Turkey is the first country of reception for Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war. It hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, more than 90% of whom are living in urban and peri-urban areas. However, Turkey is among the countries preserving 'geographic limitation' of the 1951 Convention, which prevents asylum-seekers coming from non-European countries from being granted refugee status. The Law on Foreigners and International Protection, adopted on 4 April 2013, keeps Syrians under "temporary protection", with access to health and education systems, labour markets, social assistance, and some other services. The aim of the article is to scrutinize the activities of metropolitan and sub-tier municipalities of Istanbul with regard to the Syrian population. The legal, administrative, and financial means employed by these municipalities will be observed in order to assess their capacities, aptitudes and needs to provide sustainable solutions.