News Stories

Using Innovation and Technology to Support Refugees in Times of COVID-19 and Beyond

In this interview, Marco Rotunno talks about why communicating with refugees is an essential component of UNHCR’s work in Turkey and the significance of digital tools – which are supported by the EU and other donors – to engage with refugees and asylum-seekers, especially in the time of COVID-19.

Quality legal assistance changes the lives of refugees and asylum-seekers for the better

In collaboration with the Union of Turkish Bar Associations [UTBA] and UNHCR, three legal clinics in Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep and Hatay work to deliver legal assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers.

Syrian refugees learn Turkish for better communication with the host community members in Turkey

Better language skills help refugees to become more self-reliant in Turkey for which UNHCR continues to work together with its partners.

DAFI scholarship programme helps refugee students at university to pursue their career dreams for a better future

“This semester at university has gone by so fast and I am learning a lot from  this dynamic environment” says Linas, a 22-year-old Syrian DAFI scholarship student who currently studies architecture at a university in Ankara.

Social cohesion activities and language courses bring together refugees and host community members

“Access to education can be one of the greatest ways to help you thrive, especially when you have peers who are supportive towards you” says Zahra, who is a 15-year-old Iraqi refugee living with her family in Samsun.

For Fazila, learning the local language is the key to a new world

“Not only do I get to improve my Turkish language skills, but it also helps with my mental well-being as I interact with others & make new friends here,” says Fazila who attends daily UNHCR-supported Turkish language courses in Van.

Turkey scholarship lets star Syrian student pursue dentistry dream

After fleeing Aleppo in 2013, Sidra’s dream of studying dentistry became a reality thanks to her own determination and Turkey’s support for refugee higher education.

Meet Helen, one of our valued colleagues in Ankara

Interviewing refugees for resettlement has helped Helen to better understand the reasons why refugees are uprooted from their homes and the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis.

UNHCR’s Cash-Based Incentives provide opportunities for refugees to shape their lives and accomplish their dreams

Ahmad arrived in Turkey as an unaccompanied minor and is now a student of architecture. His inspiring story was made possible through UNHCR’s cash-based assistance programme.

Iraqi artist opens his third exhibition at the UNHCR-supported ASAM Centre in Istanbul

“This city has changed my perspective and has been an inspiration for my art. I would like to thank all who supported me and gave me the chance to spread love, peace, and culture through art,” says Iraqi artist, Majed Al Abedi, as he opens his third exhibition at the UNHCR-supported ASAM Centre in Istanbul.

Support from the People of Japan improves adolescent refugees’ lives through life skills sessions

When I arrive to meet Selma at the location in Mardin, I thank her for her time and for missing her guitar lesson to meet with me.

“When I could not speak Turkish, life was really tough.”

On a hot afternoon in Turkey’s capital Ankara, we speak to Enas, 23, and her brother Mohammed, 24 years-old, sitting next to each other in the campus of the university where Mohammed studies.

Istanbul’s Arabic library for bookish Syrians

Syrian refugee Nada struggled to find books in Arabic when she came to Turkey, so she set up a library that offers other refugees an affordable way to read.

Technology turns aspiring architect’s dreams into virtual reality

Teenager Mohammed Kteish dreamt of becoming an architect as he was growing up in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

A Syrian woman resonates resilience and hope

Mizgin, a Syrian refugee at her 36, has been successfully juggling several roles she has assumed in life.  As a woman, she has come to be more resilient, facing challenges that had been unknown to her before and growing more confident as she overcame them.

A young Somalian refugee takes confident steps towards her dreams

Ilham, a 22-year Somali refugee living in Turkey, is an inspiring young woman. After overcoming many difficulties as a child, she is on her way to fulfilling her dream of having a career in radio and television.

UNHCR enhances its outreach to asylum-seekers and refugees through the ‘Help’ website

Help launched today and accessible at will serve as UNHCR’s online interface for information intended for asylum-seekers and refugees in Turkey.

A story told through the universal language of music

In one of Istanbul’s oldest settlements on the Bosporus, in Emirgan district, lively chats and laughter of women are resonating across the rooms of the old mansion’s second floor.

Through Amira’s eyes

Amira fled her hometown in the Aleppo region in March 2015, embarking on a long journey that took her and her two children to Istanbul.

Barat's Journey

This is the story of Barat, who escaped war in Afghanistan and -with an unexpected health issue- ended up with a struggle of his own in Turkey.

Young refugees tell their stories

With the participation of refugee youth, Hacettepe University Faculty of Communication Digital Storytelling Unit, in cooperation with UNHCR Ankara, organized a Digital Storytelling Workshop in May 2017.

Mother’s dedication inspires 20-year-old to academic success in Turkey

A bomb killed her mother in the family’s café in Aleppo. Now Fatima is studying civil engineering with ambitions to move further up the academic ladder.

The man who changes lives

A Turkish entrepreneur provides Syrian refugees with shelter and food, and helps them clear the bureaucratic hurdles to obtain work permits.

Darie Alikaj fled barrel bombs and mortar fire in Syria, leaving behind her job as a microbiologist. Now she mirrors a wider world of refugee survival in Turkey.

A Syrian scientist in exile

Darie Alikaj fled barrel bombs and mortar fire in Syria, leaving behind her job as a microbiologist. Now she mirrors a wider world of refugee survival in Turkey.

Four million Syrians have registered as refugees. Ivra, a teenage girl who fled to Turkey, gives voice to their loss.

A childhood cut short by Syria’s war

Four million Syrians have registered as refugees. Ivra, a teenage girl who fled to Turkey, gives voice to their loss.

Pulled in two directions

A Syrian family from Raqqa flee again and again, driven out by conflict but drawn back by the pull of their beloved homeland.

Becoming a refugee at the age of 70 with serious health situation

“Before the war, I led a happy and well-off life, owning a house, a shop and a car. After working so hard for years, I was finally retired and hoped that my life would now be easier and more peaceful,” he said.

Whirlwind of violence surprises some residents in northern Syria

Faysal thought that the conflict plaguing Syria since March 2011 had bypassed his home in the north, so he was stunned when the whirlwind of violence came recently to Kobane (Ayn al-Arab).

The journey to safety from Ayn Al Arab for a family of 7 children including a new-born

Hamide, who is 36 years old and a mother of 7 children, tells us, “I can’t describe my feelings, my 6 children became refugees, but my 7th child was born as a refugee…

Syrian Refugees: The kindness of a stranger in a southern Turkey border town

Mahmut left his tourism business in Istanbul to come and help Syrian refugees in the town of Akcakale. He is now hosting three grateful families in his large family house.

Syrian refugee women battle boredom and bad memories by making carpets

A group of about 40 women in Adıyaman camp find a way to occupy their time, making carpets under a project set up and sponsored by the camp management.

Syrian long jump champion aims far after hard landing in Turkey

Since arriving in Urfa, Abdul Rahman has learnt Turkish and is looking for work. But when he tells people he is Syrian, they say there is no job.

Syrian refugees support each other even as numbers rise

In Turkey’s Kilis province, Syrian refugees now form a third of the population, with thousands camping in a park in the provincial centre. And the number keeps rising.

Paris museum organizes toy collection for Syrian refugee children

Quai Branly Museum collects toys from French students, packs them into 60 boxes and sends them to Syrian children in Turkey with the help of UNHCR and others.

Keeping Occupied in Turkey’s Adıyaman camp for Syrian Refugees

UNHCR teams are present on a regular basis in all the refugee camps and provide technical assistance to the Turkish authorities on all protection-related concerns.

Syrian refugees get chance to attend Turkish universities

The Turkish government is letting Syrian refugees apply for university places and waiving the fees.