The Chapter: Content of Temporary Protection in Türkiye contains sections on:
A. Status and residence
C. Movement and mobility
E. Employment and education
G. Health care
The temporary protection framework laid down by the TPR, first and foremost, provides a domestic legal status to beneficiaries granting legal stay in Türkiye; protection from punishment for illegal entry or presence and protection from refoulement.
The evolution of the debate about and policies for integrating Syrian refugees can be stated as follows: The first four years was an ’emergency period,’ until the announcement of the EU-Türkiye statement in 2015. The time following 2016 was designated as the period of integration policies, implying that integration became a focal point of debate. This period saw increased migration in Türkiye as a result of the expectation that the crisis would not be addressed quickly. Participation in educational possibilities, specific needs of women and children, child marriage, child labour, and problems of persons with chronic diseases, the disabled, and the elderly were the focus areas of this period. In this setting, protection has gained relevance, as has access to livelihood and the labour market. 2019 instead marked the start of a third period, focusing on social cohesion and returns. PMM published the Cohesion Strategy and National Action Plan, which addressed six subject areas: social cohesion, information, education, health, labour market, and social support.
However, events in Istanbul in the summer of 2019 fuelled the Turkish authorities’ return strategy directed at limiting the increase of irregular arrivals: undocumented non-Syrians were taken to removal centres, while unregistered Syrians were sent to temporary accommodation centers. Several of these refugees were also mistreated by the Turkish security services or denied access to medical care. With the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, 2021 became the year of anti-migration rhetoric and severe limitations on registration and protection. The year 2022 marked the institutionalisation of return policy and the mainstreaming of anti-refugee rhetoric at the political, social, and economic levels. This rise of anti-immigrant sentiment is related to many factors. Turkey’s current economic crisis has resulted in immigrants’ being made scapegoats and competitors in an increasingly narrowing labour market while their presence is seen as an unnecessary burden on the welfare state. Furthermore, rising anti-government sentiment has encouraged increased criticism of the government’s open-door policy towards refugees. In 2022, both the opposition and the government have launched anti-refugee campaigns to obtain more votes and display their sympathy for host communities ahead of the national and presidential elections in May 2023. Regarding Gaziantep, it was reported that Syrians are heavily employed in the local industry that is why there is no apparent anti-refugee sentiment in comparison to other cities.
In terms of integration, Türk Kızılay runs 18 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. Municipalities’ infrastructure in terms of water supply and sanitation, solid waste management, and recreational facilities has been developed with the aid of EU-funded initiatives. Only two EU-backed projects in the water supply and sanitation sector were finished in 2022: a wastewater treatment plant in Hatay and a facility in Kilis for solar drying (of sanitary waste). Both facilities are currently in use, and 33 new water supply and sanitation facility subprojects (new builds or upgrades to existing facilities) have been added to the FRIT pipeline. 17 municipalities in total, primarily in the South-East, are the focus of this help.26 of the 33 additional facilities were still in the first stages at the end of 2022. The construction of six solid waste management facilities was completed and all are currently operational. Four additional solid waste management facilities are currently being developed. Approximately 180,000 people have benefitted from the two completed sanitation sub-projects (4% target achievement rate) whilst almost 600,000 benefitted from the completed solid waste management facilities (20% target achievement rate). In addition, 28 recreational facilities (sub-projects) were to be built as part of the original proposal throughout 12 provinces. However, the funding is now only anticipated to cover 22 sub-projects due to the quickly rising expenses of development.
An interesting report from March 2022 on urban refugees in Marmara 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.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) has prepared a strategy plan that was developed through a participatory process in order to produce an effective and permanent policy in migration governance. A people-oriented strategy with the perspective of leaving no one behind has been prepared to be implemented in 2020-2024. In the scope of the strategy, 4 main objectives have been determined: coordination, capacity building, research and data collection, social cohesion.
International NGOs have also been active in border provinces since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. Currently, 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. According to the list published and updated on 26 April 2023 by the Ministry of Interior Affairs, there are 60 registered INGOs operating in migration sector in Türkiye.
 Article 25 TPR.
 Article 5 TPR.
 Article 6 TPR.
 Information provided by a lawyer from a Bar Association, February 2020.
 Information provided by a stakeholder, May 2023.