Turkey IDP Figures Analysis

IDMC estimates that there are at least 954’000 IDPs in Turkey as of May 2014.


The figure is based on a 2006 study commissioned by the government and carried out by Hacettepe University. The study concluded that between 954,000 and 1.2 million people were internally displaced from 1986 to 2005 (Haceteppe University, 2006).

The study included a qualitative and quantitative survey. The qualitative survey was conducted in five provinces, while the quantitative survey was based on a national random sample of around 6000 households. The household and individual interviews were conducted with those who returned to their village and those who remained in displacement. The quantitative survey questionnaire was prepared using the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and interviewees were selected through a random number table, also known as the ‘Kish’ method.

IDPs fled their homes due to armed conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). More than 30 percent of the persons displaced by violence fled their homes between 1986 and 1990, 60 percent between 1991 and 1995, and the remainder between 1996 and 2005 (Haceteppe University, 2006). The vast majority of displacement movements occurred in the south-east of the country from rural areas to urban centres, where security forces battled Kurdish militias. Some villages in the region were destroyed, and most inhabitants were displaced by the authorities. The village guard system, which was meant to combat the links between Kurdish militia and local villages, also played a part in forced displacement.

IDMC uses only the most credible accurate information available. Notwithstanding the caveats and limitations of the source information described above, IDMC believes this to be the best data and is grateful to the partners for sharing it.