The Status of Refugees in Turkey

  • On October 22, 2014, The Temporary Protection Regulations were issued. Those who came to Turkey after April 28, 2011 due to the events in Syria were taken under Temporary Protection.
  • The responsible institution about refugees under the Temporary Protection and asylum procedures in Turkey is the General Directorate of Immigration. The names, basic information, fingerprints, photographs and basic needs of all the refugees are recorded by Turkey.
  • The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD is responsible for the management of refugee camps in Turkey. There are 22 refugee camps. These operations are carried out in coordination with the General Directorate of Immigration and AFAD. The most important cities where refugees are located, are Urfa (105.000), Gaziantep (39.000), Kilis (35.000), KahramanMaras (24.000) and Hatay (20.000). A total of 255.000 people live in the camps. Other Syrians live in homes at cities.
  • Temporary Protected Refugees have to obtain a Certificate of Permit when traveling from the city in where they live to another. If they go to the another country, they cannot re-enter to Turkey. If they want to go to the another country, they have to clear their records. The refugees are not forced to return to their own countries.
  • Children under the temporary protection benefit from the facilities of primary and secondary education free of charge. Temporary Training Centers which are based on Arabic language, are established in these refugee camps. For those living in urban areas, it is aimed that Syrian children will be able to study in normal schools and receive language support starting from Pre-School.
  • Syrian youths can study without charge at Turkish state universities on the condition that they have C1 Turkish Language Level and pass the Foreign Student Examination. Turkish Learning Centers are opened for the youth refugees who want to enter to universities at some cities.
  • Syrian and other Refugees can take part in language and vocational training courses free of charge at Public Education Centers.
  • The Refugees may apply for a Working Application by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security through the E-Government (internet) provided that they have been in Turkiye for 6 months. This is a fairly simple process. No application is required for seasonal agriculture and animal husbandry.
  • Treatment services for refugees are free of charge at the public institutions within the Ministry of Health. Emergency Services are already free for everyone. Refugees can get help from Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundations.
  • 600-900 Turkish Liras are given to the refugees only for the winter season depending on the number of people in family. They can also get free advocate support when they need it.
  • A Turk and a Refugee can marry by contacting the official authorities. All new births must be registered. However, birth in Turkiye does not give rise to Turkish citizenship.
  • Those who want to return voluntarily to their country may return. As a matter of fact, a growing number of people returned to Azaz, Jarablus and AlBab cities after peace operations of Turkish Armed Forces.
  • The legal placement from Turkey to another third country is carried out in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the General Directorate of Immigration. Unfortunately, no visible progress has been made in this regard.
  • The number of registered refugees in Turkiye is around 2 million 900 thousand according to February 2017 data. The Republic of Turkiye has spent about 25 billion dollars for asylum seekers. The contribution of foreign countries is only 526 million dollars.