The transformation of the primary health care system for Syrian refugees in Turkey

Yildirim C. A., KOMSUOĞLU ÇITIPITIOĞLU A., Ozekmekci I.

ASIAN AND PACIFIC MIGRATION JOURNAL, vol.28, no.1, pp.75-96, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0117196819832721
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.75-96
  • Keywords: Syrian, migrant health care center, primary health care, Europeanization, policy change, POLICY
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


This article analyzes Turkey's policy response to the health needs of Syrian refugees since 2011. The innovations in immigration health policy cannot be explained solely on the basis of factors exogenous to the health sector, such as the massive arrival of Syrian refugees, the gradual Europeanization of Turkish immigration policy or new funding from the European Union. They also display several stages of endogenous learning driven by a reassessment of problems and reevaluation of preferences by Turkish authorities. The paper aims to explain three successive stages of Turkey's organization of migrant health care services: a pre-institutionalization stage in which existing facilities were repurposed, the establishment of the first dedicated migrant health centers and promotion of partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and finally the employment of Syrian medical professionals and the decreasing role of NGOs in migrant health centers following the impact of the 2016 European Facility for Refugees in Turkey.