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An evaluation of the implications ofSyrian crisis in Turkey from a disaster management perspective

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2019
Mişe, Özg
A turmoil started in Syrian Arab Republic in March 2011 which affected mainly Middle East countries, including Turkey. First wave of Syrians escaping from the conflict headed to the Turkish borders and the population movement towards Turkey started. 252 persons entered Turkey from Hatay Yayladagi Guvecci village and sought asylum in Turkey in April 2011. Syrians living alongside the 911 km-long border preferred to move to Turkey due to their relationship as relatives throughout the centuries and ongoing economic relations. 26 Temporary Protection Centers (TPC) were established in 10 provinces until 2016 these refugees. As of 13 June 2019, there are 13 TPCs in 8 provinces. According to UNHCR data, Turkey is the country with largest refugee population in the world. There are 109 thousand refugees residing in TPCs and 3.5 million refugees in urban areas with a total of 3.6 million Syrians living in Turkey. Turkey provided many services to the refugees since 2011 including temporary protection centers, temporary protection status, education, health and access to employment. Turkey acknowledged migration as a disaster since massive amounts of population movements affected the whole population. Additionally, there was no institution managing migration in 2011 therefore immigration was handled as disaster management. In the 8th year of the crisis, there is still no political solution and this requires long term solutions and planning rather than response and acute recovery. What kind of short term and long term plans did Turkey make for the 3.6 million Syrians living in the country? Is the process of providing many services to the Syrians under temporary protection “sustainable”? Which phases were successful when managing the migration and what was missing? What should be done? With this study, an overall assessment of Syrian crisis starting from 2011 will be done with the representatives of institutions that played active roles in the process. How did the Syrian crisis affect Turkey’s crisis management with a mass population influx which did not even have an institution for migration management? In this study, AFAD is evaluated which is responsible for managing and coordinating disasters and emergencies in terms of managing migration with a perspective of social disaster.