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The Emerging Welfare Mix for Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The Interplay between Humanitarian Assistance Programmes and the Turkish Welfare System



This paper explores the key features of the emerging welfare mix for Syrian refugees in Turkey and identifies the modes of interaction between humanitarian assistance programmes, domestic policy responses and the Turkish welfare system. The welfare mix for Syrian refugees is a joint product of humanitarian assistance programmes implemented by international and domestic non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and domestic social policy programmes. Three policy domains are considered: social assistance schemes, employment and health care services. The paper suggests that granting of temporary protection status to Syrian migrants in Turkey and the agreement between Turkey and the EU shaped the welfare mix by empowering the public sector mandate vis-à-vis the humanitarian actors. As a result, the role of the public sector increases at the expense of NGOs, especially in social assistance and health care, while NGOs are increasingly specialised in protection work (especially in mental health support), where the Turkish welfare system has been weak. Employment has been essentially disregarded, in both humanitarian and social policy programmes, which casts doubt on the prospect of successful economic integration. Finally, this paper argues that the convergence of the rights of immigrants and citizens may well occur in mature components of less comprehensive welfare systems.



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The Emerging Welfare Mix for Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The Interplay between Humanitarian Assistance Programmes and the Turkish Welfare System



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