Poverty stemming from pandemic continues to worsen among Turkey’s Roma people

Photo: chp.org.tr

A report drafted by the Roma Memory Studies Association (Romani Godi) reveals how the poverty that increased during the COVID-19 pandemic deepened the rights violations against the Roma community in Turkey and expanded their existing problems in many areas such as employment, education, health, housing and social assistance.

According to the report, titled “Roma Communities in Turkey During The Recovery From the Covid-19 Pandemic,” the needs of the Roma people were not sufficiently met by the public administration.

They experienced increasing discrimination during the pandemic, the report stated, adding that they were also exposed to inequalities in accessing social assistance.

Their worsening economic situation also weakened children’s access to schools, with some students unable to attend lectures broadcast on TV since many families don’t have televisions or electricity in their homes, according to the report.

“[The Roma community] could not adequately benefit from public infrastructure and sanitation services, had difficulty in accessing clean drinking water and were forced to live in areas where recycling materials were accumulated,” the Romani Godi report said.

According to the rights group, the Roma community in Turkey continues to face discrimination.

The World Dictionary of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples said the Roma community in Turkey lives mostly in ghettos. Poverty and social exclusion are widespread among the Roma, and the majority are subjected to discrimination as regards education, employment and housing. 

In 2020 the Council of Europe urged Turkey to take steps to stop the further marginalization of the Roma amid the pandemic.

Take a second to support Stockholm Center for Freedom on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!