The LFIP provides three types of international protection status in accordance with Turkey’s “geographical limitation” policy on the 1951 Refugee Convention.
- Persons who fall within the refugee definition in Article of the 1951 Convention and come from a “European country of origin” qualify for refugee status under LFIP, in full acknowledgment of Turkey’s obligations under the 1951 Convention. The Turkish legal status of refugee under LFIP should afford rights and entitlements in accordance with the requirements of the 1951 Convention, including the prospect of long-term legal integration in Turkey. Only three persons had been recognised as refugees as of January 2018, although a March 2018 report of the Grand National Assembly referred to 70 persons with refugee status. There was no official data in 2019.
- Persons who fall within the refugee definition in Article of the 1951 Convention but come from a so-called ‘non-European country of origin’, are instead offered conditional refugee status under LFIP. Conditional refugee status is a Turkish legal concept introduced by the LFIP for the purpose of differentiating in treatment between 1951 Convention-type refugees originating from ‘non-European’ states and those originating from ‘European’ states. The status of conditional refugee affords to beneficiaries a set of rights and entitlements lesser to that granted to refugee status holders and to subsidiary protection holders in some respects. Most importantly, conditional refugees are not offered the prospect of long-term legal integration in Turkey and are excluded from Family Reunification rights.
- Persons who do not fulfil the eligibility criteria for either refugee status or conditional refugee status but would however be subjected to death penalty or torture in country of origin if returned, or would be at “individualised risk of indiscriminate violence” due to situations or war or internal armed conflict, qualify for subsidiary protection status under LFIP. The Turkish legal status of subsidiary protection mirrors the subsidiary protection definition provided by the EU Qualification Directive. Similar to the conditional refugee status holders, subsidiary protection beneficiaries receive a lesser set of rights and entitlements as compared to refugee status holders and are barred from long-term legal integration in Turkey. Notably however, unlike conditional refugees, subsidiary protection beneficiaries are granted family reunification rights in Turkey.
According to stakeholders, the number of conditional refugees as well as the number of rejected internal protection increased in 2019. Stakeholders generally thought that practice in the decision-making process had gradually worsened. The quality of decision-making in Sivas, Ankara, Kirsehir and Tokat could have been improved in 2019. UNHCR is providing trainings and guidelines have been translated into Turkish.
 For the purpose of “geographical limitation” in regards to the interpretation of the 1951 Convention, Government of Turkey considers Council of Europe member states as ‘European countries of origin’.
 Grand National Assembly, Göç ve Uyum Raporu, March 2018.
 Information provided by a stakeholder, February 2020.