Yesterday marked the first round of the 2023 General Elections in Türkiye, providing citizens with the chance to exercise their democratic right to vote. The political discourse leading up to the elections has taken a concerning turn, with Syrian refugees being scapegoated and even subjected to forced deportations to gain political points and direct voting behaviour.
Upinion, in collaboration with partners 11.11.11 and Basmeh & Zeitooneh for Relief and Development, conducted a study on the living conditions of Syrian refugees in Türkiye. The results revealed a grim reality of daily struggles with intimidation, violence, and discrimination in aid distribution post earthquakes and in the run-up to the elections.
A staggering 57% of respondents expressed feeling unsafe with the current political and societal climate, with the fear of deportation playing a significant role in this sentiment (92%). This fear of deportation has even increased for six out of ten Syrians (63%) since the February earthquakes.
Upinion and its partners call for the EU and national governments to take a more prominent stance in protecting Syrians, in the region and through resettlement, and to actively collaborate with local organisations to achieve this goal. Please read the policy brief below (available in both English and Arabic) with more details on the study and our recommendations.