Syrian refugees at Turkish camps.

A Comprehensive Refugee Strategy in Turkey


Center for American Progress (CAP), Istanbul Policy Center (IPC)

CATS Network Research Topic: Opportunities and constraints for EU-Turkey cooperation in Syria

Project Members:

Max Hoffman, CAP
Alan Makovsky, CAP
Michael Werz, CAP
Senem Aydın-Düzgit, IPC
Fuat Keyman, IPC

Project Duration: Apr 20 - Dec 20


Max Hoffman, email:

The demographic futures of Turkey and Europe are entwined. The influx of nearly four million Syrians fleeing the civil war is Turkey’s most significant demographic change in decades, and the scale of the challenge of integration continues to grow — more than 300 Syrians are born each day in Turkey. Turkey must reckon with the reality that most of the Syrian refugees will remain in Turkey, and figure out how to fully incorporate them into society. Already, this is a massive domestic political issue that is reshaping Turkish politics, not to mention the dramatic impact migration has had on the EU’s internal dynamics, creating considerable tensions between member states. The long-term implications for Turkish stability are similarly profound. The EU and Turkey therefore share vital moral, political, and strategic interests in ensuring that Turkey manages this challenge effectively and humanely.

This research project studied the different layers of this complex crisis and framed the problem in a comprehensive manner, to include the question of how EU member states can adopt a more unified position on these critical challenges and the dynamic security situation in Northern Syria. The refugee crisis and irregular migration are often considered separately from the security situation, but they are closely linked, and each problem shapes the other. The project aimed to develop a comprehensive strategy that addresses the key security questions in northern Syria and advances a coordinated EU response in coordination with the U.S. in 2021.

Back to Former Projects


    • Max Hoffman
    • Alan Makovsky

    Northern Syria Security Dynamics and the Refugee Crisis

    Ensuring stability in northern Syria will require international engagement that balances humanitarian concerns with the moral hazard created by Turkey’s occupation.

    in: Center for American Progress (CAP), Report, 26.05.2021 (online)