Analyzing the ‘Syrian Uprising,’ an armed conflict-taking place in Syria; the unrest began in the early Spring 2011 within in the context of Arab Spring protests, following nationwide protests against President Bashar-al Assad’s government. The Syrian conflict has produced the most compelling humanitarian challenge of the 21st century.
The Syrian Civil War, have left more than three and half million refugees who have fled to neighboring countries, with Turkey hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees, with approximately more than 4 million people eluding from the chaotic atmosphere. The relentless on-going battle for the past three years have compelled the Syrians in leaving their lands with statistics highlighting that nearly 2.5 million people have found asylum in neighboring countries. Turkey is the leading asylum head for the Syrian refugees of these countries of asylum with its 877 km border running along with Syria.
With the fact that there is a seemingly wide border situated between theses two countries, the lines of descent along with trade relations that had continued from the early past to present, serves as a plus in accommodating and magnetizing Syrians in seeking hospitality within Turkey, without disregarding other hospitable policies such as the “open-door policy.” Within a short period; there has been accelerated increase in the population growth of Syrian refugees especially in the cities and the metropolitan municipalities close to the border.
After the usage of chemical weapons in Syria during the armed conflicts on August 21st 2013 in East Guta region (close to Damask), the possibility of military intervention towards Syria became a current issue causing an increase in the mobility of refugees from Syria to neighboring countries. As a result, the humanitarian crisis in Syria affected Turkey deeply in making and revising its process differently than from its former expectations.
It can be said that Turkey followed a hospitable policy towards the refugees in the beginning of the armed conflicts; however with the unexpected experience of an increase in the refugee population resulted in the shortcomings of shelter, health, education needs, and security. As known, most of the refugees are women and children who can be called as, the “fragile group‟. Nowadays the living conditions are getting harder for the refugees as some of them have to live in open areas even during winter conditions, whereas workforce exploitation and sexual abusing matters reflected also in the press.
These problems are related with the refugee/asylum seeker policy of Turkey and the inefficiency of infrastructure along with the increase in the number of refugees. It can be said that the process of producing policies appropriate for the definition of “right of asylum” as in the international literature have made a little process in Turkey. For this reason, support mechanisms should be developed with taking fast and temporary precautions against mass migration and considering the hospitable and tolerance level of the society.
In this report we will highlight that the living conditions of the Syrian refugee women who live out of the camps are prone to higher levels of risk from the aspect of security; and the other problems they face with because of being a woman was focused. We hope that this study would create awareness in regards with this issue, shedding light on CSO’s official organizations, which work in this field, contributing to refugees on reaching compatible life conditions while maintaining human dignity.
Ahmet Faruk Ünsal