UNHCR Turkey Operational Update, July 2019
Key Figures (as of 30 July 2019)
4 million Refugees and asylum-seekers in Turkey, including over 3.6 million Syrian nationals and close to 400,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers of other nationalities
21,728 Calls answered on the UNHCR counselling line
950 Refugee students granted university scholarships by UNHCR through the Turkiye Burslari programme or the DAFI scholarship programme in partnership and cooperation with the Presidency of Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB).
Key Developments in July 2019
On 18 July, DGMM issued a public announcement urging all Syrians to comply with the Temporary Protection Regulation for refugees. The announcement followed official public statements including one from the Minister of Interior indicating that Syrians residing in Istanbul without proper documentation would have to return to provinces where they originally registered, or register and move to other provinces. The deadline was set at 20 August, and later extended to 30 October.
According to a press release of the Istanbul Governorate on 22 July removal procedures were in place upon apprehension of foreigners who had entered Turkey illegally. Foreigners of Syrian nationality who were not within the scope of Temporary Protection Regulation (i.e. not registered and without a valid ID document) would be transferred to designated provinces upon instruction from the Ministry of Interior.
UNHCR met with the Director General of DGMM on 24 July to discuss the latest developments concerning the situation in Istanbul to clarify how procedures would be carried out and to offer support to DGMM, including in the dissemination of information to those concerned.
On 30 July, the Conference on Higher Education for Students under International Protection was organized with the collaboration of the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), UNHCR, TRT World Research Centre, and TRT World Citizen.
The Republic of Turkey’s eleventh National Development Plan for the period 2019-2023 was submitted to Parliament following President Erdoğan’s approval. Ministries, public institutions and NGOs contributed to the preparations of the five-year plan and views from the public were sought through a survey on the internet with the participation of over 19,000 people.
The refugee response was framed under “international migration” in the draft plan, which prioritizes institutional structure and strategy for migration management as well as actions towards social cohesion and harmonization.