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Social Cohesion Roundtables: Contextualizing Social Cohesion for Different Sectors and Actors in the Refugee Response in Turkey

Dr. Hakkı Onur Arıner (2022)

Key facts

Journal/Publisher
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Type of publication
Policy paper
Elements of social cohesion
Trust
Intergroup relations
Identity/feeling of belonging
Participation
Equality/Inequality
Orientation towards the common good
Solidarity
Shared values
Cooperation
Tolerance
Connectedness
Geographical focus
Turkey
Main thematic areas
Social protection
Flight & migration
Economic development
Youth
Political institutions & governance
Inequality
Concept & measurement

Summary

Turkey’s “significant efforts to host and meet the needs of the largest refugee community in the world” since 2014 has been widely acknowledged by the international community (European Commission, 2021: 6). The latest numbers for refugees in Turkey show 3.7 million Syrians under Temporary Protection and close to 320 thousand persons as applicants for and beneficiaries of international protection from other nationalities.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) finances a number of programs dealing with different sectors of the refugee response in Turkey, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) implements many of the programs and projects to assist Turkey in responding to the refugee influx, specifically through the Support to Refugees and Host Communities (SRHC) where programs focus on employment and skills development, education, capacity development and social cohesion. Fostering dialogue and social cohesion among communities is central to all activities of the SRHC Cluster. With its holistic and inclusive approach, the Cluster promotes equal access to services, while also aiming to strengthen the social solidarity and sense of community both within and between different groups, thus touching on both the vertical and horizontal dimensions of social cohesion respectively. Coordination among the very large number of actors implementing projects dedicated to or including activities for promoting social cohesion has become imperative in light of the findings from several national surveys that have shown an increase in social distance among the host community and the Syrian community, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, its negative impact on the economy and the social distancing measures taken against it. The GIZ SRHC cluster, under the initiative of its largest program (Promotion of Economic Prospects), aimed to support this coordination process with a series of structured roundtables with representatives from relevant stakeholders working in different sectors of the refugee response at both the national and local levels.


The GIZ set out with the general objectives of creating a mutual understanding on the contours of social cohesion in different sectors of the refugee response by identifying common solutions to common problems faced by different types of implementing actors, aiming to build a basis for future coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders. The topics of the roundtables were selected so as to ensure the representation of different sectors of the refugee response, the different types of actors involved as well as the different levels in which these actors operate in Turkey, all within the framework of promoting social cohesion:


- in the education and youth sector,

- in the livelihoods sector through the work of chambers of industry and commerce,

- in the protection sector through the work of civil society organizations,

- through the work of municipalities.

Cover-page_2022_Dr.  Hakkı Onur Arıner

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