To register an international protection application, potential applicants have to approach a PDMM to register their application. As of 10 September 2018, UNHCR is no longer involved in registration of applications. If the PDMM cannot register the application itself, it instructs the applicant to report to a different province (“satellite city”) within 15 days, where he or she is required to reside and to register the application. Transportation costs are not covered but DGMM refers people in need to NGOs such as SGDD-ASAM for assistance. Practice is not standardised and persons are often refused registration by the PDMM without being referred to another PDMM.
An international protection applicant has the right to remain on the territory throughout the asylum procedure, although a derogation applies on grounds of “public safety”, “public health” and “membership of a terrorist or criminal organisation”. The Constitutional Court issued a pilot judgment in the case of Y.T. in 2018, launching the pilot procedure to examine whether requests for interim measures it has received stem from a structural problem to protection from refoulement and, if so, what measures can be taken. The Court published its decision in July 2019. In its decision, the Court states that the application of Articles 53(3) and 54 of LFIP should be revised and that appeals against deportation should have suspensive effect especially where deportation could create severe human rights violations. The Court gave the governmental authorities one year to make the necessary legal changes or it would examine all applications filed requesting an interim measure to stop deportations in substance. The legal amendment was made by the authorities in December 2019. The authorities obey the ruling and now appeals often stop deportations, so rights to prevent refoulement have been strengthened. However, there have been concerns that this had a knock-on effect of increasing ‘voluntary returns’ (see section on Removal and refoulement).
Under the LFIP, the PDMM shall aim to issue a first instance decision in 6 months in the regular procedure. This time limit is not binding and may be extended if deemed necessary. Under the accelerated procedure, the personal interview has to be conducted within 3 days of the date of application and a decision must be issued within 5 days of the interview, thus reaching 8 days in total.
The LFIP also provides a differentiated set of remedies against decisions issued under the regular procedure compared to the accelerated procedure and admissibility decisions. Judicial appeals against negative decisions under the accelerated procedure and inadmissibility decisions have to be filed within 15 days. Negative decisions in the regular procedure can be challenged at the International Protection Evaluation Commission (IPEC) within 10 days or directly at the competent Administrative Court within 30 days; in practice, the latter remedy is applied. All international protection appeals generally carry suspensive effect and guarantee applicants’ right to stay in Turkey until the full exhaustion of remedies, except for persons facing deportation on grounds of “public safety”, “public health” and “membership of a terrorist or criminal organisation”.