THE PROBLEM OF DISPLACED SYRIANS AND THE REFUGEES, DEEMED AS "THE GREATEST HUMANITARIAN CRISIS" NOWADAYS, HAVE GREAT IMPORTANCE IN THE VIEW OF TÜRK TELEKOM AS ALL PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS IN TURKEY.
In this context, Türk Telekom evaluated the local and international studies, reports, academic papers, governmental outputs that were carried out specifically for the refugees in Turkey and identified the priority areas respectively Safety & Security, Health, Education, Unemployment and Integration areas for emergency action planning. However, Türk Telekom believe that these data will not only contribute to the 5 major problems and issues mentioned above, but also contribute to the research to be done in other fields. Within this scope, Türk Telekom would like to thank the current and future partners for having explicitly stated the questions, issues and challenges the populations that are confronted with.
From April 2011 to September 2016, the number of Syrian citizens, escaped from the civil war in Syria and Syrian refugees in Turkey reached 2.7 million, and indeed with the other refugees, this number exceeds 3.5 million. At the beginning, immigration of Syrians to Turkey was seen as short termed and temporary visit, however, now it has been anticipated that they will be staying in Turkey for a longer time period and the significant portion of the Syrian population will not turn back their countries.
In this Project, Türk Telekom aims to ease problems of refugees and to support them by sharing information of its customers having refugee status with researchers, think tanks, aid commissions, unions, related public institutions that have activities in local, regional, continental and international arenas.
In addition, this project have intention to contribute solution of 5 major problems, having elements as increasing psychological resilience of refugees, decreasing risk factors emanating from their negative life conditions.
Socio-cultural factors can be differentiated by different age, gender, ethnicity or religious groups. In other words, they cannot be generalized. Using the same problem solving methods for all the risk areas will decrease the impact of the support programs. Therefore, we are of the opinion that Türk Telekom datasets will have crucial impact on the research studies including right target groups and classifications.
OVERALL REFUGEES HEALTH SITUATION
The government, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) and other helping agencies mainly target the basic needs of the refugees. The mental health is tough to manage and requires professional support in a humanistic approach. Refugees have been exposed to many different events that have harmful effects on them such as seeing death, personal injuries, losing their families, etc. It is found that 19% of refugees have high anxiety, 9% of them have depression, and 33.5% of them have post-traumatic stress disorder. 74% of Syrian children refugees have lost their family members. 60% of children think that their life are in danger.
Turkish Red Crescent applies IASC (Interagency Standing Committee) for four level crisis management to help refugees and fix mental problems that are, (1) Basic needs and Security, (2) Community and Family Health Support, (3) Focused Non-Specialized Counseling Support and (4) Specialized Counseling Services. To be successful on mental services, it is important to understand the culture of Syria. Therefore, psychologists should have an experience in multicultural counseling. There are some challenges for mental support such as language barriers, communication problems between refugee and host community and cultural and spiritual differences. These problems can be solved by using educated translators, language courses in host community language and training Syrian people as mental health facilitators.
At the current stage of implementation of the education actions policy, the needs of the research include the following issues:
- Treatment access conditions (average distance to treatment centers, places where vaccination shops are located, locations where doctors are present, etc.)
- Language barrier (to make an appointment, to be an exam, to be treated)
- Health employees who provide mental health services and intervene in trauma are insufficient in terms of number and quality for Arabic spoken group.
- Because of the slow registration progress, they are not able to register and therefore unable to access qualified health care for refugees.
- The negative perception of the Syrians and healthcare workers towards each other
- The absence of counseling and referral areas for Syrians in health facilities
- Challenges of having limited health opportunities on the rural side when compared to cities
- Lack of specialists and specialized health workers to serve vulnerable groups at risk (unaccompanied children under 18, hurdles, lonely women, only parents etc.)
- Correlation through food, diet, water access and health
- External conditions and health issues such as sunlight, precipitation, humidity and drought, wind.