Detention of vulnerable applicants


Country Report: Detention of vulnerable applicants Last updated: 14/07/23



Unaccompanied children international protection applicants should be categorically excluded from detention, since they must be placed in appropriate accommodation facilities under the authority of the Ministry of Family and Social Services.[1] In practice, however, unaccompanied children often declare being over the age of 18 to avoid separation from their group.[2]

According to the law, children at risk and children convicted of an offence should be transferred to Child Support Centres (Çocuk Destek Merkezleri, ÇODEM).[3]

LGBTQI+ persons are at particular risk of detention when apprehended outside their assigned province. Moreover, sex workers and (potential) victims of trafficking are also a category of persons detained in Removal Centres for reasons of public order and public health under Article 57 LFIP, though not necessarily engaging with the international protection procedure. Although sex work is not prohibited in Türkiye, working without a permit is a ground for deportation and detention; consequently, the majority of detentions were based on the absence of a work permit. In 2022, sex workers sought help from the removal centers of Ankara, Aydin and Istanbul.[4]

People with HIV were also subject to discriminatory practices. In a case in Kayseri, an HIV+ individual was denied access to medication until UNHCR and a counsel from the Bar Association’s law clinic intervened. In another case in Aydin, a person with HIV was separated from other detainees on the grounds that HIV is a contagious disease. Following the efforts of NGOs and the UNHCR, the removal centre halted this practice.[5]  There are cases where, with the purpose of taking them under administrative detention, minors are registered to be accompanied by the adults in the group they entered Turkyie with even if they do not have any connection to such adults. Incidents where minors are kept under detention together with adults and not in separate locations are common.[6]

Vulnerability based on medical reasons is difficult to prove and such claims are often viewed as bad faithed by administration. For instance, Hatay PMM does not accept pregnancy as a basis of vulnerability and requires a medical report that shows 70% disability for consideration of vulnerability, which is not possible for irregular migrants to obtain.[7]




[1]  Article 66(1)(b) LFIP.

[2] Information provided by a stakeholder, February 2019 and May 2023.

[3] Regulation No 29310 of 29 March 2015 on Child Support Centres, available in Turkish at:

[4] Information provided by s stakeholder, June 2023.

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

[6] Information provided by various stakeholders, June 2023.

[7] Information provided by various stakeholders, June 2023.

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