Our project "A Perception Research: 'Ghost' Syrian Children in the Journey to Istanbul", which we have conducted with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, aims to reveal how Syrian refugees are perceived by Turkish citizens and illuminate the sources of those perceptions.
Within the scope of its research, IstanPol conducted in-depth interviews with 25 participants who met with or had close interaction with Syrian kids. The participants consisted of people who lived in districts with high populations of Syrian refugees, or transited from such areas during transport.
The report notes that during the interviews, the most common phrase has been “beggar kids” to describe Syrian children, but there has also been participants to describe them in a similar fashion to Turkish children, or children workers. There are three reasons to as to why the report describes Syrian children as “ghosts”: invisibility, fear, and rejection. Syrian children are invisible, because while the participants note their pity towards them, it is observable that their situation has become insignificant to the participants. Likewise, while participants note violence towards Syrian children, class distinctions between their families and Turkish families, and child labour, they do it in such a fashion so as to suggest normalization.
Click here to access the the report.