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Radicalization of Syrian Immigrants: Risks and Opportunities Policy Note / Hilmi Demir, PhD.  
Haber resmi
03/08/2018 - Viewed 3047 times


The Ministry of Interior Directorate General of Migration Management declared 3 million 588 thousand 877 refugees have been registered in Turkey with their biometric data as of April 26, 2018. The refugee population is composed of 1 million 947 thousand males and 1 million 852 thousand females. These figures keep increasing every year. Around 1 million of the immigrants are school age children. 492 thousand 544 Syrian children have been enrolled to school in Turkey as of the 2016-2017 education period. 59 percent of Syrian school age children are receiving an education. However, according to 2018 data, this figure has dropped to 50 percent. At the same time, approximately 1 million 200 thousand Syrian immigrants are between the ages 18-34 years, constituting the youth population. Their chances to be employed are quite low.

The proportion of school age children and the youth population coming from war zones to total refugee population entail a serious risk for Turkey. Studies on migrant radicalization show that unschooled and unemployed young immigrants represent an important threat. Turkey has demonstrated great generosity and achieved unprecedented success. Turkish experience and policies concerning refugee children deserve to be held up as a model for the world. After all, Turkey is learning to deal with an intensive migration flow and accordingly, the experiences of Syrian immigrants are teaching us a lot about migration policies in the world.

In Turkey, basic needs of migrants such as food, health and shelter are satisfied.  Six school age kids out of ten go to school. Moreover, many organizations provide psychological support to these children. However, overcoming traumas such as the ones experienced by the refugees and ensuring integration to the society does not seem to be an easy process. The victimizations and psychological traumas that children and the youth escaping war zones have endured, leave them vulnerable to violence. In particular, studies have shown that psychological destruction resulting from post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) make individuals prone to violence.  This inclination to violence, especially when combined with social exclusion and unemployment, can shape into significantly wider threats. In this study, we will shortly discuss the traumas experienced by migrants, the effects of youth unemployment and social exclusion on the radicalization process and whether it represents a risk for Turkey or not.


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