A Content Analysis on the Representation of Syrian Asylum Seekers in the Turkish Press

Pandir M., EFE İ., PAKSOY A. F.

MARMARA JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION, no.24, pp.1-26, 2015 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.17829/midr.20152419995
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-26
  • Keywords: Asylum Seekers, Refugees, Newspapers, Content Analysis, Representation of Refugees, Representation of Asylum Seekers
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


This article is a content analysis of the representation of Syrian asylum seekers in the Turkish press. The research sample includes news reports, columns and visuals published in 2014 in five national newspapers with the highest circulation figures ("Hurriyet", "Sabah", "Posta", "Sozcu", "Zaman"). The article is part of a larger research project, which is funded by TUBITAK, investigating the representation of Syrian asylum seekers between 2011 and 2015 in Turkish newspapers. Analysing news texts and columns is widely held in research projects. However, conducting a visual analysis on news photographs is usually overlooked. This study investigates news texts and news photographs together. The study shows that the coverage of Syrian asylum seekers has usually a positive or neutral content. However, the results also point out the ambivalence in the representations of asylum seekers. The representations of Syrian asylum seekers portray these individuals mostly as "poor" people "in need of help" as well as "threats" for social security. These frequently repeated representations and ambivalence show that the representation of Syrian asylum seekers in Turkish newspapers reproduces the stereotypical representation of asylum seekers as defined in international studies.