The Turkey Refugee Response Initiative

The Turkey Refugee Response Initiative (TRRI) aims to explore the role of local government, civil society organizations, and international agencies in serving Turkey’s refugee communities, particularly in the realms of access to livelihoods and overall social cohesion. Throughout 2020 and 2022, HasNa 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 and with respect to gender-based violence in the humanitarian context.

The findings have been shared 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


Skills Training and Awareness Raising • October 2021 – June 2022

In an effort to combat rising hate speech, xenophobia, and overall social tensions between Turkey’s host and refugee communities, HasNa has partnered with Kırkayak Kültür in Gaziantep, Turkey to provide local journalists with comprehensive training in peace journalism. Following their training, the Turkish, Syrian, and Palestinian participants form multicultural groups, working together to put theory into practice, highlighting stories affecting their communities.

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



Report • June 2022

In March 2022, we concluded the final phase of Media in Tandem: Social Cohesion through Storytelling, led collaboratively by HasNa, Kırkayak Kültür, and the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University. Six weeks of rigorous academic and practical training culminated in a virtual workshop and screening event, showcasing four digital stories created by project participants. This final report reflects on what we learned from implementing the project, including its relevance, its impact, and what remains to be accomplished within the field of Peace Journalism in Turkey.

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.


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.