We should discuss Syrians' adaptation process - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

We should discuss Syrians' adaptation process

The “open door” policy that was implemented for five years to the refugees who came from Syria has been discussed in different aspects especially in the last two years.

The discussion that initially condensed on whether to accept the Syrian refugees in Turkey or not, during the process changed direction toward how the lives of the Syrians would and should be in Turkey.

“The citizenship issue” opened a new field in these discussions. But it is necessary to state that in the beginning. Those who have a negative attitude toward the citizenship issue moreover defending this approach with the statement “Of course we will help Syrians, but citizenship is something different,” has a negative view in relation to the refugees who took refuge in our country because of war.

That's why in the case of “citizenship for Syrians,” it is not realistic to expect that this group will contribute to the discussion in a rational manner.


Almost 3 million of Syrians have been living in Turkey. When the “citizenship” issue came to the agenda, questions such as “Will 3 million Syrians be given citizenship?” began to be asked.

This is a rightful concern, because the number is huge. It is a number that is equal to the population of some countries in Europe whereas in Turkey it is like the population of a big city.

That is why by means of this practice Turkey will put into effect for the first time, “the citizenship criteria,” who will be granted Turkish citizenship, will be the indicator of the successful conclusion to gain the Syrians who it helped and chose according to some certain criteria.

On the other hand, the achievement of Turkey in its humanitarian aid policy that no European country could show cannot be ignored.

Moreover this success was achieved despite the vast refugee influx.

That is why it is the time now to talk about what to do for the adaptation of Syrians to the economic and social life in Turkey besides helping them.


Speaking with the suspicion “Will 3 million Syrians be the citizens of the Turkish Republic?” is only a waste of time. What should be done is to accept that the “adaptation process” of Syrians has started and suggestions should be developed for the adaptation process.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş stated that to lead these practices, operations are being carried out including the economic and social indicators of Syrians.

Many organizations and institutions have been working on the issue of the Syrians. As the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) has been taking care of the aid issue, the Directorate General of Migration Management that was established in 2013 is concerned not only about Syrians but also the entire refugees as an institution.

But, the social and economic change of the Syrians in Turkey goes further than corporate organization.

Therefore, in order to reduce the corporate complications in this area and get ready for the new humanitarian crisis which may emerge in the region, the alternative institutions and new organization is a must.

Besides the Directorate General of Migration Management, Family and Social Policies Ministry, ministries such as health and national education, municipalities and NGOs have been working on the Syrians. But the existing situation shows that the Directorate General of Migration Management is organized like the Ministry of Immigration and Naturalization and thus a new ministry needs to be established.

Today there are these ministries in many countries in the world and are very effective.

The Ministry of Immigration and Naturalization forming a single roof will enable the immigrants and refugees to be presented at the ministry level.

This integrity will prevent the problems faced and will be possibly faced because of lack of coordination.

So both the economic and social rights of the refugees after immigration will be followed and at the same time an institutional structure that will make the naturalization process easier will be formed.

There are 900,000 children among the 3 million of Syrians. The number of the children who were born in Turkey is more than 150,000. Ignoring these children who have the sense of belonging to Turkey by birth can cause a bigger problem.

Hence, Turkey should not refuse these problems but focus on how to resolve these problems.

Is this not the requirement of being a big country?



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