Turkey has been at crossroads due to the continuous flow of Syrian refugees due to its open-door policy and saving many lives. On the other side, the scarce resources available and the inability of Turkey to flee its responsibility would then be regarded as a violation of international law. No wonder the situation in Syria has been deteriorating ever since the civil war, all this has put enormous pressures over Turkey’s ability to manage the situation within its borders and to direct humanitarian assistance into Syria. Given the circumstances that there is a growth in the non-camp refugees which means that Syrians still enter Turkey unofficially, hence it creates more of a burden on the Turkish government (1).
This article argues that the Syrian refugee crisis resulted in deterioration at the national level in Turkey. The article will discuss health and economic effects to prove the deterioration at the national level.
-Mental and Physical Health:
Like any other country facing the same situation as Turkey, the costs of health and social services have increased beyond control and sustainability. Such a situation of high costs and inability to provide sufficient resources exacerbated the health conditions due to lack of immunization (2). As such Turkish citizens have been faced with a major public health threat that has been imposed by the Syrian refugees which is the risk of communicable diseases. An increased risk of infectious diseases is caused to the residents due to the contact with novel antigens and crowded places. In addition to that, it has been reported that refugees often face post-migration challenges as such marginalization, cultural discrimination, and socioeconomic disadvantages. As such it has been indicated by public surveys that Turkish citizens held anti-Syrian sentiments and wanted the government to stop the intake of the Syrian refugees. It has been reported that 30% of the Turkish citizens demanded that the Syrians be sent to their home country.
All such challenges negatively impact the well-being of the Syrian refugees along with their physical and mental health which would impact the hosting country in the long run in the sense that the Syrians would be a burden and in need of treatments. As when it comes to mental health Syrians face depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In addition to that, there have been effects on the Turkish national economy as such on the macroeconomic level the influx of Syrian refugees directly affected the budget and the employment rates. To illustrate more, the Syrian refugees influenced the Turkish economy with unemployment and fluctuation in prices. It has been obvious that the economic problems brought about by the Syrian refugees don’t just have implications in the short run. However, the consequences have been witnessed in the long run too. As such due to the number of people temporarily added to the Turkish citizens and the growth rate added during 2017, a decrease in the per capita income has been easily deducted.
It has also been easy to see how the Turkish citizens are at a disadvantage economically speaking, as there has been an increase in the unemployment rate of the population and a decline in the labor force. This occurred due to the influx of refugees, Syrian men chose to stay unemployed but remain in the labor force while Syrian women chose to quit the labor force. Since that informal employment is one of the main characteristics of the labor market of Turkey, hence the flows of the Syrian refugees have led to significant informal employment losses among Turkish citizens. As giving the circumstances that it is easier for the Syrian refugees to access the informal labor markets than the formal ones. In addition to that, when informal employment is joined with no work permission arrangements for refugees exacerbated the negative implications of Syrian refugees on the Turkish labor market outcomes. As the Syrian refugees are replacing the Turkish workers in the labor market especially the informal sector. Moreover, it has also created significant differences between the prices of the products manufactured informal labor sectors and those manufactured in informal labor sectors.
As it has also been proven that the unemployment rate has risen in certain regions above the average rate in Turkey. This is a result of Syrian refugees competing with the locals in the workforce, hence depriving the natives of their jobs. There were some cases stated where local workers were replaced with refugee workers. In addition to that, landlords have been using the arrival of Syrian refugees as an opportunity in which they can rent their lands with higher payments when it comes to the refugees. Some landlords even force the Turkish citizens to leave their apartments, seeking higher opportunities from refugees.
Hence the influx of Syrian refugees created a higher standard of living comparing to the standard of living that existed before their arrival. In the sense that after the influx of refugees the house rents increased. Also as a result of the Syrian refugee preference to live in neighborhoods with low rents, they started to crowd out the Turkish citizens already residing in low-quality neighborhoods. Finally, some Turkish citizens perceive the presence of Syrian refugees in some provinces on the Turkey-Syria border as useless due to using up the public goods and services.