The Turkey Refugee Response Initiative

The Turkey Refugee Response Initiative (TRRI) is an ongoing endeavor aimed at exploring the role of local government, civil society organizations, and international nongovernmental agencies in serving Turkey’s refugee communities, particularly in the realms of access to livelihoods and overall social cohesion. Throughout 2020 and 2021, we have conducted a series of consultations with local civil society leaders, municipalities, academics, and international humanitarian workers to map out the challenges/opportunities and best practices in refugee assistance, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the course of the initiative we will share our findings in a series of briefs, reports, and online events.

The ultimate aims of the TRRI are to amplify the voices of frontline workers, draw attention to the needs of civil society organizations, and to promote both domestic and international cooperation among all those working to improve the lives of refugees living in Turkey.

Source: Ali Sekeroglu

Projects

Aid Campaign • November – December 2020



HasNa has teamed up with the Mardin Community Participation and Development Association to deliver urgently needed food and hygiene packages to refugee and host families struggling to cope with the pandemic in Turkey’s Mardin province. In addition to receiving aid packages, participating families will also engage in trainings on women’s children’s health, best hygiene practices, and measures to prevent the spread of

COVID-19.

Publications

Report • September 2021



Having already fled their homes to escape violence and persecution, refugees, asylum seekers, and other forcibly displaced people continue to face significant risks even within their countries of refuge. This is especially true for women, children, and marginalized groups such as the LGBTQ+ community. What forms does gender-based violence take within Turkey’s refugee communities, why might it happen, and what is being done to prevent it? This report aims to address these questions and more in a context that sees Turkey reeling from economic uncertainty, COVID-19, and a surge in anti-refugee rhetoric.

Blog Post • January 2021



Refugees lack robust outlets through which they can tell their own stories, report on issues affecting them, and define themselves in opposition to negative representations that proliferate nativist political rhetoric and media reporting. What then are the dominant narratives in Turkish media regarding refugees and immigrants, and how can a positive and truthful discussion be fostered? 

Report • July 2020



The novel coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout have exerted disproportionate effects on vulnerable populations across the globe. Hosting around 4 million refugees, more than any other country, Turkey has proven uniquely susceptible to the difficulties posed by the pandemic. Throughout this period, local civil society organizations have shown remarkable adaptability and creativity in serving Turkey’s refugee communities under these difficult conditions.

Blog Post • May 2020



The lethal shooting of 18-year-old Syrian refugee Ali El Hemdan could work to demoralize Turkey’s 3.6 million Syrian refugees as they grapple with increased hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Events

Webinar • September 2021



In this discussion with local and international policy and protection practitioners, we explore the topic of gender-based violence (GBV) as it affects Turkey’s refugee communities. Based on the findings of our report “Understanding Gender-Based Violence in the Humanitarian Context in Turkey”, we delve into the forms of GBV faced by the refugee community, discussing its root causes as well as the roles of government, civil society, and the international community in supporting and implementing mechanisms of GBV prevention, protection, prosecution, and policy.

Webinar • December 2020



Comprising voices from academia, EU policy development, the local and international humanitarian aid sector, and refugee-led organizations, this session reflects on the challenges and risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic to refugee and host communities in the Turkish context while exploring the role of CSOs in current and future refugee response interventions.

Webinar • August 2020



Within the scope of the Turkey Refugee Response Initiative, this conversation with members from Turkish civil society organizations follows up on HasNa’s recently released report, exploring how COVID-19 has affected refugees across the country, what some organizations have done to protect them, and what normalization means for the future of Turkey’s humanitarian and harmonization efforts.

Webinar • April 2020



During this online event we spoke with Metin Çorabatır, President of the Research Center on Asylum and Migration (IGAM), about the effects of coronavirus on Turkey’s refugee and asylum seeker communities as well as the humanitarian aid workers and peacebuilders who serve them.