International Experts discuss the Refugee Crisis

July 8 Sunday

Date/time

July 8 - 12, 2018

Loc.

Istanbul

Type

Congress

From the 8th till 12th July the KAS Turkey organized the "Expert Exchange – Outside of Syria: Situation and Challenges in the Countries of first Asylum and their Cooperation with the EU" which dealt with the current refugee situation.

Also available in Deutsch, Türkçe

In the center of the discussion was the state of the affairs in the neighbor countries of Syria. Participants from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Germany came together in Istanbul to discuss challenges and solutions. To offer different perspectives on the topic, experts from different sectors like politics, science and non-governmental organizations sat on the table. Besides six panel discussions there was also an excursion to a refugee facility in Sultanbeyli.

After an introduction by Sven-Joachim Irmer (Head of KAS Turkey), Dr. Christina Krause (Koordinator Migration and Refugees KAS Berlin) and Dr. Georg Birgelen (German General Consulate Istanbul), Dr. Yelda Devlet presented the work of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Turkey. The IOM operates under the coordination of the UNHCR to give refugees access to different services like education and community management. Subsequently Elif Selen Ay (UNHCR) shared numbers and statistics to point out the regional picture. There are for example more than three million refugees in Turkey alone.

In the first panel Prof. Dr. Murat Erdoğan (Turkish-German University), Abdullah Vergil (Turkish Migration Directorate) and Dr. Manuel Paulus (German Embassy) discussed the current situation in Turkey. They identified the integration of refugees into the education system and the job market as central problems. The social cohesion of the communities needs to be preserved. Afterwards Leif Eriksson (EU Delegation Ankara) and Dr. Ralf Reusch (German Embassy) evaluated the results of the EU-Turkey Agreement. The common denominator was, that despite all unanswered questions there are hardly any alternatives to the cooperation between EU and Turkey.

The general debate on Monday evening concerned the situation in the refugee camps. The most important insight was, that there are way more refugees in urban areas than in refugee camps. Both groups have different needs and problems in relation to support and protection. On Tuesday morning the experts visited a refugee facility in the town of Sultanbeyli. The local government offers different services concerning counseling, health and education under one roof. After a tour of the facility the major of Sultanbeyli Hüseyin Keskin explained the challenges that the local government faces with the integration of the refugees.

On the last day experts from Lebanon, Jordan and North-Iraq explained the state of affairs in their countries. Bashir Khodr (Governor of the province Baalback/Hermel), Dr. Elie Al-Hindi (Middle East Institute for Strategic Studies) and Dr. Ziad El-Sayegh (Expert on Public Policies and Refugees) represented Lebanon. The country is hosting relative to its inhabitants one of the biggest contingents of Syrian refugees. This causes special challenges regarding the social cohesion in Lebanon. Dr. Nawaf Tell (Foreign Ministry Jordan), Mohammed Al-Nabulsi (Economic Council Jordan) and Dr. Bisher H. Al-Khasawneh (Former Minister) from Jordan talked about the possibilities of their countries. They emphasized the struggles of integrating children of refugees into the education system. The teachers have to invest a lot of extra work to integrate the additional number children by refugees.

Concluding the event, Dr. Mohammedali Taha (Member of Parliament of the Kurdish Region North-Iraq) and Dr. Nezar Ismet Taib (Duhok Health Directorate) talked about the difficulties North-Iraq faces during the current refugee situation. It is not enough to support the refugees materially, but they need also psychological support. The participants left the conference on Thursday with many new impressions and insights. Especially the perspective from different countries was very valuable. They agreed that the dialogue should be continued in the next years, because the Syrian refugee crisis is far from over.

Introduction by Sven-Joachim Irmer (Head of KAS Turkey), Dr. Christina Krause (Koordinator Migration and Refugees KAS Berlin) and Dr. Georg Birgelen (German General Consulate Istanbul)

Introduction by Sven-Joachim Irmer (Head of KAS Turkey), Dr. Christina Krause (Koordinator Migration and Refugees KAS Berlin) and Dr. Georg Birgelen (German General Consulate Istanbul)

International Experts discuss the Refugee Crisis

International Experts discuss the Refugee Crisis

Experts from Lebanon, Jordan and North-Iraq explained the state of affairs in their countries

Experts from Lebanon, Jordan and North-Iraq explained the state of affairs in their countries

The major of Sultanbeyli Hüseyin Keskin explained the challenges that the local government faces with the integration of the refugees

The major of Sultanbeyli Hüseyin Keskin explained the challenges that the local government faces with the integration of the refugees

The experts visited a refugee facility in the town of Sultanbeyli

The experts visited a refugee facility in the town of Sultanbeyli

Contact person

Sven-Joachim Irmer

Head of the KAS Office Turkey

Phone +90 312 440 40 80
Fax +90 312 440 32 48
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Türkçe

Türkmen Özmen

Project Coordinator

Phone +90 312 440 40 80 / 123
Fax +90 312 440 32 48
Languages: Türkçe,‎ Deutsch,‎ English