Content of Temporary Protection

Türkiye

Country Report: Content of Temporary Protection Last updated: 17/08/22

Author

Independent

The Chapter: Content of Temporary Protection in Türkiye contains sections on:

A. Status and residence

  1. Protection from refoulement
  2. Temporary protection identification document
  3. Naturalisation

B. Family reunification

C. Movement and mobility

  1. Freedom of movement
  2. Travel documents
  3. Resettlement and family reunification departures

D. Housing

E. Employment and education

  1. Access to the labour market
  2. Access to education

F. Social welfare

G. Health care

H. Guarantees for vulnerable groups

 

Overview 

The temporary protection framework laid down by the TPR, first and foremost, provides a domestic legal status to beneficiaries granting legal stay in Türkiye;[1] protection from punishment for illegal entry or presence[2] and protection from refoulement.[3]

The evolution of discourse on and integration policy for Syrian refugees has been summarised in 2018 as follows:

“The first 4 years can be referred to as the first period in which both authorities and the Syrians themselves regarded the crisis as a rather short-term problem, an assumption because of which steps such as meeting such temporary needs as accommodation, nutrition, and health were taken rather than planning new lives.

The second period includes the years 5,6,7, and 8, the current one. In this period, due to the anticipation that the crisis is not going to be resolved in a short time, there has been a mobility in Türkiye with regard to the Syrians. The Syrian population that used to live around the border towns and in South East Anatolia, have recently migrated to industrialized cities where the labour market is more active and today, İstanbul alone hosts around 600 thousand Syrians. The focal points of this second period have been participation in education opportunities, special needs of women and children, child marriage, child labour, and problems of people with chronic diseases, the disabled, and the elderly, etc. During this period, protection has come into prominence and the actors focused more on the aforementioned issues. Besides, access to livelihood and labour market has become more important subjects. As a result of the mobility in Türkiye and the increase in participation in the labour market in this period, Syrians have become more visible in Türkiye.”[4]

2019 could potentially be identified as the beginning of a third period: one of social cohesion and return. As already mentioned, PMM issued a strategy, the Cohesion Strategy and National Action Plan.[5] According to the strategy, six thematic areas are to be addressed by PMM: social cohesion, information, education, health, labour market and social support (social services and benefits). However, events in İstanbul in the summer of 2019 also saw a rise in irregular migrants sent to detention centres in several cities and unregistered Syrians sent to temporary accommodation centres.[6] Amnesty International documented cases of Syrians deported from İstanbul, including 20 cases of forced returns[7] and other stakeholders have expressed concerns about the voluntary nature of those signing voluntary return forms, particularly from detention.  After a field visit to Türkiye in 2019, an NGO from the Netherlands reported testimonies that Syrian refugees in detention centres had been forced to sign a ‘voluntary’ return document. Several of these refugees were also mistreated by the Turkish security services or denied access to medical care.[8]

However, 2020 was then the year of COVID-19 and with the end of COVID-19 and the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, 2021 became the year of anti-migration rhetoric, severe limitations in access to protection and return.

In terms of integration, Türk Kızılay runs 16 community centres for migrants in different locations across the country. Municipalities also have a central role in the provision of services and integration support through projects. In the past the lack of a national integration plan led to fragmentation and lack of coordination in the area of integration. The Cohesion Strategy and Action Plan (2018-2023) was hoped to solve some of these issues, but it remained largely unimplemented in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis and where it was implemented in 2021 it was done so very quietly due to public unrest over migration and the economic crisis that affected Türkiye. One stakeholder reported that in their opinion the government was hesitating to take permanent steps in terms of integration despite the very clear need for the rights of Syrians under temporary protection to be increased including through the attainment of citizenship. [9]

An interesting report from March 2022 on urban refugees in Marmara[10] gave the municipality view of integration in Türkiye. The report studied the situation for Syrian temporary protection holders in thirteen provinces and 94 municipalities and challenges. It found that the three most common problems that municipalities encounter regarding immigrants and refugees are the lack of a budget and legal problems arising from the limitations in the legislation related to their jurisdiction, a lack of data, and negative reactions from local people. The main problems experienced by Syrian temporary protection holders are poverty, being employed as unqualified, cheap labour and housing. Syrian refugees most often request help from municipalities with financial and other aid, employment and shelter.

International NGOs have also been active in border provinces since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. In 2015, for example, there were approximately 150 NGOs including international NGOs in Gaziantep. Currently, however, the scope of foreign NGOs’ activities is limited and under close monitoring by the competent PDMM, as organisations need to obtain permission to operate in Türkiye and renew it regularly.[11]

 

 

 

[1] Article 25 TPR.

[2] Article 5 TPR.

[3] Article 6 TPR.

[4] SGDD-ASAM and UN Women, Needs assessment of Syrian women and girls under temporary protection status in Türkiye, June 2018, available at: https://bit.ly/2z8zb5k, 65.

[5] DGMM, Uyum Strateji Belgesi ve Ulusal Eylem Planı 2018-2023, available in Turkish at: https://bit.ly/2VIssZY.

[6] Information provided by a lawyer from İstanbul Bar Association, February 2020.

[7] Amnesty International, Sent to a War Zone: Türkiye’s Illegal Deportations of Syrian Refugees, 25 October 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2WYNE0f.

[8] See 11., ‘Durable solutions for the Syrian Refugees in Türkiye’, December 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/33asT3C.

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

[10] Marmara Municipalities Union, Urban Refugees of Marmara: Process Management of Municipalities, 9 March 2022. Summary of the report available in Turkish at: https://bit.ly/3udnJBX.

[11] For a list of active organisations, see Ministry of Interior, Foreign CSOs permitted to operate in Türkiye, available at: https://bit.ly/2TZyYgU.

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