Social welfare


Country Report: Social welfare Last updated: 14/07/23



The law draws no distinction between temporary protection beneficiaries and applicants for and beneficiaries of international protection in relation to social assistance (see Forms and Levels of Material Reception Conditions).

Cash assistance programmes implemented mainly by Türk Kızılay through a dedicated bank card (Kızılaykart), have focused mainly, though not exclusively, on temporary protection beneficiaries. These include the following:

  • Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN): The EU-funded ESSN programme was launched on 28 November 2016 by the World Food Programme, Türk Kızılay and the Ministry of Family and Social Services, under the coordination of AFAD.[1] Families under international or temporary protection and excluded from registered employment are eligible for assistance under ESSN, which extends a monthly allowance of 300 TL (14 €) per family member through the Kızılaykart.[2] Applicants for international protection fall within the scope of this programme. As reported from a stakeholder, Ukrainians under international protection have benefitted from ESSN programme.[3]

The ESSN scheme is the single largest humanitarian project in the history of the EU. 1 April 2021 was the one-year anniversary of a new partnership to deliver ESSN between the Turkish Government, the Turkish Red Crescent (Türk Kızılay), the International Red Cross, and the EU. 2 billion EUR were distributed as of April 2023. As of April 2023 1,541,349 people were being reached.[4]

In the context of the ESSN, the Kızılay Food Card offers a smart card technology developed for people in need to meet all their needs at food stores. International protection applicants who hold a YKN go to the one of the 1,003 Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundations of their satellite city or 9 service centers of Turk Kizilay and fill in an application form for a Kızılaykart If the applicant has a disability, this should be proved by a medical report. Also, people with special needs are prioritised in practice. After 5-9 weeks, applicants can receive their cards ready to use from the contracted bank.[5]

  • Complementary Emergency Social Safety Net (C-ESSN): From 2021 this programme has provided additional support for the most vulnerable people receiving ESSN who cannot be referred to livelihood programmes. It supports them to access basic needs. As of April, 382,277 people were receiving support, for an amount of 22 EUR per month.[6]
  • In-Camp Food Assistance Programme: This programme provides assistance to refugees residing in 7 Temporary Accommodation Centres. People receiving assistance receive e-vouchers for the monthly per capita aid (11 EUR) that they can use for food and non-food shopping inside the camp via the Kizilay Card. As of April 2023, 43,270 people were benefiting from it.[7]
  • Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE): The EU-funded programme CCTE aims to support refugee families in sending their children to school (see Access to Education) by providing bimonthly payments. The amounts disbursed on a bimonthly basis vary depending on the level of education. The CCTE is being disbursed to 494,621 beneficiaries and 253,649 householders as of March 2023. [8] CCTE has mainly focused on primary school children.[9] It is 5 EUR for boys and 6 EUR for girls attending kindergarten and primary school per month and 7 EUR for boys and 8 EUR per girls attending high school per month.[10]
  • Accelerated Learning Project (ALP): The Accelerated Learning project (ALP), a non-formal education project focuses on Syrian and other non-Turkish-speaking refugee children who have never attended school or who have not been attending school for at least three years. The programme assists in integrating children into school at a suitable level for their development. ALP is taught at Public Education Centres for 16 months and has a modular framework. Students who pass the equivalence test after completing a module are subsequently transferred to TPSs based on their age.  ALP is extremely beneficial in assuring access, availability, community participation, efficacy, efficiency, and sustainability. Since the program’s inception in 2018, outreach initiatives have reached out to 63,725 refugee children (including Syrians and other nationalities).[11]




[1]  European Commission, ‘European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations’, last updated in 2023, available at:

[2] Ibid.

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

[4] kizilaykart, ‘Monthly ESSN Programme Infographics, 2023, available at:

[5] ibid.

[6] kizilaykart, ‘Monthly in Camp Programme Infographics, 2023, available at:

[7] kizilaykart, ‘Monthly CCTE Programme Infographics, 2023, available at:

[8] kizilaykart, ‘Monthly CCTE Programme Infographics, 2023, available at:

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Unicef, ‘Documentation Of The Education Response For Syrian Children Under Temporary Protection In Türkiye – Report’, September 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