Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure

Turkey

Country Report: Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure Last updated: 31/05/21

Author

Independent
  1. Syria

Refugees arriving directly from Syria are subject to a group-based, prima facie-type Temporary Protection regime in Turkey. The temporary protection regime currently in place covers Syrian nationals and stateless Palestinians originating from Syria. Those coming through a third country, however, are excluded from the temporary protection regime. Although they should be allowed to make an international protection application under the LFIP, in practice they are not allowed to apply and are only granted a short-term visa and then a short-term residence permit. This includes Syrian nationals who may arrive through another country even if their family members in Turkey already benefit from temporary protection.[1] Recent worrying practices have been reported regarding the issuance of deportation orders in certain provinces such as Izmir, as described at the end of the Safe third country section.

 

  1. Iraq

Iraqis are generally granted short-term residence permits once they are in Turkey. Even where they apply for international protection, they are usually encouraged to opt for a short-term residence permit.[2] Previously, DGMM referred Iraqi Turkmens to Turkemenli Dernegi in Ankara with a view to confirming their origin. These persons usually obtain international protection, as do Uyghurs from China.[3] In 2020, one stakeholder noted that international protection applications which had not been examined for many years were suddenly evaluated and most of the decisions were negative. This predominantly concerned Iraqi applicants in Samsun, Çorum and Ankara. The deportation decisions were subsequently appealed and several were successful. One of these families held refugee status from UNHCR [4]

  1. Afghanistan

 

The barriers to access to the procedure following the takeover of registration of applicants for international protection by DGMM in September 2018 (see Registration) have had particularly adverse effects on certain nationalities. Single male asylum seekers from Afghanistan face particular obstacles to accessing registration compared to other nationalities, as many PDMM are reluctant to register their asylum applications.[5]

An expert opinion commissioned by PRO ASYL in 2020 concluded that Afghans seeking protection in Turkey had not received adequate protection for many years. The main problems identified were as follows:

  • Systematic gaps in access to the protection system that undermine the legal framework. A lack of an identity card automatically excludes many Afghans from access to basic services such as education and healthcare, freedom of travel and increases their risk of deportation and detention.
  • The fact there are very low numbers of applications for international protection and status holders indicates important gaps in practice. Even when Afghan applicants manage to register and get an ID card, they encounter severe problems. In 2020, there were long waiting periods for a RSD appointment, an inadequate assessment of RSD applications and automatic rejections of applications with no access to social support.
  • Deportations, voluntary returns and detentions continued. There is a lack of interpreters, communication and privacy between client and lawyer in removal centres, and a lack of legal documents translated into Dari or Pashtun languages,
  • Publicly available quantitative data on Afghan refugees’ protection and reception conditions is low which limits the monitoring efforts of international and national NGOs. The low number of NGOs specifically working on and for Afghan refugees reflects the fact that funds and projects in Turkey are mostly Syrian-centred. [6]

In 2020, in a case before the 1st Administrative Court in Izmir, the judge assessed Afghanistan to be a safe country and the applicant’s appeal to suspend the deportation was not granted.[7]

 

  1. Other nationalities

In 2020 there were reports of systemic discrimination against Iranians in Istanbul, who are stigmatized as thieves.[8] Asylum seekers of African origin also face discrimination in registration. Prior to September 2018, such applicants, especially Somali families, were referred to Isparta and Burdur where communities are settled. This has not been the case since the takeover of registration by DGMM.[9]

In 2019 DGMM began to grant long term residency and humanitarian residence permits to applicants on the grounds of a new humanitarian circular.[10] The humanitarian residence permit is mainly granted to Egyptians, Chechens, Daghestanis and Tajiks. The authorities assess each application on a case-by- case basis depending on the likelihood of persecution in the country of origin. These groups are generally not deported to their country of origin, even if a deportation decision is issued against them.[11]

 

 

 

 

[1]        Information provided by stakeholders, March 2019.

[2]        Information provided by a stakeholder, March 2019.

[3]        Information provided by a stakeholder, March 2019.

[4]        Information provided by a stakeholder, March 2021.

[5]        Information provided by stakeholders in Ankara, Van, Antakya and Izmir, February to March 2020. See also, Refugees International, ‘’We don’t have space for you all’: The struggles Afghan refugees face in Turkey’, 12 June 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2wBnPbI; and Refugees International, ‘”You cannot exist in this place” Lack of registration denies Afghan refugees protection in Turkey’, 13 December 2018, available at: https://bit.ly/2RE8Epv.

[6]        Expert Opinion, The Situation of Afghan Refugees in Turkey, Commissioned by Stiftung PRO ASYL, March 2021.

[7]       Izmir 1st Administrative Court, docket number: 2020/231, date of judgement: 16.10.2020.

[8]        Information provided by a stakeholder, March 2021.

[9]        Information provided by a stakeholder, February 2019.

[10]       Information provided by a stakeholder from Istanbul, February 2020.

[11]       Information provided by a stakeholder, March 2020.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of main changes since the previous report update
  • Introduction to the asylum context in Turkey
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • Temporary Protection Regime
  • Content of Temporary Protection