In June 2014, the IOM Country Office for Belgium and Luxembourg organized a joint field visit to Turkey with Fedasil in preparation for the resettlement of 75 Syrians to Belgium later this year. This 3-day visit allowed participants to get a better understanding of the situation of Syrian refugees, enabling them to better prepare for the reception and integration of these refugees.
The delegation met with different stakeholders, including UNHCR and IOM in Ankara and Istanbul. Further meetings were held with the Belgian embassy, UNICEF and a number of NGOs active in the field. The mission provided a good overview on resettlement activities in Turkey, on the capacity of stakeholders, and on logistical challenges.
There are now 790,000 Syrians registered in Turkey, though the actual number is generally believed to be much higher. Of these, just 30 per cent are living in the 22 refugee camps established by the Government of Turkey in the south and south-east of the country. The remaining 70 per cent live in urban areas, the majority of whom are concentrated in those cities closest to the Syrian border. The ever-growing refugee population in these areas is having a serious impact on host communities in terms of accommodation, education, medical services, and access to employment, amongst other factors.
During the visit, the delegation had the opportunity to visit the Adiyaman refugee camp which hosts approximately 10,000 Syrian refugees, and is located in the south-east of Turkey, about 400 kilometres from the Syrian border. All refugee camps are built and managed by the Turkish government, namely AFAD - The Prime Ministry Disaster & Emergency Management Presidency.
Refugees are provided with shelter, cash vouchers, education and medical services, as well as occupational workshops.
For more information on IOM’s resettlement activities, please visit:
For more information on resettlement to Belgium, please visit: