Refugee Integration In Istanbul: Debunking Crisis Reporting
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Syria’s ongoing civil war has caused one of the largest migration movements in modern history. The United Nations estimates over 6 million of Syria’s pre-war population is displaced and seeking refuge around the world. Turkey’s liberal migration policies and shared border have made it a primary host country for Syrian refugees. Turkey now hosts nearly three million Syrians, with over 500,000 in Istanbul alone. Refugee is a sour word. In the west, there are preconceptions: sad eyed children in camps and overflowing inflatable boats. Western media coverage of the crisis makes the pain of war palpable but doesn’t hint at a future for the people involved. There is a long term reality that goes beyond gut reactions to the horrors of war. A new home for Syrians, Istanbul offers a new, often less graphic set of challenges and triumphs for Syrian integration. Without sufficient media coverage of integration, these details get overshadowed by stories of crisis. Through photographs and written narratives from Istanbul, this project documents refugee stories beyond crisis to show a critical and underreported side of Syria’s diaspora.