Syrian refugees’ economic participation in Turkey

Durable Solutions for internally displaced Syrians
The Durable Solutions Platform (DSP) and the Research Centre on Asylum and Migration (İGAM) organised two events, in Ankara and Istanbul respectively, on opportunities and challenges for Syrians’ access to the labour market in Turkey
Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey

The Durable Solutions Platform (DSP) organised two report launch events together with the Research Centre on Asylum and Migration (İGAM) on “Syrian refugees’ economic participation in Turkey: challenges and opportunities.” The first event took place in the Swiss Hotel in Ankara on Wednesday 3rd of April and in the Dedeman Hotel in İstanbul on Friday 5th of April.  Both events combined were attended by over 110 people including Turkish governmental institutions, such as the DGMM and ministries, UN agencies, international and local NGOs, donors and embassies, as well as academics and researchers.

The events started with welcoming remarks delivered by Mr. Metin Çorabatır (İGAM) and Dr. Saskia Baas (DSP). Both highlighted the commendable efforts made by Turkey to support Syrian refugees and the best practices that can be drawn from the Turkish context. While much effort has been placed to provide services for Syrians, there are still many gaps on the issue of employment and access to decent work.

They were followed by a summary of the key research findings and recommendations by Lana Stade (DSP) and Nihal Eminoğlu (İGAM). Key research findings that were highlighted include the obstacles faced by many Syrians in achieving self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods in Turkey, the critical importance of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) for Syrians to meet their basic needs, additional barriers for women to access the labour market due to gender norms and the importance of stable employment for economic integration.

This study has produced a number of important recommendations, among others to lift legal and administrative barriers for self-employment and wage earning for Temporary Protection (TP) beneficiaries, link financial assistance programs, such as the ESSN, better to Turkish language courses and/or vocational courses and provide a reduced amount of assistance to TP beneficiaries who enter formal employment. Moreover, the adoption of a stronger gender approach in policy and programming was recommended. 



After the reflections, Q&A sessions were held on the outcomes of the report. During the sessions, topics such as the importance of Syrians employment, the effects of employment on the integration process, possible solutions to improve current situation in Turkey and relation between gender norms and employment were discussed in detail.

For more information on this workshop, feel free to contact us under the “About us” page.