The Policy Outlook aims to underscore the following message: If the newly appointed local governments led by the CHP continue to view Syrian refugees as a burden and not as the opportunity they present, they most likely will not only lose out on the economic benefits and thus deprive Turkey of the gains, but also stand a chance to lose the next election.

Ravale Mohydin 15 May 2019

Development in Turkey has also contributed to a culture of inclusiveness and shared prosperity, a hallmark of Turkish governance for the last two decades. Unfortunately, this inclusive culture is now under threat, as witnessed by the rhetoric of hate and fear that has been perpetuated by the opposition parties, especially when it comes to the Syrian refugees in Turkey during the March 31 2019 local elections. Potential economic consequences seem to have hit a nerve, as reflected in the discourses of various opposition political parties. The CHP and IYI Party, in particular, implied that money directed toward the rehabilitation of Syrian refugees was a misuse of funds, potentially aimed at winning favour from Turkish voters. This Policy Outlook examines the opposition political parties' claims by highlighting evidence for the positive economic impact of Syrian refugees in terms of employment, trade, and entrepreneurship, outlining the benefits of promoting economic integration policies and recommending various programming efforts for improved governance. The Policy Outlook aims to underscore the following message: If the newly appointed local governments led by the CHP continue to view Syrian refugees as a burden and not as the opportunity they present, they most likely will not only lose out on the economic benefits and thus deprive Turkey of the gains, but also stand a chance to lose the next election.

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