Limits to temporary protection: non-camp Syrian refugees in İzmir, Turkey
This article investigates the situation of non-camp Syrian refugees living in İzmir with a focus on socio-economic prospects and challenges concerning their survival and integration on the one hand and social acceptance by the host Turkish society on the other. The data were generated by semi-structured interviews conducted between February and April 2014 with non-camp Syrian refugees and Turkish citizens living in İzmir. The empirical research intends to contribute to the literature through insights on the socio-economic conditions of non-camp Syrians, their level of integration to Turkish society, difficulties and challenges encountered and the perception of Turkish citizens about the rising Syrian population in Turkey. It argues that Turkey’s open-border and ‘temporary protection’ policies are approaching their limits with the increasing number of new arrivals and the concomitant difficulties faced in integrating into Turkish society. The paper suggests that there is an urgent need to create a ‘rights-based approach’ with a long-term integration policy and presents policy recommendations which aim to extend and secure the rights of Syrians through socio-economic adjustments without jeopardizing their social acceptance from and peaceful co-existence with Turkish citizens.
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