A Conflictual Encounter: Turkish Conceptions of Syrians' Body, Health and Gender
I focus on the popular discourse on Syrians, "who bring only trouble and diseases from their own country", and discuss how the political, legal, economic, social and cultural factors lead to these victim-blaming, discriminatory discourses against the Syrians in Turkey, and how these discourses are reflected and reproduced in the health sector. Syrians have disadvantageous living and working conditions in Turkey which further deteriorates their health. Often the Syrian refugees do not know how to pursue their health care rights, and experience problems in the hospitals, because of the language issues, bureaucratic problems, and discriminatory attitudes of the health care staff. Syrians’ bodies is often seen as a political and social threat, and their health problems are evaluated as an extra burden for the health care providers. The talk also explores whether NGO’s can provide alternative, more inclusive discourses on the Syrians and their health conditions. The theoretical framework of my talk benefits from Hannah Arendt's banality of evil, Arthur Kleinman's social suffering and Paul Farmer's take on global health inequalities.