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Türkiye (formerly Turkey) hosts the largest refugee and asylum seeker population in the world – just over four million – nearly 3.7 million of whom are Syrian.*

Around 90 per cent of Syrian refugees in Türkiye live in precarious conditions outside camp settings with insufficient access to basic public services.

Until the end of 2022, we provided financial and technical support to local NGOs working with refugees and asylum seekers in Türkiye. Teams in Türkiye also give remote support to medical staff in Syria.

Our teams in Türkiye are currently working with partners to respond to the earthquakes.

*UNHCR Refugee Statistics, 2021

Our activities in Türkiye in 2023

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2023.

MSF in Türkiye in 2023 Tens of thousands of people were killed and millions left homeless when devastating earthquakes hit Türkiye in 2023. In response, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provided humanitarian relief and mental health support.
Türkiye IAR map 2023

On 6 February, two massive earthquakes struck south Türkiye and northwest Syria. The first earthquake, near the Turkish city of Gaziantep, was the deadliest to hit the region in decades. According to the local authorities, more than 50,000 people were killed, 107,000 injured, and over 15 million affected across 11 provinces. In addition, hundreds of thousands of buildings were heavily damaged or destroyed. 

In the following weeks, thousands of aftershocks occurred, causing more casualties and destruction, and adding to the trauma of survivors. MSF immediately sent emergency teams to several affected areas and communicated our readiness to provide assistance to the authorities. 
However, as MSF was not registered in the country, we were not permitted to assist the state response, so instead supported Turkish civil society and non-governmental organisations, including Imece Inisiyatifi, Yardım Konvoyu, Maya Vakfı, and TARDE, to address some of the most acute humanitarian needs in Adıyaman, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis and Malatya provinces.  
Through these partnerships, we carried out water and sanitation activities, including providing toilets and showers, and distributed relief items, such as hygiene kits, tents, tarpaulins, warm clothing, blankets, nappies, jerry cans and firewood, as well as drinking water and food. Our teams helped construct shelters, which served as essential spaces for people to receive psychosocial support and access hygiene facilities. 

Mental health support was a key component of our intervention. In collaboration with our partner organisations, we offered psychological support to families of victims, first-response volunteers, Syrian refugees, and search and rescue teams.  
By the end of May, the most acute needs had been largely met, and we handed over the majority of our activities, while continuing to provide remote support to local organisations for the rest of the year. 


In 2023
Responding to the acute needs in Türkiye
Türkiye and Syria earthquake response

People's needs stack up months after earthquake in Türkiye

Project Update 8 Jun 2023
Responding to the acute needs in Türkiye
Türkiye and Syria earthquake response

MSF hands over emergency interventions in Türkiye

Project Update 31 May 2023
Mental Health support for people affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye
Türkiye and Syria earthquake response

After the dust settles: The mental health needs in Türkiye

Project Update 11 Apr 2023
Malatya, Türkiye, after earthquakes
Türkiye and Syria earthquake response

Surviving among the rubble: Syria and Türkiye one month on

Interview 9 Mar 2023
Earthquake Northwestern Syria, 7 February 2023
Natural disasters

Four things to know about the earthquake response in Türkiye and Syria

Project Update 8 Feb 2023
20230206 Earthquake, Idlib, Northwestern Syria
Natural disasters

MSF scales up response after earthquakes hit south Türkiye and northwest Syria

Press Release 6 Feb 2023