Silhouettes Of Walking Refugees In The Dawn

Perceptions of European and Turkish Decision-Makers of the Syrian Crisis

Institute: Turkish-German University Migration and Integration Research Center (TAGU)

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

Project Members:

Project Director: M. Murat Erdoğan, Turkish-German University Migration and Integration Research Center
Project Coordinator: Nihal Eminoğlu, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University
Senior Expert: Laura Batalla Adam, European Parliament Turkey Forum
Senior Expert: K. Onur Unutulmaz, Ankara Social Sciences University
Senior Expert: Friedrich Püttmann, ESI

Project Duration: Sep 20 - Dec 21


M. Murat Erdoğan (Project Director), email:

Nihal Eminoğlu (Project Coordinator), email:

The central aim of this research is to examine and understand European and Turkish decision-makers’ perceptions of the three dimensions of EU-Turkey cooperation in the Syrian crisis: the EU-Turkey Statement, Turkish politics vis-à-vis Syrian refugees in Turkey, and EU-Turkey cooperation as regards the future of Syria. In doing so, the two main research questions are as follows:

  • How will future cooperation between TR and the EU on the Syrian crisis reflect on Turkey’s relations with the Institution?
  • How will the TR-EU partnership on the Syrian crisis reflect on the Syrian refugees in the region and the future of Syria?

Drawing on both desk review and primary data collection, the research will include a detailed review of the key documents – including official documents, laws and legal texts – as well as reports and academic papers that are essential to understand the context of EU-TR cooperation in the Syrian crisis.

The desk review will be followed by the data collection phase including semi-structured, in-depth interviews with key informants. The main target group is ‘decision-makers’, namely politicians, bureaucrats, and EU officials who play or have played a shaping role within the context of EU-TR cooperation. Selected key informants will provide information about the impact of the TR-EU Deal on Syrian refugees both in Europe and Turkey, about the interpretation of Turkey’s refugee policies on the ground, and the EU’s and Turkey’s role in shaping Syria’s future. The interviews will be conducted in four different locations: Brussels, Germany, France, and Turkey.

In the last phase of the research, a final report and a policy paper will be prepared and published. The key findings will be presented in a final workshop or a conference.

Back to Ongoing Projects