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Turkey

Ibtissam's Story

The experience of one woman who fled the violence of Syria to find sanctuary in Turkey

A safe haven for refugees and asylum seekers

3.1 million refugees|Social tensions|Skills shortage

Syrian refugees continue to arrive in Turkey on a daily basis and the country now hosts more than 3.1 million registered refugees. Thanks to its relative stability, Turkey has increasingly become a safe haven for refugees fleeing war, repression and persecution from their home countries. 

Many are living in government-run camps along the border but the vast majority live in towns and cities in the south of the country. Turkey is also home to tens of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers from countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Somalia.

Refugee and asylum-seekers living in Turkey often have complex health care needs. If these are not addressed they can make people feel isolated and hopeless. The ties of family and community easily become fragmented and tension with host communities in Turkey are a common problem.

International Medical Corps works closely with Turkish health care workers and refugees to encourage social cohesion and integration. We provide primary and secondary health care in cities along the Syrian border as well as physical, psychosocial support. We provide access to mental health, psychological, social, legal and education services for refugees, while strengthening the capacities of local organisations.

Our team in Ankara addresses the growing needs of the Syrians living in Turkey.

Primary health care: In Istanbul, Gaziantep and Sakarya, we run specially designed support centres providing a range of services including Primary Health Care appointments, mental health care, social counselling and language and computer classes. We have also established child-friendly spaces and nutrition activities to support young Syrian refugees who are particularly vulnerable.

Violence against women: We are the only organisation in Turkey offering comprehensive mental health and psychosocial support care, including psychiatric services and support for survivors of violence against women.

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