International protection applicants are entitled to reception conditions from the moment they make a request for international protection and continue to be eligible until a final negative decision is issued.
Under Articles 65 and 69, the LFIP differentiates between the act of “requesting international protection” (uluslararası koruma talebinde bulunan) which can be expressed to any state authorities and the “registration of an application for international protection” (uluslararası koruma başvurusunun kaydı) by DGMM. Therefore, persons must be considered as international protection applicants from the time they approach state authorities and express a request to international protection. The actual registration of an applicant by DGMM may come later.
That said, holding a Foreigners Identification Number (Yabancı kimlik numarası, YKN) is an essential prerequisite for all foreign nationals in procedures and proceedings regarding access to basic rights and services. International protection applicants are not assigned a YKN until they are issued an International Protection Applicant Identification Card after they have travelled to their assigned “satellite city” and have registered their application with the competent PDMM. Given the severe obstacles to and corollary delays in accessing the international protection procedure (see Registration), the time lag between an asylum seeker’s intention to apply for international protection and the issuance of a YKN can be particularly long. This leaves asylum seekers without access to some basic rights.
Restrictions on reception conditions by type of procedure
With regards to (a) information, (b) provisions for family unity, (c) and provisions for vulnerable persons, both regular procedure applicants and accelerated procedure applicants are subject to the same level of rights and benefits.
With regards to: (a) documentation; (b) freedom of movement and accomodation; (c) “material reception conditions” i.e. housing, social assistance and benefits, financial allowance; (d) healthcare; (e) vocational training; (f) schooling and education for minors; (g) and employment, there are differences in the level and modalities of reception conditions committed to applicants processed in the regular procedure and those processed in the accelerated procedure.
Furthermore, applicants who are detained during the processing of their application and processed under the accelerated procedure – including those detained at border premises – are subject to specific reception modalities. Applicants in whose case an inadmissibility decision has been taken – whether their application was being processed under the regular procedure or the accelerated procedure – will continue to be subject to the same reception regime as before, until the inadmissibility decision becomes a final decision.
The LFIP contains a “means” test for some of the reception rights and benefits but not for others. With regards to access to primary and secondary education and access to labour market, there is no means criterion. With regards to health care, social assistance and benefits and financial allowance, applicants are subject to a means criterion. The PDMM shall conduct this assessment on the basis of the following considerations:
a. whether the applicants have the means to pay for their shelter;
b. level of monthly income;
c. number of dependant family members;
ç. any real estate owned in Turkey or country of origin;
d. whether they receive financial assistance from family members in Turkey or country of origin;
e. whether they receive financial assistance from any official bodies in Turkey or NGOs;
f. whether they already have health insurance coverage;
g. any other considerations deemed appropriate.
Where it is determined that an applicant has unduly benefited from services, assistance and other benefits, they shall be obliged to refund costs in part or in their entirety.
Furthermore, for applicants who fail to comply with the obligations listed in Article 89 LFIP or to whom a negative status decision was issued, the DGMM “may” reduce rights and benefits, with the exception of education rights for children and basic health care.