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Turkey’s Asylum Law and Policies

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Turkey continues to be home to the world’s largest refugee population. Out of nearly 4 million persons seeking international protection in Turkey, there are nearly 3.6 million Syrian, 172,000 Afghan and 142,000 Iraqi nationals (UNHCR 2019). Since 2011, all Syrian citizens, refugees, and stateless persons living in Syria who have sought refuge in Turkey have been eligible, as a group, for temporary protection in Turkey. Turkey’s first asylum law namely, the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, entered into force in 2014 and created a comprehensive legal framework for the protection of asylum seekers and refugees in Turkey. The Law on Foreigners and International Protection also established Turkey’s first migration agency, known as the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), which currently oversees the implementation and coordination of asylum and migration policies in Turkey. To complement and facilitate implementation of the asylum framework established by the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, the Turkish government has also adopted a number of regulations concerning the status and rights of Syrians, as well as access of international protection beneficiaries and Syrians to the Turkish labour market.

Turkey’s newly established asylum framework and migration agency require scrutiny as they affect protection of nearly 4 million forced migrants seeking protection within Turkish borders. This report provides an overview of Turkish asylum laws and policies with aims to identify the good practices and shortcomings of this newly established system. The report consists of five main parts. The first makes an introduction to the Turkish asylum system and the second analyses protection of Syrians in Turkey and Turkey’s temporary protection policy. Following this Following this analysis, the third part introduces international protection categories, outlines the rights secured for these groups and examines international protection determination procedures. The fourth part outlines deportation procedures and how to appeal international protection and deportation decisions in Turkey whilst it also investigates to the extent which procedural guarantees provided to refugees and asylum seekers are observed in practice. The final part outlines Turkish asylum laws and policies concerning administrative detention and Removal Centres. By focusing on these issues, the report provides a comprehensive review of Turkish asylum laws and policies, in particular those concerning temporary protection, international protection, refugee status determination, deportation and detention.

Product details
Date of Publication
2019 December
HBS Turkey
Number of Pages
Language of publication
English & Turkish
Table of contents

Executive Summary

1. An Introduction to Turkish Asylum Laws and Policies

2. International Protection & Refugee Status Determination in Turkey

3.Temporary Protection & Syrian Refugees in Turkey

4. Asylum and Deportation Appeals & Procedural Safeguards in Turkey

5. Detention & Removal Centres in Turkey

Analysis & Conclusions