Adopting an open-door policy, accompanied by a discourse emphasising religious solidarity and humanitarian values, Turkey hosts 3.5 million Syrian refugees. This constitutes a major policy challenge for local government in Turkey.
This talk will analyse local government responses to the refugee crisis and will seek to explain variation between localities. Understanding local responses is important as more than 90% of Turkey’s 3.5 million Syrian refugees live in urban areas, rather than camps, and their presence is becoming entangled with wider social cleavages (including secular/religious and Turkish/Kurdish).
The talk will investigate how local governments address refugees’ needs in a context where Syrians are accepted as ‘guests’ without refugee status. Qualitative research in four case study areas will identify and compare local policy discourses, how they relate to national and international refugee policies, and how they influence local services, infrastructure and community relationships.