COVID-19 in Turkish Controlled Areas and Idlib

COVID-19 in Turkish Controlled Areas and Idlib

COVID-19 in Turkish Controlled Areas and Idlib

By Dr. Basak Yavcan, TOBB University in Ankara and University of Liège in Liège

Part of the Syria Transition Challenges Project

The safe zones in the northern part of Syria have been established following three operations in the region, namely: the Euphrates Shield in 2016, the Olive Branch in 2018, and the Peace Spring in 2019. Before the outbreak of pandemic, the healthcare capacity was semisufficient with urgent cases being treated in Turkey and with frequent hospital transfers being conducted. In terms of livelihood opportunities, humanitarian aid was predominantly channelled through Turkey with limited involvement of Western and international organisations. Trade with the outside world was limited due to the sanctions imposed on Syria. The infrastructural investment in the region was predominantly made by the Turkish state and NGOs in the form of renovations and building of schools, hospitals, as well as water and energy supply. As of May 28th, 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in both regions yet living conditions have deteriorated due to the conditions in Turkey, Syria and rest of the world.


The ideas expressed are of the author’s not the publisher

Published in June 2020

All rights reserved to GCSP

Dr. Başak Yavcan is an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at TOBB University of Economics and Technology in Turkey, where she heads an interdisciplinary graduate program on Migration Studies. As of December, she is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Migration Governance at the Hugo Observatory, University of Liège. Yavçan's research focuses on inter-group relations and public opinion, regarding refugee integration, impact of immigration attitudes on Euroscepticism, immigrant acculturation attitudes and the impact of media framing on the public opinion. Lately, she has been working on the integration of Syrian refugees in Turkey, with a focus on inter-group attitudes, institutional trust, Islamic radicalization, effectiveness of local and national policies and interventions on promoting cohesion. Yavçan has conducted field research in various countries as part of national and international grant schemes and her resulting work has been published in several journals, books and international policy reports. She holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.