Turkey is one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in the world with nearly 4 million registered Syrian refugees and another 320,000 registered non-Syrian migrants and asylum seekers.

There are an estimated 640,037 irregularly or undocumented migrants in Istanbul alone, primarily from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, as well as African states. The numbers are increasing yearly.

The majority of migrants and refugees lives amongst host communities in urban and rural areas of Turkey, with Istanbul, Izmir and Hatay, being some of the provinces with the highest number of Syrian refugees and migrants in the country.

Increasing economic inequality and poverty amid the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing Turkish and non-Turkish populations to the margins. Official rates of poverty have increased from 0.6% to 21.9% of the Turkish population.

Based on Dünya Doktorları Derneği(DDD)/Médecins du Monde (MdM) Turkey experience, it is becoming increasingly difficult for document, irregularly documented and undocumented Syrian refugees and non-Syrian migrants to legalize their status in cities such as Izmir and Istanbul.

Many live-in poverty and most find employment in the informal work-sectors such as construction or textile. Others work as agricultural labors (seasonal workers) in rural areas of Turkey.

Without legal documentation they are excluded from basic primary service provision such as health, education, and are at risk of deportation.

The conflict and its subsequent displacements combined with poor living conditions in Turkey have had serious consequences on refugees’ psychological wellbeing, with a particularly adverse impact on women, elderly and children.

Migrants and refugees living in rural areas tend to face additional barriers and have little to no access to healthcare services due to distance, financial constraints and lack of information on available services.

Within this scope, DDD has carried out humanitarian operations to increase, improve and facilitate the access of vulnerable groups -including refugees, migrants and asylum seekers- to healthcare services through primary health care (PHC) and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) centers.

Through its MMUs in the rural areas of Bayraklı and Torbalı districts of Izmir and in Manisa, DDD provides PHC services, medical and SRH consultations, preventive screening sessions and supports referrals to its Izmir MHPSS Centre and PHC facilities.

As DDD also provided PHC services for Syrian refugees in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district between 2015-2017, it has handed over its PHC clinics in Sultangazi and Izmir’s Konak district after the SIHHAT Project led by the Turkish Health Ministry launched.

Providing 67,514 refugees with mental health and psychosocial support services between 2016-2020, DDD has transferred its beneficiaries to Immigrant Health Centers of Turkey’s Ministry of Health as of December 31, 2020.

In its Community Centre in Fatih (Istanbul), DDD aimed at promoting the integration of Sub-Saharan African refugees, migrants and asylum seekers into the host population and the public health services. DDD provided them with awareness and health promotion group sessions, case management and orientation services as well as language classes and legal counselling.

The project was completed by providing case management services to a total of 1,250 vulnerable and unregistered beneficiaries in Istanbul’s Fatih Community Center throughout 2020 to contribute to the solution of problems related to the protection area, as most of them are non-Syrian refugees and migrants who do not have access to basic healthcare services in Turkey.

Dünya Doktorları Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Centers


  • To meet the needs of primary health care and complex mental health and psychosocial support

  • To enhance welfare of migrants and refugees living in Turkey


  • Istanbul:
    2 MHPSS centers in Bağcılar ve Sultangazi districts

    1 Social and Cultural Orientation Center in Fatih-Yenikapı district

  • Izmir and Manisa:
    1 MHPSS center in Izmir

    2 Mobile Medical Units in Izmir's Torbalı district

    1 Mobil Medical Unit in Manisa

  • Hatay:
    1 MHPSS center managed by DDD in Antakya/Hatay

    1 MHPSS center managed by UOSSM, the implementing partner of DDD, in Reyhanlı/Hatay.


  • Specialized and Non-specialized Mental Health Services

  • Psychosocial Support Consultations

  • Case Management and Protection Services

  • Health Promotion Activities

  • Community-based Social and Culturual Events


  • Case managers

  • Health promoters

  • Psychiatrists

  • Psychotherapists

  • Psychosocial support animators

  • Social events organizators

  • Translators


Total Beneficiaries

Number of Total Beneficiaries Received Healthcare Services by Dünya Doktorları between 2016-2020


Turkey Programme

Number of Services Provided by Dünya Doktorları between 2016-2020


Syria Programme

Number of Services Provided by Dünya Doktorları between 2018-2020

Bağcılar Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Center

» The Project Completed
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) team working for Dünya …

Fatih Community Center

» The Project Completed
The project briefly aimed to strengthen the integration of refugees, …

Izmir (Torbalı) and Manisa Mobile Medical Services

» The Project Continues
Dünya Doktorları carries out operations and activities to meet the most urgent …