Most of Turkish society welcomes Syrian refugees, survey reveals
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJun 19, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jun 19, 2015 12:00 am
Most Turkish citizens surveyed in a recent study consider the Syrian refugees who take shelter in Turkey as 'brothers or sisters' who have fled atrocity. Hacettepe University conducted a survey with the participation of 1,501 respondents in 18 provinces on the attitudes of Turkish society toward the Syrian refugees who have taken refuge in Turkey. The results showed that 74 percent of those surveyed consider the refugees "visitors" and 64 percent support the idea that to have them as visitors in Turkey, regardless of their religion and language, is a duty.
Murat Erdoğan, who conducted the survey, has put forth that although there is a slightly negative approach toward hosting them, most of the public considers sheltering them a "human duty."
More than 2 million refugees are currently in Turkey, leading to a protracted refugee situation. Turkey began taking in thousands of war-torn Syrian refugees who fled the violence that surfaced with the civil war in 2011 and continued apace with the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in their native land. Some 23,000 have been recently taken in after heated clashes between Kurdish forces and ISIS militants forced them from their homes.
As the number of refugees rises, society has become concerned about whether Turkey will be able to cope with the challenges the crisis brings.
Other striking results of the survey were that 85 percent of those surveyed are reluctant about citizenship given to refugees and roughly 70 percent have concerns that they could lose their jobs due to the increasing number of refugees.
Syrians currently have the lowest income among all others residing in the country. Because of their desperate situation they are forced to accept low wages. But by accepting such low wages, refugees have unwittingly lowered the bar, engendering other problems for the citizens of the country who seek jobs with higher wages.
While 80 percent of participants supported the idea that a safe zone should be formed outside Turkish territory and that the refugees should live there, 72 percent said that that refugees should live in the camps allocated for them.
Refugees who refuse to spend their lives in refugee camps, as they prefer not to be tied to any particular place, move to metropolitan cities and are usually driven to begging.
Despite the general acceptance by society, half of those surveyed were unwilling to be a neighbor to a Syrian refugee due to a fear of theft, the survey found.