In today’s world, internal conflicts and governance vacuums in neighboring countries have significantly increased the number of refugees, surpassing the number of emigrants. Turkey, once a country of emigration before the 2000s, has now become a transit country for migrants seeking to cross into Europe, as well as a destination for migrants.

Between 1922 and 1938, as a result of the population exchange with neighboring Greece, 384 thousand people migrated to Turkey. Similarly, during the same period, over 800 thousand people migrated from the Balkans. In 1988, more than 450 thousand migrants fled from Iraq to Turkey. Again, in 1991, over 460 thousand refugees sought asylum in Turkey fleeing from the Gulf War. Turkey experienced its largest migration movement in history during the Syrian war in 2011, with over 3.5 million refugees seeking refuge in Turkish territory. Since the founding of the Republic of Turkey, it has opened its doors to over 5 million migrants.

By hosting over 5 million migrants, Turkey is one of the countries deeply affected by integration issues. Understanding the importance of integration is crucial to overcoming the challenges posed by hosting the largest number of migrants in the world. Interaction between the settled community and the migrant community is inevitable. Integration policies aim to ensure the best possible interaction and social integration of migrants into the settled community.

Projects like Lifeboat provide support and resources to help migrants and host communities navigate the complexities of integration, fostering understanding, cooperation, and ultimately, a more cohesive society. By recognizing and supporting initiatives like Lifeboat, we can work towards creating environments where migrants and host communities thrive together.