30 nov

Turkey, cities and camps

This week I am in Turkey, the country hosting the astonishing number of over 3 million refugees. The facilities are top notch and cities as well as their inhabitants have shown remarkable resilience in the face of this great influx.

We are discussing the future of Turkey’s cities and refugee camps with disaster management agency AFAD, the Ministry of the Interior, local, metropolitan and provincial authorities as well as local government association TBB. Turkey’s central government seems on the verge of concluding that the issues of refugees in cities and the future of camps need to be tackled in an integrated way. This is something the local and metropolitan governments have argued for a while. And everyone agrees on a move out of emergency mechanisms and facilities towards sustainable solutions, regardless of whether refugees come or go.

This will likely create some institutional shifts, as the picture of who does what will likely change in the near future. Master plans, housing policies and the organisation of the delivery of basic services should all be updated. Operation and management costs should go down and investment in municipal infrastructure should go up. Complex as this will be, Turkey seems up to dealing with these issues.

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