 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, United States). According the results of the study, following contact with at least one refugee, 81 (77.9%) participants reported their attitude changed positively while 6 (5.8%) participants’ attitude changed negatively. Besides, Tolerance subscales scores were significantly higher in female participants. Dissatisfaction subscale scores were higher in participants who did not know any refugee or did not work with refugees but Tolerance and total ATRS scores were higher in participants who know at least one refugee or worked with refugees. The participants who have slightly deep, slightly natural, totally pleasant, totally cooperative and totally close relationships with refugees have on average the highest ATRS scores. The participants who think they are slightly similar with refugees and have slightly similar economic status have on average the highest ATRS scores. The results of the study were discussed in the light of the literature.