Cities of Refuge in the Middle East: Bringing an Urban Lens to the Forced Displacement Challenge

Cities of Refuge in the Middle East: Bringing an Urban Lens to the Forced Displacement Challenge - World Bank and Karen Jacobsen

This policy note concentrates on urban forced displacement. It takes on the point of view of receiving towns and cities mainly in Jordan and Lebanon. Furthermore, it emphasises the need to consider urban displacement in terms of both humanitarian and development assistance. The policy note also examines what lessons we can acquire from existing urban development approaches.

Click here to access the document.

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Republic of Turkey Ministry of Interior Announcement

Here is an unofficial translation of the announcement of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Interior regarding the recent escalation of negative news coverage about Syrians:

‘Some of the press organs and social media accounts are wrongfully presenting the Syrian guests as “guilty of escalating crime”.

In recent years, instability in neighboring countries, civil war and terrorism triggered mass migration movements; and because of the deeply rooted history and religious ties between us, we have become the first door nation for those people who escape from persecution and death. … we are host to over 3 million Syrians who have escaped from a war. …

Since the beginning of the problem, our country has issued many security, shelter and arrangements, and has been trying to provide these people with a healthy way of daily life adaptation, and has introduced a more effective, modern and humanistic approach than other countries affected by immigration.

Our Syrian guests, inside and outside the camps, are registered and given “Temporary Protection Identity Certificate” after their fingerprints are taken and security inquiries are made.

The problems experienced among our Syrian guests and/or between our citizens are distorted and exaggerated in the news the last few days creating discomfort in society. The issue is desired to be moved to another dimension, not compatible with the spirit of hospitality, turning into a domestic political material.

On the contrary, when our Syrian guests’ crime and suicide rates are compared to the amounts given, the figures do not overlap with the publicly quoted figures. The ratio of the Syrians to the total number of crimes committed in Turkey is very small compared to the general crimes of our country, considering the total population in Turkey. The ratio of the incidents of the Syrians to the total number of public order incidents in Turkey is 1.32% per annum between 2014-2017. An important part of these events are events that originate from disputes between themselves. In addition, despite the increase in the number of Syrians, crime incidents committed by them has decreased 5% in the first six months of 2017 compared to the previous year.

… When this data is taken into consideration, it is clearly observed that the tensions experienced from time to time are to be scaled up in the public opinion. …’

For the original Turkish version of the announcement, please visit:

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A Multicultural Day at Özyeğin University

On Thursday, May 4th we hosted 83 migrant and Turkish students from Çekmeköy schools in our campus.  We arranged different workshops for them on Mediation and Conflict Resolution Games, Handcrafts (origami, painting, etc.), Sports (football, games) and Theatre and Music. You can see a few photos by clicking Photos!

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Adaptation of Syrian Refugees to the Civil Lifestyle in Turkey

Adaptation of Syrian Refugees to the Civil Lifestyle in Turkey- Kemal Vural Tarlan & Emine Uçak Erdoğan

The main purpose of this report is to reveal the daily problems faced by Syrians living in Turkey and to provide a road map to the organisations working towards solving these problems. Thus, contributing to the elimination of obstacles in front of the adaptation of Syrians to the civil life.

Click here to access the report.

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Civil Society and Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Civil Society and Syrian Refugees in Turkey- Helen Mackreath & Şevin Gülfer Sağnıç

Since 2011 with their mass migration, Syrians have become a part of daily life in Turkey. The increasing number of Syrians living outside camps obliged civil society to respond. This one year research was conducted in four cities across Turkey (Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Gaziantep) and the primary aim was to understand how civil society is responding to Syrians in the country.
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Syrian Refugees and Cultural Intimacy in Istanbul: “I feel safe here!”

A working paper by Prof. Dr. Ayhan Kaya, currently on a sabbatical leave at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence as a Jean Monnet Fellow of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.

This paper derives from the findings of a recent qualitative and quantitative study conducted by the Support to Life Association among Syrian refugees in Istanbul to make their vulnerability assessment with a particular focus on their strong attachment to this city. The paper aims to answer; to what extent Istanbul provides Syrian refugees with a space of cultural intimacy, where they feel safe and secure despite the difficulties of everyday life. The main assumption of the paper is that historical, cultural and religious forms of affinity are likely to particularly attach the Sunni-Muslim-Arab-Syrians originating from Aleppo province to Istanbul. This paper is expected to contribute to the discipline of Refugee Studies by shedding light on the historical elements and the agency that are often neglected in such analysis.

Please find attached the paper published by the Centre within the framework of its Global Governance Programme focusing on the Syrian Refugees in Istanbul.

Syrian Refugees and Cultural Intimacy in Istanbul

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Panel Report-Turkey-EU Cooperation in the Axis of the Refugee Crisis: Opportunities & Challenges

“Turkey-EU Cooperation in the Axis of the Refugee Crisis: Opportunities & Challenges” was held on June 2, 2016 with the cooperation of Istanbul Bilgi University European Institute and Economic Development Foundation.

Click here to access the report.

*The report is available in Turkish.



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New Report on Syrian Dom (Gypsy) Refugees

Dom Migrants From Syria “Living at the Bottom” On the Road amid Poverty and Discrimination-Present Situation Analysis Report by Hacer Foggo and Kemal Vural Tarlan

Syrian Doms are another fragile group of migrants in Turkey.  It is estimated that 50,000 Doms have migrated to Turkey as a result of the civil war in Syria that has been going on for five years as of 2016. In addition to the general hardships experienced by Syrian migrants, this community experiences discrimination from the authorities, the local population and other Syrian migrants on account of their ethnic origin and way of life and have almost no access to humanitarian aid.

Click here to access the report.

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Call for Papers: The Migration Conference 23-26 August 2017, Athens, Greece

5th Migration Conference 2017

Wednesday 23 August to Saturday 26 August 2017

Harokopio University Athens

The Migration Conference 2017 is a peer-reviewed international academic symposium dedicated to the study of migration covering a wide range of multidisciplinary areas including dynamics and patterns of human mobility, legal and regulatory frameworks, labour market outcomes, education and human capital, brain drain and brain circulation, short term migrations, migrant integration, specific diasporas, such as of Mexicans, Latinos, Turks, Chinese, Caribbeans, Africans, Indians, South Asians, Kurds, Syrians, retirees, returnees, irregulars, and others, culture, media  and politics, health and well-being of migrants, internal and international migration nexus, migrant experiences, mobile minorities, transnationals, nomads, Gypsies, Romanis, methodology in migration research, migration theory, the cost of migration, transnational space, transnationalism, political participation, legal frameworks, conflicts, non-movers and attitudes and policies towards migration and migrants.

Abstracts: Structured long abstracts should state clearly the objectives, referring to relevant literature, methods, results and conclusions of the work, and should be no more than 750 words in length.
Up to 10-12 key references cited in the abstract can be given and these are not included in the word count.

Papers: A maximum of 7 pages including a short abstract (up to 200 words), appendices and references.

Developmental / Working papers: A maximum of 4 pages including a short abstract (up to 200 words), appendices and references.

Posters: These must be in PowerPoint format, and have a maximum file size of 10Mb. Posters should be A1 format and printed on a single panel. The text should be around 25 point, with main headings no smaller than 36 point.

*Authors may submit no more than 2 single authored papers or 3 co-authored papers in total.

Important Deadlines:

  • 01 September 2016Submission opens
  • 28 March 2017: Submission Deadline for abstracts/papers
  • 28 March 2017: Author notifications begin
  • 15 June 2017: Early Bird Registration Deadline
  • 28 May 2017: Submission of revised versions of accepted abstracts – last day for revisions
  • 28 May 2017: Submission of full conference papers to be eligible for the Best Paper Prizes
  • 15 July 2017: Final Registration Deadline for presenters to stay on the programme.
  • 23 August 2017: Final Registration Deadline to attend.
  • 23-26 August 2017: TMC 2017 takes place at Harokopio University Athens, Greece
  • 26 September 2017: Final Revised Paper submission deadline for papers to be considered for the edited volumes (books or journal special issues)

For further details please visit: The Migration Conference 2017

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Call for Papers: IMISCOE 14th Annual Conference Migration, Diversity and the City 28-30 June 2017, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Cities are often the main ports of entry for migration and the location where migration-related diversity is manifested most prominently. The 14th annual conference turns attention to the urban dimension of migration and migration-related diversity.

What implications does migration have for the city and for urban life, how can cities respond to both the challenges and opportunities offered by migration and diversity?

We welcome contributions from various disciplines, such as political science, sociology, economics, history, law, anthropology, public administration, demography and social geography. It is possible to submit individual papers, panel proposals and workshops (all sessions will each be assigned 90 minutes).

Logged on users can now submit a paper, panel or workshop proposal for the IMISCOE annual conference 2017 in Rotterdam. The forms for each can be found in the “user menu” once logged on (login) .

  • Submissions of paper proposals should include a 250 word abstract. The IMISCOE conference committee will propose thematic panels based on the individual paper submissions that are accepted for presentation.
  • Submissions for workshop proposals should include a max. 400 word overview of the rationale of the workshop
  • Proposals for a research panel should consist of 3 or 4 coherent and related papers. Submissions should include a 250 word abstract of the theme of the research panel, the author names, title and a max. 250 word abstract per paper.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Thursday 15 December (24:00 CET). All submissions should be made online via Applicants will be informed about acceptance of their submission by February 1st.

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