Communicating with refugees is a vital component of UNHCR’s work in Turkey. In cooperation with the Government of Turkey and a wide range of partners, UNHCR works to provide refugees and asylum-seekers with the information that they need to access protection and assistance as well as to make informed decisions about their lives. UNHCR aims to receive feedback from refugee communities to tailor its communication to the needs of affected communities.
Protection counselling is an important activity in the refugee response in Turkey. Refugees and asylum seekers approach UNHCR and its partners to share protection concerns, ask for advice on specific matters, including legal problems or enquire about the status of their files. In addition to the counselling work provided by its partners, UNHCR also responds to requests for protection counselling through the Counselling Line established in March 2017 with dedicated counsellors who answer to queries on the full spectrum of rights, obligations, services and procedures relating to refugees and asylum-seekers in Turkey, as well as to make any necessary referrals for follow-up action. The counselling line operates with 34 multi-lingual operators.
UNHCR uses a variety of communication channels and tools to engage with and inform refugees and asylum seekers of their rights, obligations and the services available to them in Turkey.
The Help website provides refugees with information on a wide range of key themes, ranging from registration to livelihoods. The platform is available in the languages most frequently spoken by refugees and asylum-seekers living in Turkey (Arabic and Farsi), and in English and Turkish. In addition to specifically targeting refugees, the website also serves a coordination role as it guides partner organizations and other stakeholders in accurately producing messaging on technical issues. Check it out at http://help.unhcr.org/turkey
Another platform through which UNHCR communicates daily with refugees is the Facebook page ‘UNHCR Turkey Information Board’. It provides daily information on relevant topics, announcements, services available, useful online resources in the most frequently spoken languages (Arabic and Farsi). Through the daily interaction of refugees and asylum seekers, UNHCR can get feedback, comments and most compelling needs on relevant topics that are shared on the page.
Also, Services Advisor is a platform which enables refugees to locate available humanitarian and governmental services closest to them in a simple and user-friendly manner. The information is displayed in Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu, Kurdish, English and Turkish. Check it out at https://turkey.servicesadvisor.org