This paper addresses the operations of faith-based humanitarian organizations and their rationale for the measures taken for education provision for the non-camp Syrian children in Turkey. In unveiling the role of the Islamic humanitarian sector in exercising education facilities for a linguistically and culturally different population alongside the centrally governed national education system, this paper uses humanitarian aid and its education nexus as a theoretical framework.
Turkey retains a geographic limitation to its ratification of the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention), which means that Syrian people in Turkey, like many other refugees form non-European countries, in fact do not have “refugee” status. Therefore, Syrian people in Turkey are legally referred to as foreigners under “temporary protection” with a right to access to several public services including education. This paper, however, refers to the displaced people of Syria as refugees; that is, regardless of the differences in national and international legal conceptualization of “refugeehood.” It also does not consider in detail the experience of refugees in arrival destinations as individuals. Rather, adopting an institutional approach, the focus of this study is how non-state organizations, particularly the faithbased non-governmental organizations (NGOs), respond to a humanitarian crisis in the education sector. Accordingly, the methodology for the research relies mainly on interviews with key informants from the Turkish Ministry of National Educations and non-state institutions—formally accredited by the Turkish Ministry of Interior as civil society organizations, associations, or foundations known as vakifs—involved in different aspects of education provision efforts for Syrian children.