One of the most prominent shortcomings of Turkey’s legal framework for asylum is the failure to commit to providing state-funded accommodation to asylum applicants. Article 95(1) LFIP clearly establishes that as a rule, international protection applicants and status holders shall secure their own accommodation by their own means. Neither the LFIP nor the RFIP indicate any plans to offer international protection applicants financial assistance to cover housing expenses.
However, the DGMM is authorised to set up Reception and Accommodation Centres to be used to address “accommodation, nutrition, health care, social and other needs” of international protection applicants and status holders. The Reception and Accommodation Centres referred to in Article 95 LFIP should not be confused with the “temporary accommodation centres”, the large-scale camps in the south of Turkey that accommodate refugees from Syria subject to the temporary protection regime (see Temporary Protection: Housing).
There is now only one remaining Reception and Accommodation Centre in operation in the province of Yozgat with a modest capacity of 100 places. The centre is envisioned as a short-stay facility, where persons apprehended and wishing to apply for international protection may be hosted for a couple of days before being directed to register their application. In practice, these centres are mainly available to applicants with special needs such as victims of gender-based violence, torture or physical violence, single women, elderly and disabled people.
In previous years, there was an expectation that 6 new Reception and Accommodation Centres would become operational with a cumulative accommodation capacity of 2,250 beds. These 6 centres were built within the framework of an EU twinning project and 80% of the construction budget was financed by the European Commission. The locations chosen for the centres were Izmir, Kırklareli, Gaziantep, Erzurum, Kayseri and Van. However, following the EU-Turkey Action Plan on Migration of 29 November 2015 and the EU-Turkey statement of 18 March 2016, all 6 centres have been re-purposed to serve as Removal Centres (see Place of Detention).
In crisis situations involving urgent cases, NGOs may be able to arrange accommodation in hotels for individual applicants with special needs within the remit of their capacities.
 Article 95(2) LFIP.