The opening ceremony of “Şişli Municipality Refugee Counseling and Support Center” was organized on 30 October 2016 in Şişli, where around 10 thousand refugees are living.

Refugee Counseling and Support Center was established with the contribution of Refugee Solidarity Foundation and Expertise France, in order to enhance the life standards of Syrian refugees, to support them in their daily lives and to ensure that they benefit from public services efficiently.

Niyazi Can, Deputy Governor of Istanbul and Deputy District Governor of Şişli, Hayri İnönü, Mayor of Şişli, Bertrand Buchwalter, Consul-General of France in Istanbul, Norio Ehara, Consul-General of Japan, Ulric Shannon, Consul-General of Canada, Hatice  Ödemiş, Chairperson of the Board of Refugee Solidarity Foundation, Selma Masic, Expertise France Syrian Program Coordinator, representatives from consulate generals of Holland and the USA and many other guests participated in the opening ceremony.   Dr. Leyla Şen, UCLG-MEWA Coordinator, Gül Ağar, and Gökçe Yanık, UCLG-MEWA Project Officers were also participated in the opening.

“We aim at increasing life standards”

Hatice Ödemiş, stated in her speech that “when we look at the population of Syrians in Turkey, we see that after Şanlıurfa, Istanbul has the biggest population. Therfore, as Refugee Solidarity Foundation, we are aware of the importance of the cooperation between civil society and local governments in co-developing and maintaining living conditions”

Hayri İnönü, Mayor of Şişli, said “we are hosting 10.000 Syrians in Şişli.  We are in a close relationship with NGOS working in this field. In this center we aim at increasing life standards of refugees coming to Şişli through meeting their education, health and other needs.”

Services will be free of charge

A medical doctor, a lawyer and social services expert will be employed in the center where refugees can get services for free.  Refugees can get medical control in the center, but they will be sent to the hospital for treatments of diseases.  Moreover, refugees can get Turkish language classes in the center.  The center will be a reference point that will present counseling services for Syrian refugees.


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