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Refugee integration and entrepreneurship: the case of Syrians in Turkey

Kenanoğlu, Murat
This research aimed at contributing to the policy design for refugee integration in Turkey by presenting the potential contributions of the prioritization of labor market policies and entrepreneurship. Following the Syrian refugee inflow, Turkey was slow in constructing a framework to provide non-European asylum-seekers with a legal status allowing them access to education and health services, but even slower in access to the labor market. Moreover, Syrian refugees were met with policies that seek the provision of basic needs, with little regard for livelihoods support that would comprise the foundation of an official integration scheme. As a result, Syrian refugees’ integration to various dimensions of Turkey, its institutions and society have been uneven at best. Hence, Turkey must establish a system aimed at facilitating access to jobs and most importantly to entrepreneurial initiatives for refugees. The study views that providing refugees pathways to self-sufficiency comprises a vital step to expediting their integration. In this regard, literature review is carried-out on the concept of integration and its evolution, followed by an analysis of integration policies in Sweden so as to provide comparisons with the integration policies designed and implemented in Turkey regarding Syrians under Temporary Protection, with a specific focus on labor market policies. Lastly, the study will present the results of surveys conducted with Syrian entrepreneurs in Gaziantep to observe whether the conclusion arrived in country comparisons hold true in field research. Correspondingly, this study aims at contributing to the policy design for refugee integration through entrepreneurship in Turkey.