In wake of growing hate speechThe Turkish economy; What if the Syrians left?

BY| Enabbaladi- Diya Assi | Muhammed Fansa | Lujain Mourad

The absence of Syrians from workplaces and factories will never be easy for the reality of the Turkish economy. The government will be shocked by what it has overlooked, while the Turkish opposition will reap what it has sown from the growing hate speech.

Alaeddin Şengüler, a Turkish economic analyst and a member of the Independent Turkish Industrialists

and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD), blamed all Turkish political parties and the mainstream for not doing anything about the dwindling Syrian labor force.

While official figures show steady growth in the Turkish economy since the arrival of Syrian refugees, without asserting a role for them in this growth, it is not yet clear what impact the racist campaigns will have on the work sectors in which Syrians are active inside Turkey due to the absence of statistics.

Experts expect that the loss of the Syrians will have a negative impact on some professions and sectors that the Turks refrain from because of their difficulty. 

In this file, Enab Baladi discussed with economic experts and researchers the transformation that the Turkish economy witnessed before and after the Syrian asylum, as well as the reality of the concerns circulating about the effects of the absence of Syrian labor on the Turkish economy.

Hate speech impact on Syrian labor   

Owners of factories and workshops shared pictures of their empty facilities due to the decrease in the number of Syrian labor, causing them to fear the economic consequences of that.

As a result of the growing hate speech, the continuous restrictions, and the escalation of random deportation campaigns within the “voluntary return” plan, in addition to the continued deterioration of living conditions, thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey have been forced to seek another refuge.

Since the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011, about four million Syrian refugees have gone to Turkey in search of stability and the safety they had lost in their country.

After years of attempts to compensate for their losses, and working in various fields, attempts to reach a state of stability have become a dream for most Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Within four months, the number of Syrians holding a temporary protection card (Kimlik) decreased by 105,778. When President Erdogan announced a project to return one million refugees, last May, their number reached 3,761,267 Syrian refugees.

Also, the number of Syrians who obtained a temporary protection card in Turkey is 3,656,157 people, according to the recent statistics of the General Directorate of Turkish Migration Management.

Syrian companies contributed to the growth

Syrian owners of capital and industrial expertise played an important role in the growth of the Turkish economy, as they invested in Turkey more than 10 billion US dollars, in various economic sectors in many Turkish cities, according to researcher Mohammad al-Abdullah.

They have helped in terms of production, export, and job opportunities for Turks since 2012, and this category has also received a lot of facilities from the Turkish government to localize its investments, which are now integrated into the Turkish economy, adds al-Abdullah.

According to the Turkish Takvim newspaper, the number of Syrian companies in Turkey by March 2021 amounted to about 20,000 small and medium-sized companies. As of January, Syrian-owned enterprises have contributed to the employment of 500,000 workers, including Turks.

The investments of Syrian businessmen in Turkey exceeded 10 billion US dollars, and their contribution to exports reached 3 billion US dollars to more than 50 countries, the newspaper added.

The EU-funded Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Sciences Institutes (FEMISE) said in a report in September 2019 that the expected impact of Syrian refugees in terms of added value to the Turkish economy would rise to 4% by 2028, with one million Syrian refugee workers employed in Turkey.

According to the FEMISE report, from 2014 to 2016, the number of companies founded by Syrians in Turkey jumped by 168%.

At the end of 2017, Turkey had 4,793 Syrian companies with a capital of 39.1 million euros.

The report indicated that the impact of Syrian refugees in terms of the added value of refugees in the Turkish economy amounted to 4.3 billion euros by the end of 2017, or 1.96% of the total GDP in Turkey.

FEMISE expects the value to rise to 4% in 2028, with one million Syrian refugee workers employed on a regular basis in Turkey.

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