Turkey continues to support Roma people

Turkish government extends holistic support to Roma helping them lead fulfilling lives

Turkey continues to support Roma people

By Burcu Calik


The Roma community in Turkey continues to receive support in the fields of education, employment and health through various government initiatives.

The Ministry of Family and Social Policies has conducted several projects since 2016 to improve living standards of the Turkish Roma.

According to information gathered by Anadolu Agency correspondents, nearly 13,000 Roma received consultation in several provinces -- including Ankara, Adana, Balikesir, Hatay, Edirne, Eskisehir, Istanbul, Izmir, Kirklareli, Manisa, Mersin and Tekirdag.

The Management Information System (MIS) -- which was established to provide better monitoring of services -- registered 12,699 disadvantaged Roma people received consultation so far.

The ministry provided 2,005 Roma citizens vocational training, 1,083 basic literacy, 148 apprenticeship training, and 561 entrepreneurship training.

There are plans to expand the training units this year, which currently operate at 20 points across 12 provinces.

Last year, the ministry provided 907 families across 22 provinces housing support worth 10.4 million Turkish liras.

Also, with support from the Health Ministry, counseling services were provided to 4,040 Roma citizens.

To encourage education among Roma students, 3,800 students and families were provided counseling services.

Some 397,846 Roma people attended the Family Education Programs across Turkey.

In 2017 a total number of 46,203 Roma people -- including 34,519 women, 3,387 men and 8,297 children – received help from the ministry’s violence prevention and monitoring centers.

Additionally 29,898 Roma citizens -- including 17,916 women and 11,982 children -- received support from the women guest houses of the provincial directorates of the ministry.

Also, several projects were conducted in provinces with a large Roma population to empower women and young girls.

Separately, the ministry carries out projects to increase the accessibility of Roma women in disadvantaged situation through social integration and vocational education with the support of 20 social solidarity centers in Bursa, Canakkale, Edirne, Izmir, Kirklareli, Mersin, Sakarya, Tekirdag and Yalova provinces.

According to the European Commission, there was an estimated population of 10 to 12 million Roma in Europe in 2016.

Turkish officials estimate the number of Roma in Turkey at around 600,000, according to local media.

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