Resettlement

Turkey

Country Report: Resettlement Last updated: 31/05/21

Author

Independent

UNHCR works in collaboration with DGMM to identify the most vulnerable cases and to assess their eligibility for resettlement. As of 10 September 2018, DGMM pre-identifies cases based on vulnerability and refers them to UNHCR, similar to the procedure already followed for temporary protection beneficiaries (see Temporary Protection: Resettlement). In general, stakeholders have noticed that the criteria and standards of ‘vulnerability’ used now by DGMM are different from the ones of UNHCR and NGOs. For instance, LGBTI people are not considered as vulnerable.[1]

The final decisions on resettlement are taken by the receiving countries. In 2019, UNHCR submitted 17,552 cases for resettlement, 67% of whom were Syrian refugees. In 2019, 10,558 refugees departed to start new lives in resettlement countries; out of whom 78% were Syrian refugees and 22% were refugees of other nationalities. [2]

According to DGMM statistics, a total 16,902 Syrians were transferred to third countries between 2014 and 1 April 2020, mainly to Canada, the US, the UK and Norway.[3]

All resettlement from Turkey was suspended in early 2020, including German and Turkey’s bilateral agreement on the readmission of refugees, due to the Corona Virus. Travel restrictions meant departure for resettlement was postponed. The COVID-19 situation significantly affected the processing for resettlement; however remote interviewing measures were set in place in five locations across Turkey, in cooperation with DGMM, allowing interviews, which were suspended from March to June to gradually resume. The pandemic also affected resettlement departures because of the global pause of international flights between March and September. As of the end of October 2020, UNHCR provided over 5,633 resettlement submissions (4,625 Syrians and 1,008 refugees of other nationalities) to 18 countries; and 3,382 refugees (2,602 Syrian and 780 of other nationalities) departed for resettlement to 14 countries.[4] NGOs reported that due to the economic crisis, the number of calls regarding resettlement increased enormously, meaning potentially that the pandemic had affected people’s wish to live in Turkey.[5]

 

[1]        Information provided by a lawyer from the Izmir Bar Association, February 2020.

[2]        UNHCR, Turkey Operational Highlights 2019, 6 March 2020, at: http://bit.ly/3d0MsyY.

[3]        DGMM statistics, available in Turkish at: https://bit.ly/39v1fz5.

[4]        UNHCR Turkey, Operational Highlights 2020, March 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3esx9AE.

[5]        Information from a stakeholder, March 2021.

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