06 Jul 2022
By: Begüm Başaran

Sometimes a decision to migrate may appear as a quick and simple way to start a new life, especially when viewed through the eyes of someone who has never experienced it firsthand. The decision to migrate and settle down in a new country is just the beginning of a long and difficult journey riddled with uncertainty. Migrants' stories aren't black-and-white; happy family reunions may go hand in hand with heartbreaking separations; plans to build a better a life may become a never-ending quest.

Bayan's migration story is a story of love that started in 2015 when she wanted to reunite with her fiancée. Although it was a complicated and time-consuming bureaucratic process, she was fortunate enough to get a Turkish visa quickly.She recalls when she had to say goodbye to her family as the most difficult moment of her migration journey:

“Saying goodbye to my sisters, brothers, and parents and leaving them behind was just heartbreaking. Even though I knew I would be with my fiancée soon, it felt like half of my life had been left behind when I arrived in Türkiye. My husband feels the same; we’re alone here.”

She has two children, who are like lifelines for her loneliness. But learning to be a mom without any support was not easy for Bayan: "After I had my first child, it was too difficult for me to do everything alone. I also had one miscarriage. Even today, when we don’t have our family – our support system - with us, even the smallest problem can balloon into a huge, life-threatening crisis".

Her husband works in the construction industry. He’s the only breadwinner in the family. However, after an injury and numerous health problems, Bayan’s husband’s income has become much less now. With no complete education and lack of qualifications due to war, Bayan cannot support her family as much as she wants.

These problems have put the family in a difficult financial situation; especially when winter comes, and expenditures to warm up the family grow.

Last winter, IOM Türkiye and local authorities offered their family cash assistance to buy necessary products and much-needed winterization supplies.

"We moved to a new house in the dead of winter, and we had essential needs. We had already been experiencing financial difficulties, and this assistance enabled us to close the gaps. We did kitchen shopping. The assistance arrived just in time," Bayan explains.

Today Bayan’s dream is to find a job and to give her children an education: "We are no longer amid the conflict, but our lives are still extremely difficult. We have no one to turn to for assistance. It's been six years since we've seen our families. I hope to see and hug them soon. Also, I want to ensure that my children receive an education. I don't want my children's education to be unfinished like ours."

Supporting vulnerable communities in difficult times through cash-based interventions is one of IOM Türkiye and its partners' regular activities. IOM Türkiye continues to assist migrants and host community members with the help of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).