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Turkey Immigration Detention

Turkey’s new Law on Foreigners and International Protection recently came into force, providing the country’s first overarching legal framework on migration and asylum. The law also contains new provisions on immigration detention and shifts oversight of Turkey’s detention centres from the police to a new civilian institution. Although observers have welcomed the improved procedural standards provided in the law, they have been critical of its inclusion of controversial statutes found in EU legislation—including provisions for accelerated procedures for asylum seekers—and its failure to eliminate the country's geographical limits on international protection. There are also concerns that the recent adoption of an EU-Turkey readmission agreement could add to the already considerable migratory pressures confronting Turkey because it will lead to growing numbers of third-country nationals being “sent back” to the country, where they will likely be detained on arrival. While Turkey has been repeatedly criticized for its often appalling detention conditions and restrictive asylum policies, international observers have lauded its efforts to accommodate Syrian refuges. As of March, there were approximately 800,000 Syrian refugees in the country, as well as more than 80,000 non-European asylum seekers.

Turkey Quick Facts

  • Immigration detention capacity:
    International migrants:
    New asylum applications :