| Overview |
In April 2013, Turkey promulgated its Law on Foreigners and International Protection. While maintaining the geographical limitation to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the law provides a comprehensive framework for protecting and assisting all asylum-seekers and refugees, regardless of their country of origin, in line with international standards. A newly established Directorate General for Migration Management will be fully operational by April 2014. z In 2014, UNHCR will continue to cooperate with the national authorities to ensure that refugees and asylumseekers in Turkey have access to asylum procedures and services, and to identify durable solutions.
Since the beginning of the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) in 2011, over 500,000 Syrians have sought protection in Turkey, according to Government estimates. The temporary protection regime established by the Government in October 2011 is likely to continue throughout 2014, given the ongoing protection needs of Syrian refugees. There are currently 21 camps in 10 provinces hosting more than 201,000 Syrian refugees. Another 300,000-400,000 Syrians are residing in Turkish cities, mostly in the provinces of Hatay, Gaziantep and Sanliurfa. By the end of 2013, it is estimated that 1 million Syrians will have arrived in Turkey - approximately 300,000 in camps and 700,000 outside camps. This will put further pressure on Turkey and the international community in their efforts to assist those in camps and to register and ensure access to essential services for those refugees residing outside the camps.
UNHCR has provided core relief items to support the Turkish authorities in addressing the needs of the Syrian refugees. The Office will continue to assist the Turkish authorities with material and technical assistance to help manage the increase in arrivals and growing numbers of non-camp refugees, as well as to improve the registration of refugees to ensure that people with special needs are identified early and referred to the appropriate State mechanisms.
Turkey has also seen an unprecedented surge in the number of asylum applications from other nationalities over the past 24 months. The number of non-Syrian asylum-seekers and refugees has exceeded 50,000 individuals, adding to the strain on the country’s protection environment. UNHCR continues to support protection measures for this non-Syrian population of concern through reception, registration, refugee status determination (RSD), durable solutions and assistance activities.
The emergency response by the authorities to the influx of Syrians has been exemplary. In 2014-2015, it is anticipated that the hospitality and support provided for Syrian and non-Syrian refugees hosted in Turkey will remain significant, including access to health services, psychosocial counselling, education, and legal and physical protection.
People of concern
UNHCR’s programme in Turkey in 2014 will focus largely on Syrian refugees, most of whom have fled intense conflict in the northern border provinces of Syria. Non-Syrian people of concern include asylum-seekers from Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq (including those fleeing from Syria) and Somalia. For 2014, UNHCR forecasts increased arrivals of Iranians, Iraqis and Afghans. This may result in over 73,000 people of concern, not including Syrians, in Turkey.