Turkey

Since 2012, AAR Japan has been providing humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in Turkey who have fled the civil war in Syria. From 2011 to 2013, AAR also provided emergency relief to the victims of the 2011 earthquake in eastern Turkey and assistance to children with disabilities.

Activities in Turkey

Humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees (2012 - present)

AAR has been operating a community center in Sanliurfa Province of southeastern Turkey. The center aims to promote mutual understanding between refugees and host community membersthrough hosting various events for children and adults.

AAR has been operating a community center in Sanliurfa Province of southeastern Turkey. The center aims to promote mutual understanding between refugees and host community membersthrough hosting various events for children and adults.

Following the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, approximately 5.6 million Syrians have fled Syria, taking refuge in neighboring countries in the Middle East (UNHCR, Jul 2019). Turkey hosts the largest refugee population, amounting to approx. 3.6 million Syrians.

AAR Japan’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis began with an in-kind distribution assistance in October 2012. Since then, AAR Japan has distributed food and other items of basic needs, and has provided educational assistance and assistance to persons with disabilities in the provinces of Hatay and Kilis in southeastern Turkey. Furthermore, from October 2014 to May 2015, AAR Japan dispatched an emergency response team to the district of Suruc in the province of Sanliurfa and provided food and basic needs items to Syrian refugees fleeing the advances made by IS into Ayn-Al-Arab (also called Kobane) in northern Syria.

Since July 2014, AAR Japan has been operating a Community Center in Sanliurfa and hosting various events to promote mutual understanding among refugees and host community members.

AAR provides assistance to people with disabilities such as provision of assistive devices including wheelchairs and walker, and physical rehabilitation.

AAR provides assistance to people with disabilities such as provision of assistive devices including wheelchairs and walker, and physical rehabilitation.

Moreover, in Sanliurfa, Mardin and Istanbul, AAR Japan has been delivering individualized assistance to most vulnerable refugees, including unaccompanied and separated children and persons with disabilities, who are lacking access to basic services provided by local government or other organizations. Persons with disabilities are moreover provided with assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and walkers, and rehabilitation services.

In addition to these activities, AAR Japan will expand its support to empower refugees and host community members to self-support, steer community activities and improve participation and social cohesion within their communities.

Humanitarian response to the 2011 Turkey earthquake (terminated)

AAR Staff Miyuki Konnai hands over winter boots to Turkish children struck by the earthquake in eastern Turkey in 2011 (February 2012).

On 23 October 2011, eastern Turkey was hit by a destructive earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2, causing 640 deaths and leaving over 4000 people injured. AAR Japan dispatched an emergency response team of three staff members to Turkey on 26 October. The team quickly conducted assessment and subsequently distributed food and basic necessities to 161 households in Van province, which was particularly affected by the earthquake.

On the night of 9 November 2011, another strong quake hit eastern Turkey. Atsushi Miyazaki, one of the emergency response team members dispatched there, was trapped inside a collapsed hotel where he was staying that night. The rescue efforts desperately continued throughout that night by the joint rescue team of the area. Atsushi was saved out from the debris and carried to the emergency room of a nearby hospital the following morning, where he, to our deepest regret, passed away the same day on 10 November.

AAR emergency response activities stopped for a short while following the tragic event, but resumed in mid-December to respond to the acute need for winter. The response team provided winter clothing, boots and school bags to a total of 1,052 school children, as well as daily commodities to 1,575 households living in the affected areas. For those villages where family bakery pots were broken due to the quake, AAR Japan provided 24 co-op, small-scale bakery houses with bakery pots so that ladies in the villages could continue baking bread, a staple food in those areas, for their family members.

Activity Reports from Turkey

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