Turkey’s Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Road Ahead


Turkey now hosts the largest refugee population in the world. The Government of Turkey (GoT) estimates the total number of registered Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTPs) at 2,225,147 according to a new Policy Note prepared by the World Bank, Turkey’s Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Road AheadThe policy note collates existing publically available material on the situation of SuTPs in Turkey and summarizes not only the strategy and prin­ciples of Turkey’s unique response to its displacement crisis; but also the challenges in managing the socioeco­nomic dimensions of displacement.  The Note also highlights remaining critical policy issues and the road ahead for Turkey and what lessons could be drawn from the Turkish hosting experience for other countries’ refugee re­sponse efforts.

According to the policy note, there are two key characteristics of the Turkish response effort--1) that it adopts a non-camp; and 2)  government financed approach—which strongly differentiates the response from many refugees hosting countries, where the tendency is to direct the refugees into camps supported by humanitarian agencies.

The note sheds light on the most common issues faced by both displaced and host communities in a development oriented response effort, including income, welfare and employment; pressures on housing and services including education health; and social tensions and community relations.

" It has increasingly become clear that humanitarian assistance must be paired with development interventions that can begin to respond to the scope, long-term nature, and socio-economic impacts of the refugee crisis, which is now a serious global matter. The Government of Turkey and the World Bank are working in partnership to identify and mitigate the impacts of Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTPs) on Turkish host communities. "

Johannes Zutt

World Bank Country Director for Turkey

The policy note also highlights the critical policy questions that lie ahead for Turkey in deepening its response, and points to lessons from the Turkish ex­perience that may be salient for international actors in considering a more effective strategy commensurate with the scale, scope, and protracted nature of the current global dis­placement crisis.

Looking ahead, the policy note ends with mentioning the challenges ahead of Turkey in order to manage the underlying socioeconomic pressures as the GoT remains committed to the principle of treating SuTPs as protected “guests” that will be well prepared to return home once the conflict in Syria ends.

Three key policy questions should then guide next steps:

  1. How to mitigate the potential negative socioeco­nomic impact of the refugee presence on host communities?
  2. How to maximize the social and economic ben­efits of the refugee presence for host communities and the Turkish economy as a whole?
  3. How to support SuTPs to be self-reliant until they are able to return?

Across the globe, the World Bank is committed to designing and funding development solutions, which build the resilience of displaced and host communities to overcome their losses and to rebuild positive lives. For example, in Jordan and Lebanon, the World Bank has provided technical assistance to quantify the socio-economic impacts of the refugee presence and is financing support to municipal services stretched by the refugee presence..

More details of the World Bank renewed emphasis on addressing forced displacement can be found at: