Representation of Syrian refugees in the Turkish media | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2001-0818
  • E-ISSN:



In social, economic and political terms, Turkey is playing a key role in the Syrian refugee crisis. The number of refugees crossing its border is now in the millions, which makes Turkey conspicuous as both a destination and a transit country. The social adaptation process is an important component of the refugee crises given that Syrian migrants are not temporary but permanent. Since Turkey has the largest number of refugees compared to any other (western) country, it is important to understand how Syrian refugees are perceived by Turkish citizens. By taking the significant influence of media on the integration process into account, the main purpose of this article was to document how Syrian refugees are represented in the media. To achieve the aim, 1,054 news articles published in the summer of 2015 by Turkey’s three largest active news agencies were examined by conducting content analysis. We evaluated temporal milestones and spatial importance in Turkish pattern of reporting refugee-related news and compared the positions of the news agencies. Our findings highlight three issues. Based on the major three codes (refugee policy, illegal crossings, refugee as victim) it is obvious that Syrian refugees in Turkish media are represented as victims struggling to survive. While integration and migration policies are an important part of the solution for the Syrian migration crisis, these topics are the three most reported in the news. Last, but not least, the big chunk of news about humanitarian aid proves that Syrian refugees are evaluated by media in human terms.


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