The ninth of the Harmonization Meetings was held in Kocaeli on Friday, 15 February 2019. The meeting which was organized by Harmonization and Communication Department of our Directorate General in the provinces of Antalya, Alanya, Izmir, Ankara, Gaziantep, Bursa, Uşak, Sakarya, and where the information on the rights and obligations of foreigners was passed on, gathered up the relevant officials.
In the meeting; Mr. Dursun BALABAN, Deputy Governor of Kocaeli; Mr. Dr. Gökçe OK, Deputy Director General of Migration Management; Mr. Dr. Aydın Keskin KADIOĞLU, Head of Harmonization and Communication Department; Ms. Nagihan ÖNDER, Deputy Head of Education Department; Mr. Mehmet ERKOÇ, Provincial Director of Migration Management; Mrs. Gülbahar Semyatova, Senior Project Assistant of United Nations Migration Organization, and protocol members participated.
 Speaking at the “Harmonization Meetings” Program, Mr. Dursun BALABAN, Deputy Governor of Kocaeli, told that they host about 55 thousand Syrian refugees under temporary protection status in Kocaeli. Pointing out the fact that recently, a perception is trying to be created especially on Syrians through a number of rumours without foundation, Mr. BALABAN said: “We give the best answer to those who have bad ambitions on this country through these Harmonization Meetings.”
Explaining that the number of 55 thousand Syrians in Kocaeli actually corresponds to 1.5 percent of general Syrian population in the country, Mr. BALABAN underlined that they provide all kinds of education opportunities for asylum seekers.

As for Mr. Gökçe OK, our Deputy Director General, he said in his speech: “Whatever identity there is in the vicinity of our geography, today in Anatolia we have those elements both in our ancestors’ time and now in our Republic. Our people in the Balkans, Pomaks, Caucasus, Circassians, Chechens, Georgians, Afghans, Iraqis, Arab and Kurdish brothers. Whoever you dream, they live with us. We have established a
 common future.”
Stating that “What migration from Balkans means for us, the ones migrating from Syria also mean the same thing”, Mr. Gökçe OK, Deputy Director General of Migration Management, added that the suffering of the Syrians to return safely to their nests will bring peace to our geography.”
In his speech, Mr. Dr. Aydın Keskin KADIOĞLU, Head of Harmonization and Communication Department, highlighted that wrong information was attempted to be spread to cast a shadow upon the lessons for humanity, which our country taught the world public opinion. Mr. Aydın Keskin KADIOĞLU, our Department Head, said that “The most common misconception tried to be spread, which we come across is that all Syrians receive salaries from the state, beg and commit crimes. However, the allegations do not reflect the truth. As it will also be mentioned by the relevant public representatives within the scope of our program, the explanations of our ministry support this situation.”
Stating that we must manage migration well and turn it into an opportunity, Mr. Dr. Aydın Keskin KADIOĞLU said: “Our country, which is conscientious about the events, has become a target for foreigners. Foreigners who come for education, health and work, also help economic development. On the other hand, there are facts that are known to be true but are actually wrong. It is a misconception that all Syrians receive state aid and commit a constant crime. On the other hand, it is also wrong that they enter university institutions without any examination. They also enter the Central Examination System and then receive education. It is also wrong that every Syrian receives grants from the state. The state does not pay salaries to Syrians.”
As for Ms. Nagihan ÖNDER, our Head of Education Department, she stated that the Republic of Turkey hosts 4,7 million people and said: “While our country is a safe country for asylum seekers, it is also an economic centre of attraction. Currently there are 100 thousand foreign students. 60 percent of the children under temporary protection in our country continue their education.”
The program ended after the presentations of Ms. Gülbahar SEMYATOVA, Senior Project Coordinator in Migration Organization of the United Nations; Mr. Caner DEMİREL, Provincial Expert in the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management; Ms. Doc.Dr. Pınar YAZGAN, Academician in Sakarya University; Mr. Abdullah TIRPAN, Chief of Police from the Provincial Security Directorate; Ms. Burcu İrge ERDOĞAN, Research Assistant in Kocaeli University; Mr. Faruk SHABAN from the branch office of Red Crescent.

184   |   11/03/2019
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