Turkey Programme

Turkey Programme

Approximately 3,600,000 asylum seekers and refugees have entered Turkey after the Syrian crisis erupted in 2011. Within this scope, Dünya Doktorları Derneği (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.

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 sustainably addresses a critical gap in health and protection services, bridging humanitarian assistance and state/development actors’ capacity for social protection services (humanitarian-development nexus).

Two DDD mobile medical units (MMUs) provide 4,000 seasonal (Syrian refugees) workers in the rural area of Torbalı district of Turkey's western province of Izmir with Primary Healthcare (preventive and curative care for common illnesses), and Sexual and Reproductive Health (such as postnatal care). Due to their vulnerability, 4,000 seasonal workers targeted will require sustained health support over the two-year project cycle to address their health needs through two MMUs, while also strengthening their protection capacity and integration into existing state institutions.

DDD aims to increase the protection and resilience of seasonal workers in Torbalı (Izmir), as well as undocumented migrants in the urban areas of Konak (Izmir), and Zeytinburnu, Esenyurt, and Fatih in Istanbul. Through its mobile units, DDD provides health-oriented protection case management (referring, translating, and/or paying for beneficiaries with chronic or urgent medical issues).

In line with social cohesion mission for refugees and migrants living in Turkey, DDD also conducts structured psychosocial support (PSS), which is provided with a specific focus on children to integrate them into schools, including those with special needs. Women and children are particularly empowered through community-oriented protection services that will increase their awareness on issues such as PSEA, S/GBV, and information on Turkish public systems, as COVID-19 awareness raising activities are mainstreamed throughout as well.


Within this context, DDD has two main targets in its Turkey operations:

Goal 1: To provide a safe environment for refugees and asylum seekers by increasing the capacity of target groups and institutions in the areas of health, rights, basic services and psychosocial support. In line with this goal, DDD carries out the following activities:

  • Raising awareness about rights and services
  • Health promotion sessions
  • Semi-structured psychosocial support sessions
  • Research on substance abuse among refugees
  • Capacity building activities to government institutions that provide both health and social services and other local humanitarian actors

Goal 2: To increase access to health, social and legal services in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Turkey through integrated health and protection activities. In line with this goal, DDD carries out the following activities:

  • Health-focused case management
  • Primary health care services for seasonal workers
  • Sexual and reproductive health services for seasonal workers

DDD HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION IN TURKEY OPERATIONS

Why?

  • To provide a safe environment for refugees and asylum seekers by increasing the capacity of target groups and institutions in the areas of health, rights, basic services and psychosocial support.

  • To increase access to health, social and legal services in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Turkey through integrated health and protection activities. In line with this goal, DDD carries out the following activities:

Where?

  • Istanbul:

    • Zeytinburnu, Esenyurt, Fatih

  • Izmir:

    • Konak and Torbalı

  • Manisa

    • Turgutlu and Saruhanlı

What?

  • Raising awareness about rights and services

  • Health promotion sessions

  • Semi-structured psychosocial support sessions

  • Research on substance abuse among refugees

  • Capacity building activities to government institutions that provide both health and social services and other local humanitarian actors

  • Health-focused case management

  • Primary health care services for seasonal workers

  • Sexual and reproductive health services for seasonal workers

Who?

  • Case managers/workers

  • Health promoters

  • Psychotherapists

  • Psychosocial support animators

  • Health counsellors

  • Translators

408.448

Total Beneficiaries

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

67,514

Turkey Programme

Number of Services Provided by Dünya Doktorları between 2016-2020

1,367,000

Syria Programme

Number of Services Provided by Dünya Doktorları between 2018-2020

Provision of medical relief to refugees and migrants in Turkey through direct support to health facilities and implementing partners

» The Project Completed
Provision of medical relief to refugees and migrants in Turkey through direct …

Contributing to sustainable integration of refugees into host population

» The Project Completed
Contributing to sustainable integration of refugees into host population

Strengthening the longer-term resilience of refugees and migrants by improving the level of their emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing

» The Project Completed
Strengthening the longer-term resilience of refugees and migrants by improving …

Contribution to Sustainable Integration of Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Turkey

» The Project Completed
Contribution to Sustainable Integration of Refugees, Migrants and Asylum …

Provision of health protection and resilience of at-risk Syrians and undocumented migrants in Turkey

» The Project Continues
Provision of health protection and resilience of at-risk Syrians and …