Islam, the State and Turkey's Syrian Refugees: The Vaiz of Bursa

Jacoby T., Mac Ginty R., ŞENAY B.

JOURNAL OF REFUGEE STUDIES, vol.32, no.2, pp.237-256, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/jrs/fey025
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.237-256
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


This study looks at the work of Turkey's network of state 'preachers' in the management of Syrian refugees in Bursa-a city in the north-west of the country. Based on interviews and workshops undertaken between 2015 and 2017, it traces out how these civil servants have approached a rapidly changing social situation in which belief and organized religion continue to be highly important. It focuses on the role of Islam in the provision of basic assistance programmes, the management of local conflicts and broader efforts at ensuring long-term integration. In each of these areas, our research reveals that faith remains a significant motivational element in the Turkish state's response to the Syrian refugee crisis.