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Middle East

Turkey

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FRAGILITY RANKING

59th out of 178 countries


Overview

In 2014, Turkey became the country hosting the world’s largest number of refugees. More than 3.6 million of an estimated 4 million refugees that have sought safe haven in Turkey are from neighboring war-torn Syria.

An influx of millions of Syrian refugees has brought enormous challenges to host communities in Turkey, who are struggling to stretch their infrastructure, healthcare system, natural resources, and economy to meet the needs of so many.

The majority of the refugee population lacks access to the basic services necessary to rebuild their lives and begin to plan for their futures. The majority of refugees live in cities while camps near the Syrian border also provide temporary shelter. They face differing challenges in these settings but for most, their needs are immense. Many refugees that have crossed the border from Syria have complex injuries, both physical and emotional. Thousands of children and adults have sustained life-altering injuries due to the conflict. Lack of access to healthcare inside Syria has also caused pre-existing injuries and conditions to deteriorate. Mental health issues are commonplace from the trauma Syrians have experienced.

We began working from Turkey in 2013, with a focus on providing medical services and water trucking across the southern border into Syria. But as the Syrian crisis expanded to impact the country’s neighbors, so have our programs to meet the growing need in Turkey itself. We support both the refugee population and vulnerable members of the communities that host them.

Mental health services are one of the greatest needs among displaced Syrians. Relief International provides counseling and specialized support to children and adults suffering from these hidden wounds of war at more than ten centers across Turkey.

One and a half million people in Syria are currently living with permanent impairments, including over 80,000 who have lost limbs. We support six comprehensive rehabilitation centers that specialize in providing prosthetics, orthotics, and physical therapy for Syrians with disabilities. We also provide mental health counseling.

In addition to addressing refugees’ immediate needs, Relief International is working to better support displaced Syrians over the long-term by documenting their healthcare needs in partnership with Turkish universities and research centers.

“Most of our cases are of children exposed to war trauma or children with depression or extreme fear,” says psychologist Omniya Turk.

Omniya works alongside Relief International’s physiotherapists and mental health specialists in Istanbul to treat more than 100 patients each month, providing transformative care to both Syrians and members of the host community.

She sees a larger purpose in her day-to-day work, saying, “Ultimately, it’s a humanitarian mission to give hope to a future generation and to secure a better future for them.”


Our 2021 Impact in Turkey
5.4K
number of people trained on improving and/or maintaining their physical and mental health
9
healthcare facilities supported
47K
mental health and physical rehabilitation consultations provided
1K
people provided with prosthetics and other mobility aids
Video
6:46

Improving Access to Livelihood Opportunities in Turkey

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Improving Access to Livelihood Opportunities in Turkey

“From a person who didn’t have anything to a person that has something, there is a big difference,” says Omar, a Syrian refugee in Turkey who found a new job after taking part in an RI project.

 

Stories From Turkey

Learn more about our work in Turkey from our staff and program participants.

Turkey

Hassan’s Story: Learning to Walk for a Second Time

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Turkey

Relief Through Physical Therapy in Turkey

Pain in her hands, arms and neck made it difficult for Taiba to walk. After a series of physical therapy sessions at an RI-supported center in Turkey, she can now walk, use her fingers, and lift her.

 

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Turkey

Treating Spina Bifida in Turkey

Mahmoud was born with Spina Bifida, which made it difficult to sit on his own and move around freely.

After months of hard work at a RI-supported physical rehabilitation center, he can now sit, get up, crawl, and move around without any help.

 

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Turkey

Finding Health and Hope in Turkey

Omer’s leg was amputated after an airstrike hit his home in Syria when he was 2.

His recovery has taken time, but he is now finally able to walk again.

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Turkey

On the Road to Physical Recovery

Recovering from a life threatening illness requires huge amounts of resilience and hard work. Dalal, a 60 year old Syrian refugee living in Turkey, has both.

Dalal attended physical therapy sessions at a center operated by RI after having a stroke. The sessions dramatically improved her quality of life, helping her slowly regain her mobility and independence.

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Turkey

Providing Life-Changing Prosthetics for Syrian Refugees

One and a half million people in Syria are currently living with permanent impairments, including over 80,000 who have lost limbs.

READ MORE

Turkey

The Invisible Injuries of War

The damage to mental health for many Syrian children and adults is both chronic and severe. Relief International works across Turkey to improve the mental health of traumatized Syrian refugees.

READ MORE

Somalia

Meet 5 Women Breaking Down Barriers

At Relief International, women are at the forefront of the organization, serving in a number of senior leadership positions as Country Directors, Program Officers, Project Managers, as well as Relief International’s Former President and CEO. Meet some of the Relief International women working day in and day out to ensure the people we serve in fragile settings receive the support they need.

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Turkey

Hassan’s Story: Learning to Walk for a Second Time

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Turkey

Relief Through Physical Therapy in Turkey

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Turkey

Treating Spina Bifida in Turkey

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Turkey

Finding Health and Hope in Turkey

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Turkey

On the Road to Physical Recovery

Rahaf is a technician who makes prosthetic limbs at Relief International's clinic. Rachel Elkind/RI

Turkey

Providing Life-Changing Prosthetics for Syrian Refugees

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Turkey

The Invisible Injuries of War

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Somalia

Meet 5 Women Breaking Down Barriers

1DANIELLE.VILLASANA_RELIEF_INTERNATIONAL_31-1-scaled-e1615198800368.jpg
13-KILIS.jpg
Mahmoud-Alazizi-26.jpg
omer-6.png
Dalal-1.png
Rahaf is a technician who makes prosthetic limbs at Relief International's clinic. Rachel Elkind/RI
invisible-injuries-of-war-9102019-e1570626147237.jpg
iwd2019-banner-e1629380176970.jpg
1DANIELLE.VILLASANA_RELIEF_INTERNATIONAL_31-1-scaled-e1615198800368.jpg

Hassan’s Story: Learning to Walk for a Second Time

13-KILIS.jpg

Relief Through Physical Therapy in Turkey

Mahmoud-Alazizi-26.jpg

Treating Spina Bifida in Turkey

omer-6.png

Finding Health and Hope in Turkey

Dalal-1.png

On the Road to Physical Recovery

Rahaf is a technician who makes prosthetic limbs at Relief International's clinic. Rachel Elkind/RI

Providing Life-Changing Prosthetics for Syrian Refugees

invisible-injuries-of-war-9102019-e1570626147237.jpg

The Invisible Injuries of War

iwd2019-banner-e1629380176970.jpg

Meet 5 Women Breaking Down Barriers

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Featured Project

Giving a Voice to Those Silenced by War

Turkey hosts the world’s largest number of refugees, the majority of whom have escaped war-torn Syria. Relief International supports them through specialized healthcare programs. For some, the conflict has left them with brain injuries and they’re having to learn to speak again. Our trained speech therapists help give them back their voice.

Donate to Relief International

Make a difference today

With a gift to Relief International, you can help deliver safe drinking water. You can help provide healthcare to displaced families, far from home. You can help ensure girls and boys alike receive an education, which in turn creates paths towards employment. This all starts with you.

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