As we all know, for the last few years migrants have always been an issue in Europe and especially in Turkey. The fact that we host much more Syrian refugees than nearly any other country has made many of our citizens uncomfortable. The reason for this is manly the misinformation or rumors running around or the lack of information regarding Syrians. Let’s have a look at some of this false information and straighten them out in the light of Refugees Association’s statements on their websites.
- Does the government pay for refugees’ phone bills?
Contrary to what you may have heard, no, the government doesn’t pay for their phone bills. Cards for payphones are distributed to the foreigners who are at the Repatriation Centers waiting to be deported. And Turkish government does not pay for them, this implementation is fully funded by European Union and that is why there is an EU logo on the mentioned cards.
- Can Syrians get into any university they want without an exam?
Of course, no. There is no specific regulation regarding Syrians’ getting into universities. They are subjected to the same rules concerning university admission of non-citizens.
- Do Syrians receive monthly payment from the government?
They do receive payment, but it is not paid by Turkish government. It is, again, funded by European Union.
As you understand, there is actually no priority given to refugees. Nevertheless, how can we spread the truth and help the integration of our refugee friends in Turkey?
- We can organize meetings and workshops open to public for free and inform people about Syrians, refugee rights, challenges they face, the current situation in their homelands, etc.
- We can organize culture nights which will aim to introduce both refugees’ and our cultures. Knowing their culture and learning about them will make us more accepting and make them feel more accepted. Also introducing our culture will help them integrate in social life in Turkey and understand their environment.
We must all understand programs and implementations devoted to refugees are essential and we must not forget that one day we might need help like them. What would happen if we changed roles? A little bit of awareness wouldn’t hurt anybody, so let’s raise awareness!