Article 84(1) LFIP provides that refugees “shall be” provided (Refugee) Travel Documents as referred to in the 1951 Refugee Convention. DGMM shall determine the “format, content and duration of validity” of (Refugee) Travel Documents to be issued to refugee status holders in accordance with the 1951 Convention. Neither the law nor its Implementing Regulation set out a strict duration of validity for refugee travel documents.
As regards conditional refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, “if they make a request for a travel document”, their request “shall be evaluated” in reference to Article 18 of the Passports Law. Article 18 of the Passports Law governs the issuing of special travel documents that may be issued to foreign nationals referred to as “passports with a foreign-nationals-only stamp” (Yabancılara Mahsus Damgalı Pasaport).
As such, conditional refugees and subsidiary protection holders are not issued Convention Travel Documents but “may be” issued another type of travel document referred to as “passport with a foreign-nationals-only stamp”. The wording used in Article 84(2) LFIP suggests that the decision as to whether or not to grant a travel document upon request by a conditional refugee or subsidiary protection holder is subject to the discretion of DGMM and is therefore not a right as such.
Under Article 18 of the Passports Law, there are two types of “passport with a foreign-nationals-only stamp”:
- The type that authorises either a single exit or a single entry and has a 1-month duration of validity; and
- The type that authorises a single exit and a single entry. The duration of validity of this type of passport is subject to Ministry of Interior discretion but “shall not be less than 3 months”.
No reports of “passports with a foreign-nationals-only stamp” issued to conditional refugees or subsidiary protection holders currently in Turkey have been seen to date.