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Aiding Syrian refugees in Turkey: International approaches and domestic policies


[ 1 ] University of Pécs, Ifjúság Útja 6/d., H-7622 Pécs, Hungary

Year of publication


Published in

Security and Defence Quarterly

Journal year: 2021 | Journal volume: vol. 33 | Journal number: no. 1

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • Refugees
  • Humanitarian assistance
  • International aid
  • Turkey

EN After the breakout and the escalation of the Syrian civil war and because of its humanitarian consequences, Turkey now hosts the largest refugee community worldwide. This paper attempts to investigate the role of the international community in assisting Syrian refugees in Turkey. Beyond looking at the main elements of the Turkish government policies, this study focuses on the Emergency Social Safety Net Programme of the European Union, the World Food Programme and the Turkish Red Crescent. It also reviews the Turkish aspects of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan of the United Nations. The primary purpose of the study is to provide a comparative analysis of the two programmes alongside the main objectives, results and difficulties. Beyond reviewing the essential international literature, the examination of this issue is principally based on data analysis of the reports of relevant international organisations. The Turkish government plays an important role in this crisis and the actions of international organisations complement the country’s domestic policies. Two international aid programmes are compared and a conclusion is reached that the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan tries to balance urgent humanitarian needs with durable solutions, while the Emergency Social Safety Net Programme is determined by humanitarian aspects. Nonetheless, both initiatives address the challenges to the Turkish host community which are posed by the protracted refugee issue. While acknowledging the remaining gaps, challenges and the obvious complexity of the refugee situation in Turkey, it can be concluded that the aid initiatives discussed have developed innovative solutions to address this protracted crisis.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

57 - 72



License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Release date


Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

Ministry points / journal


Ministry points / journal in years 2017-2021