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In Turkey, as in other countries, refugees are often seen as an unmitigated burden, taking jobs from locals, straining public resources, and stoking fears of rising crime and terrorism. Clearly there are significant costs and risks shouldered by host countries, but there is another side to the story—the contributions made by refugees as they bring new businesses, markets, and skills to their host communities. To the extent that countries focus on an enabling business environment and a modicum of protection for refugees working illegally, the positive side of the ledger can only grow.
According to Oxford University's Refugee Studies Center, the 2.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey have encountered less hostility than in Jordan and Lebanon—not surprising given Turkey's population of 77 million and much larger economy. Jordan and Lebanon face a significantly higher burden with over one million Syrian refugees in each country, representing an influx equal to, respectively, 20 and 25 percent of the native population.
Continue reading the article on Brooking’s blog here.