Media Coverage, Perception and Evidence: The Economic Impact of Syrian Refugees in Turkey
This study explores the connection between relevant media variables and Turkish citizens’ negative perception of Syrian refugees’ economic impact. It concludes that media is an important consideration for protecting social harmony and can be used as an instrument to promote integration efforts between the two communities.
Making a connection between relevant media variables and Turkish citizens’ negative perception of Syrian refugees’ economic impact, this study shows, even if there is only a correlation between the Turkish media’s coverage of Syrian refugees’ economic impact and Turkish citizens’ resentment towards them on economic matters, the media is an important consideration for protecting social harmony. This is particularly true when contrasting Turkish citizens’ perceptions of negative changes in employment opportunities, wages and living costs for them and actual evidence of the same, as findings about actual changes in employment, wages and living costs for Turkish citizens do not appear to inform media coverage of Syrian refugees in Turkey. Evidence must inform the Turkish media’s coverage of the Syrian refugees’ economic impact in Turkey. Given the size of the refugee population, the slim possibility of them returning to Syria soon and existing economic tensions between the two communities, there is a dire need for integration efforts. The Turkish media, supported by donors, implementing partners, the Government of Turkey and the Turkish business as well as civil society, can play a pivotal role by providing timely, accurate and complete information about the economic impact of hosting Syrian refugees in Turkey, encouraging critical analysis and promoting social harmony.