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“I look to the future with hope”: How Concern is helping Syrian families in Türkiye

“I look to the future with hope”: How Concern is helping Syrian families in Türkiye
Story3 January 2023

Fatma faced many difficulties when she arrived in Türkiye from Syria in 2021.

She reached out to Concern Türkiye to try to access an identity card and address the problems she faced in accessing her rights. Through the project funded by EU Humanitarian Aid, Fatma now has better expectations for the future of her and her newborn baby and the services she can have access to.

When Fatma arrived in Türkiye, her husband Ahmad supported her in resettling into the country. He researched course programmes for her to get her the Turkish language qualification she needed to work as a teacher. However, Fatma still needed support on legal procedures to access her rights. It was during this period that the suspension of new identity registrations began under temporary protection in Türkiye. Registering their marriage became one of the biggest obstacles for Fatma and Ahmad to overcome. In addition to this, financial difficulties made things even more complicated.

However, during one of the most difficult periods of their lives, Fatma and Ahmad received the best news: they were going to have a baby. Fatma urgently needed to obtain a temporary protection identity card for her and her baby, to access official health services. In addition, the possibility of her baby being born without an identity card was becoming more and more likely. 

Months had passed since my pregnancy and I still had not seen any doctor


Fatma describes the stress she experienced during this time: “Months had passed since my pregnancy and I still had not seen any doctor. I was in the last period of my pregnancy and I could not even buy clothes for my baby because I did not know the gender of the baby. On the other hand, I was waiting for the new life and my baby that would bring new hope for us, this is what kept me going during this period."

As time went on, Fatma and Ahmad's power to endure the difficult circumstances was fading. Due to language problems in accessing services and their inability to continue the processes financially, Ahmad went to Concern's Haliliye Community Centre with the guidance of a friend and met İbrahim, the protection assistant.

Man and woman in Concern green jackets speaking to man and woman, with the man holding a baby
Concern staff members Ibrahim Aksoy (left) and Rule Ibrahim (right) supported Fatma (second right) and her husband Ahmad (second left) with legal processes and procedures. Photo: Concern Worldwide

Concern supported Fatma and her family throughout all the legal processes they needed. First, attempts were made to accelerate the procedures. In addition, transportation, translation and rent support were provided for the birth notification report and residence registration.

After obtaining the mother's identity card, applications were made for the baby to obtain an identity card as well. An appointment was made for Fatma and her husband to make their marriage official, and lastly, the family was referred to the Public Education Centre for Turkish language courses to make their lives easier.

Now Fatma looks to the future with more confidence with her newborn baby and husband Ahmad. 

Woman in blue headscarf smiling at baby held by woman in white headscarf
Concern Protection Assistant Rule Ibrahim (left) supported Fatma (right) and her husband Ahmad with legal processes and procedures. Photo: Concern Worldwide

Fatma describes the psychological change she experienced after obtaining her identity card and the support she received: "After I got my identity card, I felt lighter and as if I had overcome a big test. I thought that a secure future was coming up because my baby would have an identity card too."

As soon as his baby was born in good health, Ahmad called Concern Türkiye’s Protection Assistant Ibrahim, who assisted them throughout the process, and shared that he gave his child the name Ibrahim because it was his father’s name as well.

Bearded man smiling and holding baby next to woman in headscarf
Fatma with her husband Ahmad and their baby Ibrahim. Photo: Concern Worldwide

He said: "As soon as my son Ibrahim was born, I called Concern Ibrahim and shared the news with him. I thanked them for helping us look to the future with hope."

Ahmad and Fatma’s greatest hope for the future is that their son Ibrahim will not witness the difficulties that his parents have seen, and that they will see him complete his education.

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