"EXCEPT GOD, WE HAVE NO ONE”: LACK OF DURABLE SOLUTIONS FOR NON-SYRIAN REFUGEES IN TURKEY

Turkey is the world’s largest host of refugees and asylum-seekers, with the majority – 2.8 million – having fled the conflict in neighboring Syria. Another 290,000 come from other countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran.

The Turkish government has taken a number of positive steps to improve the lives of Syrians in Turkey, particularly in education and employment, even holding out the possibility for citizenship. Humanitarian actors are primarily focusing their efforts on the needs of the Syrians, but the protection measures available to displaced persons of other nationalities are far fewer and their living conditions are underreported.

Turkey categorizes people who are not Syrian and who have fled from persecution in countries other than in Europe as “conditional refugees,” allowing them to stay in Turkey only temporarily, and placing heavier restrictions on them. This includes constraints on their movements and access to work and leaves them with greater uncertainty about their future. Among the “conditional refugees” are many who face particular vulnerabilities and even more hardships, including LGBT people, single women and single parents, survivors of sexual or gender-based violence, religious minorities, and refugees from African countries. The asylum system in Turkey is relatively new and faces great challenges, but it must be updated to reflect current realities. It should be based on an equitable protection for refugees of all nationalities, and include specific protection measures for refugees facing particular vulnerabilities.

Read the full report (English) 

Source: Refugees International