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MSF providing health care to Syrian refugees in Turkey
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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
 
Ahmed, Pharmacy Manager
Syria

“Our own staff have had to gather their families and flee”

Voices from the Field 11 Feb 2016
 
Syria

Health system close to collapse in war-torn Azaz district

Press Release 10 Feb 2016
 
Portrait of a Man from Pakistan
Italy

"My work is a real opportunity to help those in need, just like me."

Voices from the Field 28 Jan 2016
 
Assistance at sea to refugee boats in distress
Mediterranean migration

MSF and Greenpeace launch life-saving operations in the Aegean Sea

Press Release 3 Dec 2015
 
Family At The Sid-Tovarnik Border, Serbia
Mediterranean migration

Testimonies from Syrian refugees at the border between Croatia and Serbia

Voices from the Field 16 Oct 2015
 
Refugees In Bapska, Serbia
Mediterranean migration

“The determination of the refugees to reach their destination is shocking.”

Voices from the Field 15 Oct 2015