In the past, the refugees were just short-term consequences of war or conflict while in the present the refugee crises are considered a norm and not an exception. Hence the context of the Syrian refugees in Turkey demands recognition of the long-term economic, social, and political responsibility to encourage the flocks of refugees. As such the situation of the Syrians in Turkey ranges from medium to long-term situation.
The article argues that the Syrian refugee issue was de-securitized at the beginning and that the Turkish government kept its humanitarian stance towards the Syrian refugees.
The refugees are portrayed in Turkey’s largest active news agencies as victims who are struggling for survival. It has also produced a large portion of news about humanitarian aid which proves that Syrian refugees are viewed and evaluated in a humanistic manner. Other visual frames have been created to maintain positive representations of the Syrian refugees. As such with the first flow of Syrian refugees to Turkey during the period of 2011 up until the summer of 2015, Turkey adopted the open door policy.
As such it began the construction of certain tenets in the southern provinces of Turkish cities while welcoming the Syrians under the name of guests. At that time Turkey assumed a temporary and short stay for the Syrian refugees which enabled them to refrain from the provision of legal rights. Along with the failure of the UN to a ceasefire in the population of the Syrian refugees in Turkey exceeded 1.7 million refugees by the mid of 2015. Hence it was high time that Turkey passed a law on Foreigners and International Protection during 2013, due to the consistent flows of refugees to Turkey. According to the UNHCR data, it has been reported that during August 2019 the number of Syrian refugees residing in Turkey is 3,643,870.
The law is mainly passed for procedures for foreigners, refugees, and people that need international protection including temporary protection. Such procedures are limited to situations in which people were forced to flee their country and could not return.
Also, an additional law was passed that changed the legal status of the refugees from temporary guests to those who are under temporary protection during 2014.
Despite the fact that the Syrian refugees enjoy certain rights under this system of temporary protection, they are still perceived under the category of refugees. A turning point in the Syrian refugee crisis was the amendment to the citizenship law, as such the naturalization of Syrians and granting them Turkish citizenship. This would happen exceptionally to the Syrians who would be able to meet the criteria that the government would set based on high skill and higher education levels during 2015 the movement of the refugees from Turkey to Europe has reached the peak. As many refugees suffered dreadful conditions on the borders of Europe. In addition to that, the dead bodies of thousands of refugees on the shores of Turkey and Greece. During that time the EU policymakers have entered into a circle of discussion. They also decided to appreciate the efforts of Turkey and begin a set of negotiations with the Turkish government which materialized in the form of the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan.
The plan aimed for controlling and reducing the arrival of the flocks of refugees. In the sense that Turkey is expected to its border control procedures and assure that the re-admission centers are functioning on a full scale. In such a case, Turkey would have the ability to receive all irregular migrants arriving in Europe and taking Turkey as transit. Hence following the plan, Turkey would send back such displaced persons’ countries of origin. This would happen in two conditions which are that the refugees don’t fear the persecution and second it is considered impossible to provide them with their basic needs as such housing, healthcare, and education services.
In addition to that, part of the deal is about a population swap in which Turkey would let in irregular migrants, and in exchange, Turkey would send away Syrian refugees in Turkey to Europe for resettlement. Such a “one to one initiative” assures that each Syrian who has fled to Greece without authorization, would be returned to Turkey and the EU would resettle one Syrian refugee already in Turkey.
As for Turkey with its open-door policy, the law on foreigners and International Protection, the law for temporary protection, and the amendment to the citizenship law. It is crystal clear that at the very beginning Turkey has dealt with the refugees in a welcoming manner and the refugees were welcomed by the wider public in a humanitarian manner. The Turkish government spoke of the open door policy, integration and linked the policy with a narrative of historical and geographical necessities.