Turkey Survey


Turkey Survey


Perceptions of cash-based aid in Turkey

In late 2017, we analysed the views of 603 refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants in Istanbul, Gaziantep, and Izmir. Around 70% of them received some type of cash assistance.


The survey examined how cash support influences decisions to move elsewhere or remain in Turkey, and what recipients and non-recipients of cash transfers think about the available support.

Key findings are summarised below. For more details and to interact with the data, use our dashboard (best viewed on a computer screen). 


Cash support had little influence on decisions to remain in Turkey or resettle elsewhere

The majority of respondents do not plan to leave Turkey and resettle in another country in the next three months.


When asked to consider the impact of cash assistance if they were to receive it, 72% of non-recipients said that the support would not influence their migration decisions.


Mixed views on the value of cash support

Perceptions were split among respondents, with just under half saying the cash support they received had made either a big or life-saving difference in their lives and a third saying it had made a small difference or no difference at all. Those who saw a big difference had mostly used the transfers to pay for food, rent, and household bills. Those who received regular transfers – once a month – saw the biggest difference. More than half of the cash recipients thought that it would help them achieve self-sufficiency in the future.


Housing and food among most common unmet needs for cash recipients

Among unmet needs, top priorities related to household items and appliances, food and water, and support in paying rent. Fewer than half of the respondents said that the support had allowed them to improve their housing situation.


Respondents were largely unaware of how agencies decide who receives cash and who does not

Among both cash recipients and recipients of other forms of aid, awareness of the eligibility criteria that aid agencies use was very low.


Fairness of cash support was perceived to be mixed

Around 50% of cash recipients believed that cash support went to those who need it most. Recipients of other forms of aid are less optimistic: Only 24% thought that the general refugee support offered in Turkey reached those who need it most in the areas in which they lived.


People were satisfied with how they received their cash transfers

Over half of the respondents reported receiving their cash support through transfers onto a bank or cash card. Just over three-quarters of respondents were satisfied with the way in which they received their cash transfers. Of those who were not satisfied, the vast majority would prefer to receive cash in hand.


Low impact of cash support on relationships with host community and among refugees

Over three-quarters of cash recipients and around two-thirds of recipients of other types of support did not think that cash support had an impact on their relationship with the Turkish population or other refugees.



Ground Truth Solutions was one of seven partners that jointly provided analytical services as part of the Mixed Migration Platform (MMP). The goal of MMP is to provide information related to mixed migration for policy, programming, and advocacy work, as well as to provide information to people on the move in the Middle East and Europe.

For more detailed survey results and other findings from MMP, download the full report on cash assistance here or visit the MMP website. Visit our interactive dashboard to find out more. 



A total of 603 refugees and other migrants across Istanbul, Izmir, and Gaziantep took part in this survey; of those, 424 received some type of cash assistance. Of the 705 individuals approached to take part in the survey, 102 (17%) declined. Respondents originated from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, and were selected through a snowball sampling process. A breakdown of respondents by country of origin can be found in the demographics section of the report. Data was collected between 29 September and 18 October 2017 by H.D. Statistics and More e.U., an independent data-collection company contracted by Ground Truth Solutions. Enumerators conducted individual, face-to-face interviews in Arabic, Pashtu, Dari, and English.