Metamorphosis of educational understanding: Temporary integration regarding Syrians in Turkey

Sahizer Samuk

Abstract

The integration of refugees in Turkey has been realized in the field with the help of DGMM (Directorate General on Migration Management), Kızılay and UNHCR mainly, and by many more international and non-governmental organizations that have supported refugees by answering their short-term needs such as giving them cards for shopping, clothes, preparing them for winter (“winterization”) and providing educational assistance. I conducted 15 interviews with state officials, various NGOs and a few refugees. During my research many interesting points about integration policies (to-be-formed) at the moment in Turkey were discovered. One interesting finding was that the state officials do not like to use the word “integration”, as it is reminiscent of the way Turkish migrant workers were treated in Germany, where assimilation and integration were understood as the same concept. I use the term “temporary integration” for the case of all refugees, but this article will focus mostly on the Syrians. Within the context of temporariness, this article’s central attention will be the educational integration of Syrian refugees in Turkey. I argue in the paper that the temporariness and the nostalgia with the Ottoman past are two main elements mostly present regarding the educational integration of Syrians in Turkey.

Keywords

Syrian refugees; Turkish immigration policies; educational integration; temporary integration; harmonisation

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