The Syrian Civil War caused more than 4.5 million people to flee Syria since the beginning of the conflict. Approximately more than 1.5 million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe, sparking a crisis as the European countries are struggling to cope with the economic, social and political outcomes of this mass migration. In order to look this crises from the eyes of ordinary Syrians who are willing to migrate to Europe, within this project 100 interviews were conducted in 13 different cities and towns in Turkey, with ages of the interviewees ranging between 17 and 70. All interviews were conducted orally in Arabic, Turkish and English. The interviewees were chosen randomly from different ethnic and socioeconomic groups of Syria. Interviews were semi-structured, since this methodology is used to understand the experiences of other similar people by learning about their personal experiences.
The project aims to understand the main dynamics amongst the Syrian refugees related with their motivations to migrate to Europe. Notwithstanding, the in-depth interviews conducted are very vital primary informational source to understand the perception of “Europe” and the power of networks established by the migrants, as well as to have a wider perspective about their lives in Turkey which they see as a temporary safe haven on their way to Europe.
I would like to thank the co-project manager of this work Elçin Başol for all her support in planning, implementation and fieldwork. During this project which we have carried out on behalf of Ankara Policy Center, we would like to express our gratitude to Ankara Policy Center and Mr. Hasan Kanbolat for their support and help from the planning phase until the finalization of the project. We also would like to thank Seval Kök for her technical assistance. We would like to gratefully thank for the financial support given by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Istanbul Office. All the translations during the interviews from Arabic to English, transcription of the voice records and English language editing are made by the Syrian refugees in Turkey.
You can download the research from here: Syrian Refugees on the way to Europe
Turkish translation: Avrupa Yolunda Suriyeli Mülteciler