The Research for Health and Conflict (R4HC-MENA) team in Turkey held its launch meeting on 30th July 2018 in Ankara. Turkey, with a population of 80 million people, offers immense potential for research in health and conflict. Professor Tezer Kutluk from Hacettepe University Cancer Institute, a co-investigator of the R4HC programme, invited prominent scientists from Hacettepe University to discuss the research potential in cancer, mental health and political economy. The team at Hacettepe University will focus on cancer control, palliative care and cancer in the refugee population. Turkey’s existing cancer control plans and cancer care services have improved significantly over the past two decades. The cancer research team is planning to invest in improving the research capacity of oncology professionals in cancer control and cancer palliative care services. During the launch meeting, mental and public health scientists discussed their experiences from their current projects on both indigenous and refugee populations. They are looking for partnerships at both the national and international level, for advanced research. Public health scientists are already leading the effort for Syrian refugee women and girls at the “Women and Girls Safe Space” in Ankara. Crisis management courses lead by the public health department have had a large audience for many years. The courses will potentially serve as a gateway to improve the research in crisis management. Finally, political economy offers vast potential on research since Turkey has invested a lot in health care in various capacities. The health economists will also be involved at the interdisciplinary research capacity as part of the R4HC team in Turkey. The team at Hacettepe will also collaborate with leading scientists from other institutions in Turkey to use the expertise of all parties. The collaboration between Hacettepe University, King’s College London and institutions from Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine is expected to find innovative ways of developing research in health and conflicts within the region.