Resettlement and family reunification departures

Turkey

Country Report: Resettlement and family reunification departures Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Independent

The general procedure

 

DGMM pre-identifies cases for resettlement consideration among the registered temporary protection caseload through the PDMM and makes referrals to UNHCR in lists. When UNHCR identifies the applicants most in need of resettlement from these lists, it presents them to third countries.

The final decision is taken by the third countries. They examine the files and decide whether to accept the relevant applicants, especially after conducting security checks. IOM organises the implementation of health checks, the preparation of travel documents and the cultural orientation of those accepted for resettlement.

Departure of temporary protection beneficiaries to third countries for the purpose of resettlement is subject to the permission of DGMM.[1] A so-called “exit permission” must be issued in order for a beneficiary to be allowed to exit Turkey to a third country either for the purpose of a temporary visit or on a permanent basis for the purpose of resettlement.

The same exit permission requirement also applies to temporary protection beneficiaries in the process of departing from Turkey for the purpose of family reunification with family members in third countries. Syrians seeking a family reunification departure from Turkey must first register with DGMM as a temporary protection beneficiary before they can subsequently request and obtain an “exit permission” to leave Turkey to a third country.[2] IOM also supports the process for family reunification departures to Germany.[3]

In practice, however, certain profiles of temporary protection beneficiaries are issued a “V91” code referring to “temporary protection holders in need of exit permission” (Ulkemizden Çıkışı Izne Tabi Geçici Koruma Kapasamındaki Yabancı) and which prevent them from exiting Turkey. “V91” codes are usually issued to highly qualified Syrians.

As already mentioned in Resettlement, 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; 78% of them were Syrian refugees and 22% were refugees of other nationalities.[4] According to DGMM statistics, a total 16,285 Syrians were transferred to third countries between 2014 and 2019, mainly to Canada, the US, the UK and Norway.[5]

 

All rsettlement from Turkey was suspended in early 2020, including German and Turkey’s bilateral agreement on the readmission of refugees, due to the Corona Virus.

 

 The 1:1 resettlement scheme

 

The EU-Turkey statement of 18 March 2016 established a specific resettlement procedure (“1:1 scheme”), under which one Syrian national would be resettled from Turkey to EU Member States for each Syrian national returned from Greece to Turkey, taking into account the UN vulnerability criteria.[6]

In practice, participation in resettlement may vary from one region to another. For example, while temporary protection beneficiaries residing in Istanbul and Izmir may generally be interested in resettlement under the 1:1 scheme, this is not an option pursued by people living in Gaziantep or Hatay.

As of 12 March 2020, the following numbers of refugees had been resettled to the EU under the 1:1 scheme:

 

Resettlement of Syrian refugees under 1:1 scheme

Country of destination

Number of resettled persons March 2020

Germany

9,501

4,549

4,464

1,950

1,301

1,917

754

396

250

244

213

206

102

85

59

46

34

31

17

16

26,135

France

Netherlands

Finland

Belgium

Sweden

Spain

Italy

Croatia

Portugal

Austria

Luxembourg

Lithuania

Bulgaria

Estonia

Latvia

Slovenia

Romania

Malta

Denmark

Total

     

Source 2019: DGMM, Temporary protection: http://bit.ly/1Np6Zdd.

 

The total number of 26,135 thus marks a slight increase in comparison to last year were it reached 20,267 as of March 2019.[7]

Frontex registered a 46% increase in migrants arriving from Turkey in 2019, despite the deal with the EU to curb migrant influx into the bloc.[8] The situation became extremely tense in February and March 2020 after an escalation of tensions in northeastern Syria. Turkish President Erdogan ‘opened the gates’ between Turkey and the EU, saying amongst other things that Turkey could not cope with another mass influx of refugees from Syria. This led to Greece closing its border, criticisms of both Europe and Turkey’s handling of the situation and concerns for the human rights of migrants and refugees in the middle.[9]



[1]Article 44 TPR.

[2] Information provided by the International Refugee Rights Association, February 2019.

[3] IOM, Göç ve Entegrasyon, available in Turkish at: https://bit.ly/2uwAnfM.

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

[5]DGMM statistics, available at: https://bit.ly/39v1fz5.

[6] Council of the European Union, EU-Turkey statement, 18 March 2016, para 2.

[7] AIDA, Country Report Turkey, 2018 Update, available at: https://bit.ly/2ULzpsV.

[8] Info Migrants, ‘EU border agency: Spike in border arrivals from Turkey’, 20 January 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/39qiKQV

[9]  ECRE, Statement on the situation on the Greek Turkish border, 3 March 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/2QVyzJ2

 

 

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