ECHO Backs IOM Ankara Municipal Migrant Services Centre

Posted: 
12/16/16
Themes: 
Migrant Assistance

Turkey - IOM, in partnership with Ankara’s Keçiören municipality and with funding from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) has launched Keçiören Migrant Services Center. Keçiören is the second biggest district of Ankara and hosts thousands of migrants and refugees.

The centre will act as a one-stop shop for all matters related to migrants and refugees and will provide counselling to help migrants access public services, referrals to other institutions, targeted trainings, recreational and empowerment activities.

The project, which will run through October 2017, will ensure that the basic needs of migrants and refugees are met, while facilitating their access to public services through better coordination among local public institutions, NGOs and the migrant community. It will build the capacity of relevant stakeholders and serve  an important pilot, focusing on the role of municipalities in providing services for migrants and refugees and promoting social cohesion.

Mayor of Keçiören Municipality Mustafa Ak said: “Today we are taking an important step to accelerate the integration of migrants in our community, to overcome barriers based on cultural differences and linguistic diversity, and to improve decision making.”

ECHO Representative Reza Kasrai welcomed the launch of the centre. “We recognize that the vast majority of services to refugees are provided by public institutions, and this is why this service center is so important. Because it will assist people in accessing an array of government services, and do so in a sustainable manner, because it is situated here within the municipality, which ensures ownership by the local authorities,” he said.

IOM Turkey Chief of Mission Lado Gvilava noted: “Today, more than three million refugees in Turkey – the majority of whom are from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran are under temporary or international protection. Municipalities are often the first point of contact for refugees and migrants and therefore have a huge responsibility. They can define what is needed for peaceful co-existence between migrants, refugees and the local community and generate solutions accordingly. IOM Turkey believes that this project could help the work of all municipalities in Turkey.”

For further information please contact Meral Acikgoz at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3000, Email: macikgoz@iom.int