Registration of the asylum application


Country Report: Registration of the asylum application Last updated: 14/07/23



According to LFIP, the PDMM is the responsible authority for receiving and registering applications for international protection.[1]


Applications on the territory

Applications for international protection are made to the “Governorates” “in person”, indicating that applicants are expected to physically approach the PDMM and personally present their request.[2] A lawyer or legal representative may not make applications for international protection. However, a person can apply on behalf of accompanying family members, defined to cover the spouse, minor children and dependent adult children as per Article 3(1)(a) LFIP.[3] Where a person wishes to file an application on behalf of adult family members, the latter written approval needs to be taken.

According to the law, for applicants who are physically unable to approach the PDMM premises for making an international protection request, officials from the PDMM may be directed to the applicant’s location in order to process the application.[4] In the same way, registration interviews with unaccompanied minors and other persons who are unable to report to the designated registration premises in the province may be carried out in the locations where they are.[5] There is no indication that these provisions have been applied in practice so far.

Article 65 LFIP does not impose any time limits on persons for making an application as such, whether on the territory, in detention or at the border. However, Article 65(4) appears to impose on applicants the responsibility of approaching competent authorities “within a reasonable time” as a precondition for being spared from punishment for illegal entry or stay. The assessment of whether an application has been made “within a reasonable time” is to be made on an individual basis.[6]

The LFIP states that applications for international protection shall be registered by the PDMM.[7] Applicants can request and shall be provided interpretation services for the purpose of the registration interview and later the personal interview.[8]

Access to the international protection procedure changed substantially in 2018 when operation of RSD procedures by UNHCR were ceased. Applications for international protection are now registered solely by the PDMM in all the 81 provinces. In practice, however, if the PDMM is approached by an asylum seeker and cannot receive their application, it directs the person to another city so they can register the application there. Applicants are expected to register at the PDMM of the assigned city within 15 days. Failure to appear within 15 days leads to the application being considered as withdrawn (“cancelled”). PMM does not provide assistance with transportation costs but can refer applicants to NGOs such as SGDD-ASAM for assistance. UNHCR has been supporting the registration of persons in need of international protection by working with PMM and its PDMMs.[9] In 2022, after nationwide demonstrations started taking place in Iran, a new influx of Iranian nationals was registered. It was noted that PDMM found some new rejection causes. In the case of an Iranian residing in Türkiye with a valid residence permit who wishes to apply for international protection in October 2022, PDMM argued that the individual was a regular migrant and therefore could not apply for international protection. This was a verbal rejection from Kocaeli and Kastamonu PDMMs. They did not issue a decision but instead referred the Iranian person to another PDMM located in a small city.[10]

Article 69 LFIP does not lay down any time limits for the completion of registration by the PDMM, although its Implementing Regulation, the Regulation on Foreigners and International Protection (RFIP), requires applications to be recorded “within the shortest time on the institutional software system” of PMM.[11] The RFIP provides that application authorities shall notify the applicant a date for their registration interview during the application if possible, otherwise at a later stage.[12]

In practice, the takeover of the process by PMM in September 2018 resulted in obstacles to access to the asylum procedure. Issues persisted in 2022 and arbitrariness increased after the takeover of registration of non-Syrians. It is difficult to assess the overall system since there is no standardised application.[13] However, the main public policy has seemed to be to leave people unregistered to push them to leave Türkiye, especially Afghans, except in vulnerable cases.[14] Applications for international protection from Cubans and Africans were mostly denied in 2022 in Istanbul. In the case of a single mother seeking protection and a victim of gender-based violence, a protection order was issued to allow her child to enroll in school, and she was only able to receive international protection after being placed in SONIM and through the efforts of the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs.[15]

The registration interview serves to compile information and any documents from the applicant to identify identity, flight reasons, and experiences after departure from country of origin, travel route, mode of arrival in Türkiye, and any previous applications for international protection in another country.[16] The PDMM may carry out a body search and checks on the personal belongings of applicants in order to confirm that all documents have been presented.[17] Where an applicant is unable to present documents to establish their identity, the registration authorities shall rely on an analysis of personal data and information gathered from other research. Where such identification measures fail to provide the relevant information, the applicant’s own statements shall be accepted to be true.[18]

Where there are concerns that an applicant may have a medical condition threatening public health, he or she may be referred to a medical check.[19] Information on any special needs shall also be recorded.[20] Since the termination of UNHCR registration activities in 2018, it is unclear how this is handled by the PDMM. Nevertheless, registration is generally allowed for asylum seekers facing emergencies such as pregnancy or severe illness, who are registered in order to make sure that they get medical assistance.[21]

At the time of applying, the asylum seeker must provide a hand-written, signed statement containing information about the international protection application in a language in which he or she is able to express himself or herself. The statement shall contain specific elements including the reasons for entering Türkiye, as well as any special needs of the applicant.[22] Illiterate applicants are exempt from this requirement. Furthermore, the PDMM shall also obtain any supporting documents that the applicant may have with him or her and fill in a standard International Protection Application Notification Form, which will be delivered to the PMM Headquarters within 24 hours.

At the end of the registration interview, all the information recorded on the screen of the electronic system must be precisely read back to the applicant who will have the opportunity to make corrections.[23] A printed version of the registration form filled in electronically is also handed to the applicant.[24]

The law states that the applicant will receive an International Protection Applicant Identification Card upon completion of registration.[25] The Ministry carries out the renewal and extension of International Protection Applicant Identification Card.[26] As of 24 December 2019, the LFIP provides that this document is also issued to applicants falling under the Accelerated Procedure or the inadmissibility provisions,[27]  and the obligation to renew Identification Cards every six months was abolished.[28]

Following this reform, the PDMM no longer issues a Registration Document when directing the asylum seeker to the assigned “satellite city” with a view to registering the international protection application. The only documentation the applicant receives is the International Protection Applicant Identification Card that is valid for six months after having registered the application with the PDMM at the appointed province. This means that asylum seekers are required to travel to the assigned province without being provided documentation to attest their intention to seek international protection. In practice, people are often apprehended during police controls throughout the country and are thus at risk of being transferred to a Removal Centre (see Detention of Asylum Seekers).

The registration system remained the most significant barrier to accessing basic rights and services in 2022. Access to international protection registration became nearly impossible for all organisations. People in precarious circumstances isolated themselves and did not leave their homes to avoid police and deportation. When they did so, their foreign identification numbers were deactivated, preventing them from accessing services such as healthcare and education. There were also issues when individuals travelled to other provinces without permission from PDMM. People could not afford to live in the province where they were registered, so they moved to larger cities.[29] Unauthorised departure from the province of registration without a valid excuse results in the application for international protection being deemed withdrawn, and in judicial appeals against withdrawal decisions, economic reasons are frequently not regarded as a legitimate excuse.[30]

On 30 June  2022, PMM announced that 1,169 districts are closed to protection seekers registrations as of 1 July 2022 except for new born registration and family reunifications in 58 cities (Adana, Adiyaman, Afyon, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Bartin, Batman, Bilecik, Bingol, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Elazig, Erzincan, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hatay, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, İzmir, Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kilis, Konya,Kutahya, Malatya, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Mus, Nev sehir, Nigde, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sinop, Sivas, Sanliurfa, Tokat, Trabzon, Usak, Yalova, Yozgat).[31]

Registration nearly ceased in 2022; in particular, it was reported that inconsistent practices among PDMMs were one of the greatest obstacles and impeded access to registration in Türkiye. In large cities, PDMM officers have been known to write city names on post-it notes and direct applicants to other cities. In 2022, 33,246 individuals applied for international protection, an increase from the registrations in 2020 potentially due to the presence of Ukrainian protection seekers that represented the second nationality among applicants in 2022, with 7,131 applications.[32] When authorities in the PDMM believe that a person fled to Türkiye for economic or medical reasons, they typically adopt a negative stance towards them. In addition, PDMM practices constantly change. Sometimes, even lawyers have trouble accessing the PDMM premises. There have been rumors of corruption and bribery because the system is so slow, including in Istanbul and Izmir. Director of the Sanliurfa PDMM was accused of bribery and corruption, according to an investigative journalism report. After the news became visible, the director lost his position and was transferred to Mus PDMM.[33]

Similar to other provinces, in Agri access to registration was nearly impossible. In Agri, there are five migration officers handling approximately one thousand cases. Agri Bar Association and PDMM have established effective communication over the past year; however, personal interviews are not conducted in a timely manner, making IP impossible.[34]

The EU launched a new project in April 2022 called ‘Reinforce Effectiveness of National Asylum Procedures in Compliance with International Standards and National Legislation’ in Türkiye under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II) in 2022 to support the asylum-seeking processes.[35] The expected outcomes are to strengthen and maintain the effectiveness of RSD procedures, to establish quality assurance for an effective and sustainable system in RSD procedures through the relevant principles and standards developed, to take measures to reduce vulnerability to abuses, including fraud, and to strengthen and maintain the effectiveness of resettlement procedures. The project has been supporting the PMM quality assurance board to ensure uniformity of treatment for applications in 81 cities.[36]

In early 2022, the previously unconfirmed ‘satellite city’ policy was publicly confirmed with the announcement of the ‘deconcentration policy.’[37] Neighbourhoods with a 25% refugee density had already been completely closed to registration for the last two years, including Fatih and Esenyurt in İstanbul. From May 2022, it is prohibited by PMM for any region or area in Türkiye to have a population of foreign nationals that is more than one-quarter of the total population. This includes both people who have made Türkiye their permanent home and those who are merely visiting the country. This rule has been given the name the 25% limit or the 25 % rule.  As of 1 July 2022, 1,169 neighbourhoods in different provinces are now closed to foreign nationals seeking address registrations for temporary protection, international protection, and residence permits, as well as changes to their city of residence if they are foreign nationals with residence permits or are under temporary or international protection, with the exception of new-borns and instances of nuclear family reunification. Because of this, no non-Turkish national will be able to select any of these 1,169 neighbourhoods in Türkiye as their registered address for official matters, nor will they be able to ask the authorities to change their address to any of these places.  In total, this new policy affected 58 cities and Adana, Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir, Muğla, and Antalya are some of the cities that fall into this category.[38]

The policy aims to transfer refugees from provinces with a high refugee density to areas with a lower density. From a legal perspective, it restricts freedom of both residence and travel, which may not be a proportional response to concerns of public order particularly as those it effects are likely to remain under temporary protection status indefinitely. Transferring people to a city where they do not know anyone may also be unreasonable. It can have particularly devastating effects on vulnerable and marginalized groups such as LGBTQI+. In addition, some of the regulations limiting fundamental rights and freedoms, especially for Syrian nationals, are foreseen in the Temporary Protection Regulation, not by law.[39]

In February 2022, 4,514 Syrian migrants residing in Altindag, Ankara were relocated to other settlements outside the district as part of this policy. 309 buildings occupied by Syrians were destroyed, along with 177 workplaces run by Syrians were shut down. This policy scared the Ankara-based Syrians.[40]


Applications from detention and at the border

Where an application for international protection is presented to law enforcement agencies on the territory or at border gates, [41] the PDMM shall be notified “at once” and shall process the application.[42] Applications for international protection indicated by persons in detention shall also be notified to the PDMM “at once”.[43] In addition to Removal Centres for pre-removal detention on territory, there is one facility in the transit zone of Ankara Esenboğa Airport, which serve to detain persons intercepted in transit or during an attempt to enter Türkiye (see Place of Detention).

Persons whose international protection application is received whilst in detention are released from the Removal Centre or police station and are issued an Administrative Surveillance Decision Form (İdari Gözetim Kararı Sonlandırma Tebliğ Formu), also known as “T6”, requesting them to regularly report to a designated PDMM. This may or may not be the PDMM of their province of residence (see Alternatives to Detention).[44]

Despite the legal safeguards provided by the LFIP to secure access to the asylum procedure, people in Removal Centres continue to encounter severe difficulties in having their applications for international protection registered by the PDMM.[45]

Access to the procedure from detention also concerns persons readmitted by Türkiye. Whereas Article 64 RFIP entrusts the Ministry of Interior with the establishment of a separate framework of procedures for persons readmitted by Türkiye pursuant to readmission agreements, there has not been any such instrument regulating the access of readmitted persons to the international protection procedure to date.

In the context of the implementation of the EU-Türkiye statement between 4 April 2016 and 31 January 2020, Türkiye readmitted a total of 2,054 persons from Greece, of whom 738 originated from Pakistan, 373 from Syria, 204 from Algeria, 140 from Afghanistan, 127 from Iraq and 104 from Bangladesh.[46] PMM has established a specific code, “V89” entitled “Greece – return”, but stakeholders have not referred to this being used in practice. Readmission operations were stopped as of 16 March 2020 and Türkiye was still not accepting readmissions as of June 2023 due to public health concerns and the COVID-19 pandemic.[47] (See the AIDA Country Report: Greece 2021). As of June 2023, the number of Syrians readmitted by Türkiye is 394.[48]

Reports on the post-return human rights situation of Syrians document serious human rights violations such as arbitrary detention and deportation without access to legal aid and international protection (see also Legal Assistance for Review of Detention).[49]




[1] Türkiye is administratively divided into 81 provinces. The provincial governorate is the highest administrative authority in each province. Therefore, provincial directorates of all government agencies report to the Office of the Governor. The agency responsible for registering all applications for international protection is the PDMM, which technically serves under the authority of the Provincial Governorate.

[2] Article 65(1) LFIP.

[3] Article 65(3) LFIP.

[4] Article 65(1) RFIP.

[5] Article 65(2) RFIP.

[6] Article 65(1) RFIP.

[7] Article 69(1) LFIP.

[8] Article 70(2) LFIP.

[9] UNHCR, ‘TÜRKİYE 2021 Operational Highlights’, 2022, available at:

[10] Information provided by a stakeholder, April 2023.

[11] Article 70(4) RFIP.

[12] Article 66(2) RFIP.

[13] Fabrizio Foschini, ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: No good options for Afghans travelling to and from Turkey’, 16 May 2022, available at:

[14] Information provided by a stakeholder, May 2023.

[15] Information provided by a stakeholder, May 2023.

[16] Article 69(2)-(4) LFIP.

[17] Article 69(2) LFIP; Article 69(4) RFIP.

[18] Article 69(3) LFIP; Article 69(3) RFIP.

[19] Article 69(6) LFIP.

[20] Article 70(5) RFIP.

[21] Information provided by a stakeholder, May 2023.

[22] Article 65(5) RFIP.

[23] Article 70(6) RFIP.

[24] Article 70(7) RFIP.

[25] Article 76(1) LFIP, as amended by Article 35 Law No 7148 of 18 October 2018.

[26] Article 76(1) LFIP, as amended by Article 81 Law No 7196 of 24 December 2019.

[27] Article 76(2) LFIP.

[28] Article 76(1) LFIP, as amended by Article 81 Law No 7196 of 24 December 2019.

[29] Information provided by various stakeholders, May-June 2023

[30] For further analysis, see; Gamze Ovacık, Turkish Judicial Practices on International Protection, Removal and Administrative Detention in Connection with the Safe Third Country Concept (On İki Levha Publications 2021) 112-120.

[31] PMM, ‘Mahalle Kapatma Duyurusu hk.’, 30 June 2022, available in Turkish at:

[32] PMM, ‘Uluslararasi Koruma’, 2022, available in Turkish at:

[33] Gazete Duvar, ‘Şanlıurfa İl Göç İdaresi’nde neler oluyor?’, 11 July 2022, available in Turkish at:

[34] Information provided by a stakeholder, May 2023.

[35] PMM, 1 April 2022, ‘Ulusal İltica Prosedürlerinin Etkinliğinin Kuvvetlendirilmesine İlişkin Projenin Açılış Toplantısı Gerçekleştirildi’, available in Turkish at:

[36] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ‘Ulusal Sığınma Prosedürlerinin Etkinliğinin Uluslararası Standartlar ve Ulusal Mevzuata Uygun Olarak Kuvvetlendirilmesi ‘, 14 October 2022, available in Turkish at:

[37] Ikamet, Türkiye Closes 781 Neighborhoods to Foreigners, Addresses, May 22, available in English at:

[38] PMM, ‘Neighbourhood Closure Announcement, 22 May 2022, available in Turkish at:

[39] Information provided by a stakeholder, May 2022.

[40] BirGün, ‘Saldırıların faturası göçmenlere kesildi’, 20 February 2022, available at:

[41] In Türkiye, while National Police exercises law enforcement duties in residential areas and at border gates, the gendarmerie exercises police duties outside the residential areas.

[42] Article 65(2) LFIP.

[43] Article 65(5) LFIP.

[44] Information provided by a stakeholder, February 2019.

[45] Information provided by multiple stakeholders, May 2023.

[46] UNHCR, Returns from Greece to Türkiye, 31 January 2020, available at:

[47] International Rescue Committee, ‘What is the EU-Türkiye deal?,’ 18 March 2021, available at:

[48] Information provided by a stakeholder, June 2023.

[49] Daily News, ‘Greek forces pushback dozens of Syrian refugees into Turkey’, 31 May 2022, available at:  

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of main changes since the previous report update
  • Introduction to the asylum context in Türkiye
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • Temporary Protection Regime
  • Content of Temporary Protection