The year 2011 witnessed a series of social movements against ingrained authoritarian regimes in the Arab world, starting in Tunisia. At least 500,000 people, lost their lives in the internal turmoil that started in Syria on 15 March 2011, when the belated local version of the ‘Arab Spring’ escalated into a violent civil war. In this period, 13.5 million people became in need of dire help in Syria, which has a net population of 20 million. Of 6.3 million people who were displaced, 4.9 million sought refuge in neighboring countries. The first known group to escape Turkey was identified on 29th April 2011, when a group of 250 people crossed the border to seek refuge in the Yayladağı district of Hatay. The Turkish Government described passing people as “guests” in the statement made on the same day and announced that the borders would continue open for these “guests” fleeing persecution and war, vouchsafing that their basic needs would be met in Turkey and that no one would be forcefully sent back. As the number of refugees from Syria increased, camps started to open in different districts of Hatay and then in other provinces along the long Syrian border. Food, healthcare, security, social activities, education, religious activities, and other services are provided by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), public institutions and organizations and the Turkish Red Crescent in these camps. This study, based on the reports and documents of the official institutions and related literature, seeks to determine sheltering, healthcare and education services, defined as the basic human needs provided by Turkey to the Syrian refugees, from the first day to the present situation, and identifies ways to improve them.

ISSN: 1394-6870