Understanding Gender-Based Violence in the Humanitarian Context in Turkey

Having already fled their homes to escape violence, persecution, and violations of their human rights, 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.

Turkey, as host to the largest population of refugees worldwide, has a special responsibility in ensuring the protection of those displaced individuals who have faced or are at risk of facing gender-based violence (GBV). In this environment, governmental actors take the lead, but local and international non-governmental organizations provide a wealth of resources and services to the communities they serve.

What forms does GBV take within Turkey’s refugee communities, why might it happen, and what is being done to prevent it? As Turkey reels from economic uncertainty, COVID-19, and a rising chorus of anti-refugee rhetoric, this report aims to address these questions based on qualitative interviews with over 25 academicians, municipal officers, and representatives of international nongovernmental organizations and local civil society organizations.