The “dark future” facing young Syrians in Turkey

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Turkey has become the country with the largest refugee population in the world. According to the Turkish Refugee Association, of the nearly 4 million displaced persons in Ottoman territory, 3.6 million are refugees of Syrian origin who left their country after the start of the civil war in 2011. However Despite the demographic importance of this displaced population, the Turkish Government has not yet approved any plan of measures to guarantee all their basic needs, such as health, education or economic stability.

Specifically, one of the groups that has aroused the most concerns among the Ottoman authorities is the group of young Syrians. It is estimated that, of the total number of refugees present in the country, more than 2.6 million are Syrian men and women who have not yet reached the age of 30, and that at least one million of these people have not yet reached the age of 30. 10 years. This means that close to one million Syrian refugees have not known their native country before the outbreak of armed conflict due to anti-government protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

A report published in 2019 by the German political foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung estimated that around 500 Syrian children are born every day in Turkish territory without the authorities in Ankara or Damascus guaranteeing them a national identity document in neither of the two territories.

AFP/AAEREF WATAD – Children displaced by Syrian war scan Idlib city

In this situation, the Government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed concern about the increasingly permanent settlement of the Syrian population in Turkey. And while the authorities have already started a campaign to convince Ottoman citizens that the refugees will return to their countries of origin as soon as possible, international observers have already asserted that these fears are unjustified.

However, the precarious situation of young people in the country is a widespread issue that affects both the displaced population and Turkish nationals. “The reality is that Turkey cannot guarantee a good future for its youth, much less for young refugees”said the Istanbul-based journalist Alexandra de Cramer for Al-Arab News. Currently, official figures for the third quarter of 2021 indicate that the youth unemployment rate in the territory amounts to 22% – more than 11 million people between 15 and 34 years old -, motivating young Turks to leave. en masse his native country.

Thus, despite the fact that Ankara has claimed to welcome migrants and displaced persons who arrived in Turkey, the truth is that the Government has not yet developed a unified plan of action to respond to their basic needs and guarantee respect for their rights. Health and educational issues are the main focuses of the problem. According to the Education Reform Initiative, only half of Syrian refugee children attend school on a regular basis, which is due – according to Cramer – “firstly, because Turkey’s central education system does not allow schools to individual students tailor education to the needs of Syrian students and secondly, there are not enough qualified teachers to teach a curriculum in Turkish and Arabic ”.

Syrian refugees
AFP / BULENT KILIC – Migrants wait in the buffer zone on the border between Turkey and Greece, near the Pazarkule border crossing in Edirne, on March 5, 2020

Anti-Syrian sentiment

The economic crisis that plagues the country – aggravated by the depreciation of the Turkish lira – has also led to the emergence of a strong anti-Syrian movement. There are already many political parties that have increased the hostile tone towards the refugees, openly demanding their return to their countries of origin.

There are already several episodes in which Turkish citizens have attacked, and even killed, displaced Syrians. One of these examples was made public by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which denounced the death of three young refugees after they set fire to the room in which they slept. Similarly, according to a study by the Children’s Platform for the protection of children’s rights, at least half of the Turkish parents interviewed are against their children having friends of Syrian origin.

The European position

Although the refugee movement to Europe through Turkey was a constant since 2011, the arrival of these displaced persons intensified as of 2016 with the signing of the migration agreement between Ankara and the European Union. Through this treaty, Turkey promised to give asylum to all migrants and refugees who try to cross the Aegean Sea and enter Europe illegally through Greece. This included the Syrian population fleeing the war, in exchange for a larger financial contribution from the EU. For its part, Brussels agreed to abolish the visa requirement for Turks visiting Europe, in addition to speeding up the negotiation process for Ankara to join the Union.

Erdogan European Union
REUTERS / FRANCOIS LENOIR – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a meeting with EU Council President Charles Michel in Brussels, Belgium, on March 9, 2020

At first, financial aid to the Ottoman country amounted to 6,000 million euros, which was intended to give economic support to the Turkish management of the migratory wave. But nevertheless, in June 2021 the European Union and Ankara renewed the agreement for a new item of 3.5 billion euros. The bulk of this budget is expected to be allocated to educational projects such as the integration of Syrian minors into the Turkish educational system or the financing of the teaching structure, as reported by the Europa Press news agency.

However, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has alleged that Turkey has spent more than 40,000 million dollars (about 35,000 million euros) in the provision of basic services for the refugee population, and has requested the EU that the transfusion of funds be made directly to the Ankara Government. Faced with this, it is foreseeable that Brussels’ position will be to reject this demand, since the growing Turkish authoritarianism and the decline in respect for human rights in the country are issues that concern the European authorities. Not forgetting, in addition, Turkey’s military involvement in the Syrian conflict.


Usama Younus

Usama Younus is the owner and super admin of the site he's is an expert in news editing, tech and entertainment magazine management, and articles editing E.T.C.

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