1. Home
  2. Asia
  3. Iran

What Jews, Syrian refugees and a Swedish King have in common

Ahiska Turks fleeing ethnic violence in Central Asia settled in Turkey in 1992. Today, up to 60,000 Ahiska Turks are believed to live in Turkey, which has hosted refugees from various countries over the centuries.
Les Turcs meskhètes (ahiska) ayant fui les violences ethniques en Asie centrale se sont installés en Turquie en 1992. (Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Thanks to its prominent role in accepting Syrians fleeing conflict, Turkey has recently overtaken Pakistan as the country hosting the largest number of refugees in the world.

But this so-called “Turkish hospitality” dates back much further – from Jews escaping the Inquisition in the 15th century to asylum-seekers from Kosovo in 1999.

A new exhibition brings that rich history to life. IRIN checked it out earlier this month in Geneva, where Turkish Ambassador Mehmet Ferden Çarikçi and his deputy Berk Baran took us for a tour in a busy United Nations lobby. 

Syrian refugees in Turkey now number 1.7 million, surpassing the 1.6 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

The exhibition will be traveling to Berlin, Vienna, Strasbourg, Brussels and Paris in the coming months. 


Share this article
Join the discussion

It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.

This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.