A Solidarity Map for Individuals with Disabilities; abledturkey.com*

Disabled individuals are one of the most vulnerable groups of the society, and no matter how valuable both the academic and practical studies conducted on this subject are, it can be possible to transform it into a systematics and record it, only by way of mapping or creating a database.

At this very point, INGEV in cooperation with Relief International launched an online map involving more than 100 organizations that deliver support in a wide range of specialties for people with disabilities across Istanbul.

The map includes the organisations offering support in employment, entrepreneurship and healthcare, by their specialities in a detailed way, so that the services delivered to the individuals with disabilities can be fulfilled in an holistic manner. While Abledturkey.com shows the disabled people what services they can get and where they can get these services, it also allows the organizations to get informed of each other.

The “online” map, which also lists the organisations rendering services to the refugees and disabled refugees in Istanbul, home to over half a million Syrian refugees, is available in Turkish, Arabic and English language versions.

To access the online map: www.abledturkey.com

* This map application is released with a view to serving the people with disabilities within the scope of the project “Improving Access to Livelihood Opportunities for Refugees with Disabilities” carried out with the support of PRM and in cooperation with Relief International and INGEV.

“Free but unreliable”: Research on Trust in Social Media

“Trust in Social Media” Research conducted by INGEV TAM in collaboration with Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Communication has been concluded. The most appropriate definition that can be attributed to social media is “free but unreliable”.

While 56% of society define social media as a “free news source”, 61% think that social media is “full of fake accounts”. The research also points to a “post-truth era” and the reality of an “echo chamber”; one third of the society trust the news on social media if it is compatible with their own opinions.

We also observe the low level of trust in media overall; those who say they trust the traditional and digital media as a source of information do not even reach 40%. However, traditional media tools are one step ahead of social media within Turkish society in terms of trust. This however mostly stems from lack of familiarity with digital tools prevalent in the lower income groups with limited internet access.

Only one out of every four people in Turkey is an “active” user in social media. The fact that the majority consists of passive users means a vocal minority sets the tone in the social media environment in Turkey. A significant majority of society uses social media to “get” and “verify” information.

To read the white paper written by Prof. Halil Nalçaoğlu.

For questions and information, please contact can.cakir@ingev.org

Gender Perceptions Research: Is it OK to Slap Women in Particular Situations?

Even though majority in Turkey agrees that inequality of opportunity based on gender exists in the society, we run the risk of accepting it as natural. Only 29% of the society think that men and women have equal opportunities. The majority of men admit that ‘it is more difficult to be a woman in Turkey’, and ‘women face more problems than men do in social life’.

The results of the research conducted in cooperation with INGEV TAM and Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Communication are released. According to the research, we have come a long way towards the equality, but there is still a long way to go.

Three out of every four people in society don’t think that ‘family unity will be broken when women participate in working life’ and they say that ‘active participation of women in working life will be good for the economy’. On the contrary, about one in four men is of the opinion that ‘if the husband does not allow, a married woman should not work’. Working life is also painful for women. Women (63%3) and (54%) men agree that ‘the women face discrimination at workplace.

Vast majority of the people say they are against violence. On the other hand, there are still a considerable number of people in favor of violence against women in certain situations. Ten percent of men have the idea that ‘in some cases, a woman can be slapped by her husband’. Another critical problem for violence against women is that one out of every four men thinks ‘if a woman is smacked by her husband, she should not tell others’.

For your questions and inquiries about the report: can.cakir@ingev.org

Brand-New Gender Sensitive Labor Market Assessment by INGEV

INGEV, with the funding and support of Save The Children, conducted an analysis of labour market assessment for vulnerable people living in Istanbul. The report titled “Gender Sensitive Labour Market Analysis” Report aims to empower economically vulnerable young females and males from refugee and host communities through decent work opportunities in order to realize their untapped potential, reduce inequality in their standards of living and contribute to economic development of the whole society. Besides that same report focuses on improving the economic conditions of displaced people in a gender-sensitive manner (i.e. gender equality in education, increasing women’s participation in the workforce, closing the pay gap between women and men, etc.) and look for opportunities to provide decent work both to women and men for more dignified, sustainable and satisfying labour conditions from a gender sensitive perspective.

The report findings also indicate that most promising business sectors for the employment pathway are Food Production; Healthcare Services; Hospitality (incl. accommodation, food servicing, travel operations); information and communication technology; Textiles/Apparel/Shoes; Wholesale and Retail Trade. Favourable occupational groups in these sectors comprise of marketing and sales positions; production and assembly line jobs; repairs and technical support; product development and design roles; logistics and supply chain operations.  

Read full report

HDI 2019 Steering Committee Held

İNGEV in its first year, has conducted HDI-D (Human Development Index-Districts) in local level in order to measure and monitor human development in 150 districts. By extending its scope, in the year 2017, number of districts reached up to 186. From this year onwards, HDI includes not only districts but metropolitan municipalities.

HDI Steering Committee was held at the Union of Marmara Municipalities. Metropolitan municipalities and districts, scholars, international institutions, NGOs and private sector representatives shared and exchanged ideas about the scope of HDI-D and HDI-M (Human Development Index-Metropolitan). The scope of the research will expand now with new indexes and data resources. The efficient usage of these mediums by the districts in micro-level and it’s being supported by central government and other shareholders increase the quality of life.

İNGEV and UCLG-MEWA recently signed a cooperation agreement to assess UN Sustainable Development Goals as local metrics in relation with HDI-D and the implementation of HDI-D in different countries of Middle East and Western Asia. HDI Steering Committee also shared their thoughts on which fields HDI-D and UN SDGs can match and which data source can be measured.

İNGEV Brought Together Syrian SMEs with ITO and KOSGEB

In the context of EBRD supported “Business Development Mentorship for Syrian Companies” project, İNGEV brought together Syrian SMEs which INGEV provides mentorship services for with İTO (Istanbul Chamber of Trade) and KOSGEB (Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization of Turkey), the meeting was hosted by İTO.

Opening speeches for the meeting hold at İTO were given by İNGEV’s Director Berk Çoker and Burak Öztemel from the İTO’s Project and Business Development Directorate.

Following the speeches, İTO representatives informed Syrian SMEs about the history, corporate structure, activities and events of İTO. Moreover, İTO representatives gave a presentation on the Trade Ministry’s trade incentives, credits, and trainings and symposiums organized by the Chamber.

SMEs expert from KOSGEB, Kerim Bilir, has also informed Syrian company representatives about the financial supports and fair incentives for SMEs

İNGEV and UCLG-MEWA Signs Cooperation Agreement

İNGEV and UCLG-MEWA will work on the assessment of the Human Development Index-Districts (HDI-I) as metrics in which the UN Sustainable Development Goals are measured and implemented in different countries in the Middle East and West Asia Region.

İNGEV’s Human Development Index-District report aims to measure and monitor human development at local level. Today, as localization is increasing, local policy instruments affecting human development are also diversifying. The effective use of these instruments by local governments on a micro scale, and support by other stakeholders, especially the central government, improves the quality of life.

İNGEV and UCLG-MEWA, the most important organizations in their fields, aim to strengthen these efforts in the field of supporting local governments.


Civil Society Organisations’ (CSOs) Image Research by İNGEV

Trust in CSOs is low; transparency, excessive entanglement with politics and exploitation of religious sentiments are the primary issues

Main assessments obtained from the report prepared by INGEV TAM (INGEV Social Research Center) are as follows;

Civilian participation remains low.

When asked about how civil society participation takes place, it turns out that the most common activity among the Turkish society with respect to participating in civil society is to make donations. 28% of the public say they have made a donation in the last year. These are divided among various types of donations ranging from donations of animal woolskins to monetary donations to associations. Whether such activities constitute examples of active civil society participation is questionable.

The Turkish society’s participation is lowest when it comes to political civil society activities. Only 3.6% of the public have participated in a political activity within the last 12 months. Considering that local elections were held during this period; it should be mentioned that participation remained at considerably low levels.

Distrust in NGOs is high (55%)

The ratio of those who don’t trust CSOs is quite high (55%). The reasons for this have to do with the issue of transparency as 41% say this is the reason for their distrust in CSOs, followed by those who say CSOs have excessive entanglement with politics (40%) and CSOs exploit religious beliefs (40%).

It is understood that the ongoing discussions in the Turkish media on the use of CSO resources for partisan objectives and political crises related to the activities of FETO (Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization) loom quite large in public consciousness and affect the perceptions and attitudes toward CSOs. It is of importance that particularly the organisations working in the area of politics act more delicately with an emphasis on transparency.

Although not at the level of the aforementioned, 29% state that another cause for distrust arises in the context of the perception that CSOs serve the benefits of foreign countries.


The civil society field of activity deemed to be the most valuable is care for the elderly and support for people with disabilities.

51% state that they think the most valuable activities of CSOs are care for the elderly (51%) and support for people with disabilities (51%). These two fields are followed by education (49%). Empowerment of women and assistance to economically vulnerable individuals are the two other areas that Turkish society places great value (47%).

Refugee programmes, which have become one of the key activity fields for many CSOs with the worsening of the Syrian refugee crisis, received lower ratings in terms of value; only around 33% rated such activities to be “highly valuable”.

More in-depth studies on how to strengthen the civil society participation is needed

Civil society participation is one of the most important conditions for the improvement of quality of life in a country. Individuals communicate their opinions on social topics, particularly on topics that concern their own lives, to the policy-makers via CSOs among other ways. Likewise, policy-makers can only arrive at accurate decisions to the extent that they are able to get correct feedback from CSOs. Development of this mutual relationship also increases social well-being and cohesion.

INGEV TAM will follow up with more studies towards identifying the action routes that will strengthen civil society participation and increase its value to society. We will continue providing support to policy-makers and CSOs in order to help them implement more effective strategies.

Click to Read Press Release

Cyber Bullying Research from INGEV

Cyber Bullying Research from İNGEV                                            

Everyone may be cyber bully or victim of cyber bullying without being aware…

Completing its cyber bullying study and sharing with relevant institutions, İNGEV drew attention to the danger. Awareness on cyber bullying is very low; neither those who commit nor those who become a victim to cyber bullying are aware of what is happening.

Primary assessments received from the report that was prepared by İNGEV TAM (Social Research Centre) are as follows;

Those who have no information on cyber bullying – 77%

The sum ratio of those who have no opinions about cyber bullying and those who have very little opinion occurs to be 77%. In this environment of communication where smartphone ownership encompassed the whole society and social media use was observed in early ages, such low level of awareness on cyber bullying constitutes a significant threat. It is of much importance that this threat developing rapidly and sneakily is perceived while combating physical bullying and violence. If such awareness does not rise, an atmosphere with dangerous reflections to occur since very early ages will begin to be dwelt in. As those who commit bullying will think what they do is normal, the victims will never know what they suffered and how to handle it.

Those who faced at least one cyber bullying act – 28%

There are many behaviours defined under cyber bullying. Some happen to commit such like an ordinary social media action within daily life. The most frequently experienced type of bullying is being called by phone or receiving messages insistently despite not desiring these. The ratio of those who mention they were harassed in this manner occurs to be 19%. Second place belongs to sexual harassment on cyber environment. The ratio of those who mention they received disturbing messages with sexual content occurs to be 11%. Although there have been recent studies on safety of personal data, the third place still belongs to access to and utilisation of personal data without permission (10%). Evaluating all in their entirety, it is observed that

more than a fourth of our society faced bullying. The study does not cover children as per its technique. İNGEV considers that this ratio may be even higher among children.

A point worthy of particular attention is that those who are exposed to bullying may avoid sharing this. As İNGEV we interpret that the actual numbers are higher than these numbers.


Those who committed cyber bullying behaviour at least once – 26%

A major part of the individuals are not aware that what they do is criminal or problematic acts. When certain acts are mentioned individually and they are asked whether or not to have committed these, they answer honestly. The three most commonly committed acts occur to be “I called and messaged someone insistently without permission” (10%), “I insulted someone due to the opinions they shared on the internet” (8%) and ”I got angry and sent humiliating, demeaning or threatening messages to my lover” (8%). Evaluated together, it is observed this time that again a fourth of the society committed cyber bullying.

Due to low awareness, someone who faced cyber bullying at one occasion may happen to become a bully at another occasion. 52% of those who committed bullying are victims at the same time. They may happen to think that the act is ordinary in both cases.

In such a time when the age of using smartphones dropped towards earlier than elementary school ages, the society having such common negative adult models is particularly dangerous.

As İNGEV, we consider that the risk of cyber bullying grows at both directions and necessitates active intervention.


Victims take care of themselves (63%); 34% of the bullies are from the victims’ inner circles

The low level of awareness also reflects in the aspect of not knowing what to do when exposed to bullying. 63% of the cyber bullying victims attempt to find solution by themselves. The male – female difference is also pretty distinct. Men are more withdrawn and attempt to handle the problems themselves, while women are more inclined towards seeking help from their inner circle (especially family) or trying to take legal action. An important reason behind why the women trying to take legal action is that the cases they face are relatively severe compared to men.

34% of those who face cyber violence mention that such act came from their inner circle, their acquaintances. Also considering those who avoid sharing their problems, it is observed that the aspect of family and inner circle that is most commonly faced in regards to physical violence occurs to continue also in the cyber realm.

It is high time for awareness programmes; we have to build a new social media culture without delay

The social media environment has become one of the most unavoidably important parts of our lives. 78% of our society is connected somehow with Facebook, followed by 74% with Instagram and 31% with Twitter. Environments such as WhatsApp and Telegram have become the main tools of communication. In short, communication has more and more been transferred from the physical to the cyber environment.

INGEV study shows that the violence in cyber environment also transferred into a content that is different from the “traditional” definitions and actualisations. Campaigns and programmes that raise awareness on cyber bullying have become urgent and crucial. We face a grave danger of cyber bullying becoming “normalised” in this environment where a fourth of the society become involved in without being aware of it. Cyber violence has triggered many traumatic incidents leading even to suicide in recent years, particularly in western societies. A significant problem is building up behind the curtain, beyond those we know and condemn as violence.


For Communication: INGEV- 0216 540 50 21


About İNGEV: İNGEV supports human development by developing practical projects that empower vulnerable society segments, studies that steer policy decisions, and social marketing campaigns. İNGEV is a non-governmental organisation without political intentions and believes in cooperation, shared wisdom and technical quality.

Study data is based on 1.358 surveys representing Turkey that were conducted by way of phone interviews in 26 provinces according to Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics between the dates 8 and 31 May. Margin of error is ±2.7% for 95% confidence interval.

INGEV TAM studies, analyses and transforms into social policy recommendations the social developments through the periodically conducted Human Development Monitor and other studies.

34% of those who face cyber violence mention that such act came from their inner circle, their acquaintances. Also considering those who avoid sharing their problems, it is observed that the aspect of family and inner circle that is most commonly faced in regards to physical violence occurs to continue also in the cyber realm.

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Syrian Perception Research from İNGEV

Syrian Perception Research and Invitation from İNGEV to use social cohesion language against the danger of othering and antagonising

Having completed its perception research on Syrian refugees and shared with relevant nongovernmental organisation, İNGEV published the primary data of the research together with the invitation to use “cohesion language”

Main assessments obtained from the report prepared by İNGEV TAM (Social Research Centre) are as follows;

Syrians sought asylum in our country due to tangible danger to their lives

Humanity faced many experiments and accumulated much experience in regards to the state of people having to leave their countries. Presently there are 71 million refugees in the world. These experiences of humanity were accumulated inside the framework of the United Nations and were bound to rules aimed for resolution. Being a refugee was accepted as one of the most difficult statues in the world. Supporting these people to rebuild their lives became the fundamental principle of the policies. And nearly 4 million Syrians who sought asylum in our country had also remained at the centre of a conflict to which they were not directly a party.  They sought this asylum in our country after becoming no longer able to continue their lives in this environment of conflict within which many different organisations and states took sides. 47% of those who came to Turkey were children under 18 years of age. They constituted the vast majority together with the women and the elderly people.

Average age is 21 years, monthly income per capita is 252 TL

The average age of Syrians in our country being 21 arises due to the high numbers of children within the population. They live in households comprising of 6.2 people on average. Their monthly income per capita, with an amount of 252 TL, keeps them below the threshold of extreme poverty. Their best contentment in Turkey is that they live in a safe environment (without the threat of death) (84%). Their worst concern is the future of their families (71%).  Their religious beliefs and practices are strong (84%). Daily life communication is kept mostly among themselves. They have to provide their livelihoods based on unregistered employment and salary. Around 750,000 Syrians are employed through unregistered employment conditions in fields of activity that are usually not preferred by the local workforce. On the other hand, entrepreneur Syrians established more than 8,000 companies.

They sell their products mostly to the Syrian community and export mostly to countries where Arabic is spoken.

Temporary Protection Status provides basic rights and restricted freedoms

Vast majority of the Syrians in our country live without a citizenship status but instead with the identity document no. 99 through temporary protection status. This status prevents them from making any long term life plans. However, they have some basic rights and restricted freedoms based on both international law and our country’s legislation. As a reflection of the UN conventions, they have rights such as education, healthcare and employment rights. On the other hand they have restrictions such as having to live only in the country they are registered in, to obtain permission from the government authorities in order to travel from one province to the other, and to receive special permit in order to be employed, and they are unable to benefit from other citizenship rights and freedoms.

The inclination to return declines based on time and type of settlement

According to worldwide refugee experience, the inclination to return may be strong if the refugees live in special sites (camps) along the borders and the period is short (such as 1 year). However, if the period extends and they live side by side with the host community, this inclination to return declines. According to the studies conducted by İNGEV, the willingness to return if life went back to normal was 78% as of the year 2017. However, development of ordinary daily life conditions in Syria will take a long time even if the conflict atmosphere ends. The inclination to return among the refugees who begin to establish a new life in the host country during such long period occurs at low rates in practice. Many Syrian children in our country have become more fluent in Turkish reading and writing compared to Arabic. In the light of all these data, assuming that a large majority of the Syrians are to continue their current and next generations’ lives inside Turkey would be the most realistic analysis. It would be appropriate to consider the strategies and policies based on such assumption. It is not realistic to build the policies based on the assumption that the majority will return to Syria or be able to be forcefully sent back.

The Turkish – Syrian tension became the most serious field of social tension (48%)

The Turkish-Syrian tension becomes more and more serious as the years pass. According to the most recent study of İNGEV in May, 48% of the public observes the Turkish-Syrian relationship to be among the tensest social relations. If we are to leave aside the political purposed tensions (between the ruling-opposing parties), the issue constitutes the most significant line of social tension. It has long surpassed the various differences formulated as Turkish-Kurdish, Sunni-Alevi, secular-religious. In addition to the factors such as economic issues and wage competition created inside the unregistered workforce market, the negative language constituted within various spheres in the recent months impact greatly upon the increasing tension. As only 14% of the Syrians consider they are in complete cohesion with the society of Turkey, 59% consider they were only partially able to become cohesive. Cohesion is our most significant issue.


40% of the society appreciates the humanitarian approach of Turkey, 12% finds it reasonable for the Syrians to become citizens

In line with the trend of increasing tension, there is a declining trend for appreciating the humanitarian approach Turkey displayed in regards to this issue. 40% appreciate this approach. However, the majority support the idea of Syrians returning to their country. Those who say we have to work on their integration to Turkey constitute a ratio of 17%. An indicator to the negative trend in the perception is the inclination for crime. As it is the general case that the inclination for crime is lower within all refugee communities compared to host country citizens, the statistics in Turkey also do not reveal anything to the contrary of this case. However, 44% of the society believe that they are more inclined towards committing crimes. Another data points out again the distance between the host community and the Syrians. 55% of the society do not want their children to become friends with Syrians. This ratio ranks at the third place following homosexual individuals and groups supporting FETO (Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation).


The issue should be handled with a humanitarian perspective

On one hand the Syrians that we live with and will live with and on the other hand the increasing tension reveal that a fault line of great significance for the future of our country is being formed. We have to become aware in time and through realistic policies we should prevent the formation of a heap of issues that will consume our country’s energy. We should be able to ensure through the maturity of a host country that the Syrians integrate into the life and culture of our country and their presence to become not a burden but a source of new diversity and energy. We should not permit formation of a Turkish – Syrian conflict like the formation of the Turkish – Kurdish issue in the past times. We should support cohesion not hostility in our cities, neighbourhoods and streets. Political preferences, positions and arguments should not forestall human development principles.

We should use the language of cohesion against othering and antagonising

The issue of the Syrians in our country requires first of all taking stance in line with humanitarian principles instead of making comments based on political positions. The attitudes and acts that collectively criminalise and antagonise religious or ethnic groups as a whole had been determinative in experiencing many painful incidents in the history of the world and of our country. The language used by the persons and organisations that have the possibility of influencing the public to be in support of cohesion is one of the most significant ways to prevent tensions.

We invite all political parties, media organisations, opinion leaders, and all who declare opinion in regards to the issue to use a language that alleviates tensions and supports social cohesion.

Click to Read Press Release