FTA Supports the Integration of Syrians into the Turkish Labour Market


Together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its implementing partner the International Middle East Peace Research Center (IMPR Humanitarian), FTA hosted a briefing on ‘Integration of Syrian Nationals into the Turkish Labour Market’ on 20 February in Istanbul, Turkey.

With the Syrian refugee crisis entering its sixth year, the massive displacement of Syrian nationals has had an increasing impact on Turkey and beyond its borders. While more than 2.7 million Syrians have been registered in Turkey, the legal framework for employment continues to restrict their ability to attain a work permit. This has led to precarious employment and migrant (refugee) workers without legal documentation.

FTA Country Representative, Muge Tuna introduced the association’s work in Turkey and the impact of the situation among its network; representing 345 members sourcing from over 1,750 Turkish producers. On a support level, Özgül Baz, Livelihoods Programmes from IMPR, provided very practical guidance to participants on the process, requirements and backing available for Syrian nationals’ pursuit of work permits. While from a practical, company perspective, El Corte Inglés shared its experiences of collaborating with IMPR to attain work permits and the success of the training offered. Finally, UNHCR’s Livelihoods Officer, Damla Taşkın outlined UNHCR’s programmes to support the attainment of work permits and also explained the vocational training available; including for those looking to establish a business in Turkey and to enhance awareness of labour issues in the private sector.

The more than 100 producers, companies and auditors in attendance gained knowledge, tools and experiences to support Syrian labour rights in Turkey. Sign-up now for the follow-up event in Hamburg, Germany on 6 March: Business-led Response to Changing Conditions Along Supply Chains in Turkey A Multi-Stakeholder Forum. At the forum, participants will agree on a plan of action to address supply chain challenges in Turkey.

Contact: Müge Tuna, FTA Turkey Representative

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