Does Turkey Accept Refugees?
For individuals planning to seek asylum in Turkey or who are in the process of doing so, understanding the routes available for entering Turkey and the associated formalities is crucial. Here’s a comprehensive guide with potential scenarios:
Scenario 1: Arrival via Passport
If an individual can come to Turkey with a passport, it’s one of the safest and quickest methods. However, even with a passport, the absence of a visa-free entry agreement necessitates applying for a visa.
- Visa Application: If visa-free entry is not available, one can apply for a tourist or transit visa at the nearest Turkish Consulate.
- Entering Turkey: After entering Turkey, the individual must apply for asylum within 10 days at the nearest Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM). Although there’s no fixed 10-day period by law, an individual facing life-threatening circumstances is generally expected to apply within this time frame.
Scenario 2: Illicit Arrival
This is risky and often dangerous but can be unavoidable. For instance, someone might cross the border illegally from a neighboring country.
- Entering Turkey: If you’ve entered Turkey by illicit means, you should apply for asylum at the DGMM as soon as possible.
- Documentation: If you lack a passport or identification, documentation clarifying your situation (correspondence, photographs, etc., that validate your claims) becomes crucial. Unsubstantiated claims won’t be acknowledged.
Turkey’s Refugee Policy: Key Factors and Burden of Proof
Does Turkey Accept Refugees? Under What Conditions Does Turkey Accept Refugees?
- Political or Ideological Reasons: Being targeted due to political or ideological stances can improve the likelihood of being accepted as a refugee in Turkey.
- Torture or Inhumane Treatment: Evidence of torture or mistreatment can help in positive assessment.
- Religious Reasons: Individuals oppressed due to their religious beliefs can also be considered. However, evidence of state-sponsored persecution is necessary.
Burden of Proof
- Official Documents: The applicant must substantiate their claims with official documents, reports, or other evidence.
- Judicial Decisions: Foreign court rulings can be used if available.
- Application Form: An application form is filled out at the DGMM.
- Interview: An interview is typically initiated, and your case is assessed. The interview is conducted in your native language and a translator should be present.
- Waiting Period: Post-interview, your application is evaluated which can take from a few months to several years.
- Working permits are usually not granted during the asylum application process.
- Failing to apply within 10 days can result in the rejection of your application.
Post-Asylum Application: What Can I Do If My Application Is Rejected?
Complex Legal Procedures and Appeal Mechanisms
Rejections are common, especially in countries like Turkey with a high volume of asylum applications. This can make a detailed assessment challenging, leading to rejections even if claims are substantiated.
Importance of Legal Representation
If your application is rejected, knowing your appeal rights and consulting an attorney is strongly recommended. Without an attorney, your appeals might not be considered adequately.
Timing and Procedure
You have 15 days from the date you are notified of the rejection to file an appeal. Missing this deadline could result in procedural rejection.
Detention Centers and Deportation Orders
If the appeal process fails, you could be legally detained in a removal center. Legal intervention is crucial at this stage.
Filing a lawsuit against a deportation order in time is critical. Courts may dismiss cases without examination if the lawsuit is not filed in time.
Decisions against deportation are final. There’s no right of appeal. You will be deported based on the final decision if you are in a removal center.
Seeking legal support and carefully navigating the appeal processes can enhance the likelihood of your application’s approval. However, every case is unique, and the guidance of a specialized attorney is invaluable.
Immigration law requires specialized expertise. The attorney you consult must be knowledgeable about immigration law, deportation cases, and the deportation process. If you are deported from Turkey, re-entering the country legally, i.e., with a visa and passport, will become significantly more challenging.