Majority of Syrian refugees in Turkey hopeful for future

Syrian Refugees in Turkey-Adiyaman Camp

According to a survey jointly conducted by IPSOS research and the Humanitarian Foundation for Development (İNGEV), most Syrian refugees in Turkey are content with their living conditions and look to the future with hope.

The survey was conducted in 10 the provinces of Istanbul, Şanlıurfa, Hatay, Gaziantep, Adana, Mersin, Kilis, Mardin, Bursa and İzmir, where an overwhelming majority of Syrian refugees live, between April and May with 1,300 people using face-to-face interviews. The survey results found that nearly 90 percent of Syrian refugees live outside of refugee camps, adding that 93 percent in eastern cities, 90 percent in southern cities and 84 percent in western cities have temporary status.

The survey results indicate that 74 percent of Syrians refugees want to acquire Turkish citizenship, increasing to 80 percent for those between the ages of 15 to 17. When asked about their future expectations, 52 percent said they see themselves and their families' future in Turkey, and 64 percent said they look to the future with hope. The results also say that 42 percent would move to Europe if possible, while 44 percent of participants said they definitely do not want to move to Europe. In addition, 52 percent of participants said they want to raise their children in Turkey.Regarding refugees' economic activities, the survey found that 650,000 of employed Syrian refugees work under the table. Among those that are employed, 17 percent are working for Turkish employers, 5 percent are employed by Syrian employers and 5 percent are self-employed. It also found that 50 percent of Syrian refugees are unemployed and searching for a job and only 8 percent of Syrian refugee women are currently working.

The results further show that the monthly expenses of a Syrian refugee family, including food, beverages and personal hygiene products, is TL 876 ($248), while per capita expenditure is TL 140. In other words, the daily purchasing power of a Syrian refugee family in Turkey is below $2, at $1.33 (approximately 4.6 TL).

According to the survey, 4 percent of Syrian refugees involved have a bank account. The rate of credit card use is lower than 2 percent, indicating that almost all Syrian refugees live outside of the Turkish financial system.

One interesting finding from the survey is that the average number of people per household of a Syrian refugee family is 6.2 members, which is almost twice that of a Turkish family, which is 3.5 members.