Positive facts and data about refugees in Turkey in a seminar at the presidency

Ankara- Turkish government officials, researchers and media professionals have recommended the need to improve the Turkish people’s mental image of refugees in general, especially Syrians, warning against the continued incitement of opposition and racist media and its repercussions on the internal situation in the country on the one hand, and the lives of refugees on the other.

Participants in a symposium organized by the Communication Department of the Presidency of the Turkish Republic and the International Media Association (UMED), in the Turkish capital, Ankara, stressed the fight against discriminatory language and take measures against hate speech given its dire consequences for the entire country.

The participants stressed combating discriminatory language and taking measures against hate speech due to its dire consequences for the entire country (Al-Jazeera)

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Head of Communication at the Presidency of the Republic, Fahrettin Altun, said that Turkey, on the one hand, supports those fleeing the war, and on the other hand continues to work to create an opportunity for an honorable, safe and voluntary return for them.

According to Altun, about 500,000 Syrians have returned safely and voluntarily to the areas that the Turkish authorities have secured in northern Syria, so far.

The Turkish official stressed that migrants and asylum seekers are not the source of the problem, but rather victims. “Today, the populist media is stoking hatred towards migrants and refugees, and unfortunately it is causing the rise of racism and xenophobia,” he said.

Alton expressed the need for a “fair approach to the representation of immigrants in the media using synthesis discourse and the dissemination of successful stories of their lives”.

More than 5 million refugees

For his part, Director General of Communications at the Migration Department of the Turkish Presidency, Gökçe Ok, stated that some politicians and media outlets take inaccurate information about refugees, generalize individual criminal incidents as a characteristic of refugees in general, and add hate to their speeches.

Ok referred to what he described as “provocative news” published on social media in particular, and said: “It is imperative that our Syrian brothers not be a tool for any inciting act,” noting that “no Syrian actually enjoys a more privileged treatment than the Turkish citizen, except Some phrases and rumors are repeated for free.

“While Turkey is the most affected by the influx of Syrian refugees, it is facing a new refugee problem with the arrival of half a million Afghans,” he added.

According to the website of the Immigration Department, the total number of those who applied for a temporary protection card from refugees in Turkey during the past year reached 90,318, including 38,341 Afghans.

The website stated that the number of Syrians in Turkey reached more than 3 million and 737 thousand. The number decreased by 633 refugees in December 2021, compared to the previous month.

According to the website, 36% of the Syrian refugees who came to Turkey were placed in 20 camps spread over 10 cities, and 64% of them settled outside the camps in different cities.

Turkey hosts more than 5 million refugees of different nationalities, and prior to the outbreak of the war in Syria, the number of Arabs in Turkey – according to scientific studies – ranged between 1.5 million to two million people, which constituted from 2% to 2.7% of the general number of residents in the country. This percentage rose until 2019, to about 6%, knowing that the general census of Turkey’s population is 83.5 million people.

The number of Iraqis registered with the United Nations in Turkey is about 127,000, including nearly 28,000 who have registered as refugees, while the number of Yemenis in Turkey is about 30,000.

In response to the famous phrase uttered by Turkish opponents regarding Syrian refugees, which says that “the Turkish army is being killed in Syria while the Syrians are having fun in Istanbul”; The Turkish Interior Minister said in a press statement that “more than 71,000 Syrian opposition fighters have been killed in order to defend their lands since 2011.”

Hassan Oymes The journalist, when dealing with the issue of immigrants, should use very carefully (Al Jazeera) languageHassan Oymes: When dealing with the issue of immigrants, the journalist must speak very carefully with it (Al-Jazeera Net)

Cautions and recommendations

The editor-in-chief of Turkish Channel 7, Osman Aceli, said, “The news of refugees, especially Syrians, is covered extensively in the media. However, we were unable to meet on a common denominator about their issue. While some media outlets deal with their news within the framework of human rights, others He treats them with prejudice.”

“Some media outlets are consciously working to export the issue of migrants as a problem for Turkey, and the language of hate that portrays them as potential criminals poisons society with negative thoughts,” Achley told Al Jazeera Net.

He recommended the necessity of preparing press reports and stories about the real reality of the refugees and their constructive contributions to society.

As for the vice-chairman of the “R-Turk” channel, Ibrahim Oslo, he believes that the hate speech published on some channels has already reflected on society and turned into bloody events in the street.

While the deputy director general of the state-run TRT network, Hasan Oymes, drew attention to the social impact of the press and said, “When dealing with the issue of immigrants, the journalist must speak very carefully lest his speech provoke division, polarization, hatred and hatred in the society that receives his information from the means of media.” media”.

Many media professionals and academics participated in the symposium with research papers, including Anadolu Agency board member, Yusuf Özkir, representative of 24 TV in Ankara, Malik Yığıl, historian and writer, Murat Ozer, and Syrian activist Ahmed Hammo.

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