Turkey

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained asylum seekers

2020

Not Available

Detained children

2020

31,334

New asylum applications

2020

3,579,531

Refugees

2019

Overview

Types of facilities used for migration-related detention
Administrative Ad Hoc Criminal Unknown

28 June 2021

Firefighters On a Crane on the Top Floor of Harmandali Removal Centre, (SonDakika.com, “1 Asylum Seeker Lost His Life in the Fire at the Harmandali Removal Centre,” 23 June 2021, https://www.sondakika.com/haber/haber-son-dakika-harmandali-geri-gonderme-merkezi-nde-cikan-14220937/)
Firefighters On a Crane on the Top Floor of Harmandali Removal Centre, (SonDakika.com, “1 Asylum Seeker Lost His Life in the Fire at the Harmandali Removal Centre,” 23 June 2021, https://www.sondakika.com/haber/haber-son-dakika-harmandali-geri-gonderme-merkezi-nde-cikan-14220937/)

A fire broke out at Turkey’s Izmir Harmandali Removal Centre on 23 June 2021 because of an electrical problem at the facility, according to information provided to the Global Detention Project by a non-governmental actor in Turkey. The fire started on the fifth floor of the centre where refugees are held. Firefighters evacuated the floor, but after the fire was brought under control, a 21-year-old Syrian asylum seeker was found dead. The Turkish Migration Department concluded that because the asylum seeker had not left his room during the fire, he must have committed suicide.

According to a report from the Turkish news service SOL, a staff member working at the removal centre told the news agency that refugees and asylum seekers held in the centre are constantly insulted, ridiculed, and humiliated by guards. The staff member said: “I saw that almost all of the male and female security guards are racist and anti-refugee. They don’t receive any training. Especially all of the shift supervisors - except one - are rude.” The staff member added: “Even raising your voice a little bit and demanding a phone card makes the security guards angry.” According to him, as a punishment, people are taken to the so-called foreign terrorist fighter floor, left alone for hours in a room, handcuffed behind their backs. The staff member also said that the centre’s conditions create such feelings of hopelessness that people end up hurting themselves because of it: “I’ve seen young refugees break their arm” just to go to hospital. In addition, he reported that in one case, a woman gave birth and the child had to be kept in hospital under observation. In the meantime, they brought the woman back to the removal centre and left her alone in a room without any support despite having a caesarean delivery and needing care. Another employee said that during the summer, the centre is constantly over capacity and food is sometimes not provided to detainees.

The problems at the Izmir Harmandali Removal Centre are indicative of broader problems across Turkey’s detention system that have been aggravated by the COVID-19. According to a report by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, the deteriorating situations at Izmir and other removal centres have been compounded by the fact that lawyers, interpreters, and civil society advocates have been reluctant to enter removal centres out of fear of COVID-19 contamination, and meetings with families were stopped. The removal centre in Ankara did not accept any lawyers visiting after 5PM and lawyers had difficulties examining the files of their potential clients. At the Kirkkale removal centre, ECRE’s report found that requests for legal aid were not being delivered to the bar association and requests for assistance were mainly being received through the family members of detainees or the UNHCR.

According to a study on COVID-19 barriers and response strategies for refugees and undocumented migrants in Turkey, published in the Journal of Migration and Health in December 2020, Turkey hosts the largest number of “forced migrants” in the world, with approximately 3.6 million Syrians granted temporary protection and around 400,000 refugees and asylum seekers of other nationalities. The study mentions that while the Turkish Ministry of Health has taken various steps to provide health care to for all residents since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in Turkey, there have been important challenges in health care provision for refugees, migrants under temporary protection, and other undocumented migrants, including language barriers preventing access to reliable information and access to health services for chronic conditions. Additionally, according to the research, the registration processes of undocumented patients in health centres has faced significant delays. There is a “stateless” category in the Ministry of Health registration system that may be used to register undocumented migrants. Yet, this has not been implemented in every health centre as it is largely dependent on the care providers’ decision to accept undocumented patients or not. There have also been issues regarding the distribution of free masks through pharmacies, as people would receive a text message to collect their masks according to their identification number. However, many migrants do not have identification numbers, therefore limiting their access to the masks. Another issue identified by the study is that when undocumented migrants seek health care, they risk being deported or being reported to the police. This has caused widespread fear among many refugees and undocumented migrants, fearing deportation or a loss of residency if they tested positive for COVID-19.

The government also implemented restrictive measures for entry and exit from refugee camps, including temperature checks prior to entry. Those individuals suspected of having COVID-19 are usually transferred to hospital, tested for COVID-19 and depending upon their condition, sent back to the camps for isolation. As of 2 July 2021, Turkey had recorded around 5.4 million COVID-19 cases and 49,774 related deaths.


11 December 2020

Migrants Waiting Near  Buffer Zone at the Turkey-Greece Border in the Edirne District in February 2020, (AFP,
Migrants Waiting Near Buffer Zone at the Turkey-Greece Border in the Edirne District in February 2020, (AFP, "UN: 13,000 Migrants Gathered Along Turkish-Greek Border," 29 February 2020, https://www.voanews.com/europe/un-13000-migrants-gathered-along-turkish-greek-border)

Responding to the Global Detention Project’s COVID-19 survey, a non-governmental actor in Turkey reported that the country has not delayed or stopped issuing administrative detention orders as a consequence of the global pandemic. The source, who asked to remain anonymous but whose identity was verified by the GDP, said that they had observed detainees confined in overcrowded centres, including the ones in Istanbul, being transferred to other detention centres to improve social distancing.

The source also reported that they were unaware of any immigration detainees being released for COVID-related reasons. They had applied to the court for all their clients in administrative detention to be released on the basis of COVID-19 infection risks. However, not a single person has yet been released for this reason. Moreover, the source stated that apart from the authorities’ attempt to reduce overcrowding by transferring detainees to other detention centres, they had not observed any other measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or to ensure appropriate care of migrants or asylum seekers. People requiring treatment at hospitals were sent back to detention after they recovered. People released from administrative detention for reasons not related to the pandemic were able to immediately return to their own accommodation. There is no obligatory quarantine period upon release, and migrants and asylum seekers are not tested for the virus. Also, the source reported that they had not seen authorities test detainees except those who are evidently ill.

Regarding alternatives to detention, the source said that the most common implementation is to oblige the person to regularly report to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management or to the satellite cities by providing a signature. The frequency of the reporting duties will vary depending on the case. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, these reporting duties were suspended or postponed so ATDs have not factored into any COVID response.

According to the source, removals were halted between 18 March and 15 June 2020. However, removal decisions continued to be issued during this time. In consequence, if a removal decision was made against a migrant, the migrant in question would either be taken to administrative detention or released after the order was issued. The source stated that they did not have any clients who were removed from the country, but that some returned voluntarily after deportation decisions were made against them.

Turkey did not announce any new immigration or asylum policies in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The source told the GDP that they had been informed that migrants waiting at the Edirne-Greece border, were taken into quarantine as a result of the statement made by president Erdogan at the end of February announcing that Turkey would no longer stop migrants and refugees from reaching Europe (see 6 April Turkey update on this platform).

Following adoption of legislation in April (see 14 April Turkey update on this platform), enabling the release of thousands of prisoners to prevent the spread of the virus in overcrowded prisons, the prison administration reported on 18 June that they had temporarily released 64,661 prisoners from its facilities.


14 April 2020

The Turkish Parliament passed a law to allow tens of thousands of prisoners to be released to prevent the spread in overcrowded prisons. Those jailed on “terrorism” charges following the 2016 coup attempt will not be released, however. According to the law, persons can be temporarily released under judicial control until the end of May, and the Justice Ministry will be able to extend this twice, by a maximum of two months each time. Some would also be released permanently. (According to the CoE, Turkey has the second-largest prison population in Europe and the continent’s most over-crowded prison population as of January 2019.)

According to reports in the Greek press, Turkey has allegedly been pushing Covid-infected migrants across the border into Greece. According to Ekathimerini.com (11 April), “Sources that cannot be named but are considered reliable believe that Turkey has a plan to push migrants infected with the coronavirus to cross into Greece and other parts of Europe in the midst of the virus pandemic. According to the sources, these migrants, many of whom were also at the Pazarkule, or Kastanies, border crossing, have been transported from migrant camps in the hinterland.”


06 April 2020

A worker in protective clothing disinfects the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, 14 March 2020 (https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/turkey-coronavirus-spread-case-triple.html)
A worker in protective clothing disinfects the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, 14 March 2020 (https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/turkey-coronavirus-spread-case-triple.html)

To-date, the GDP has been unable to find any reports indicating that authorities have taken measures within removal centres. Instead, domestic attention has been focused on the country’s prisons. On 17 March, nine human rights organisations and trade unions called on the state and prison authorities to take various steps to ensure the safety of inmates. The government is also reportedly working on a bill that aims to release 100,000 prisoners due to Covid-19. Sources indicate that repeat offenders, or those that have committed terrorist, drug, or sexual abuse crimes will not be released. On 16 March 2020, Turkish tribunals announced that hearings are postponed until further notice due to the spread of Covid-19. Also, visits to the country’s prison population have been suspended.

Despite Turkey’s announcement in February that it would no longer stop migrants and refugees from reaching Europe, the government altered its approach in response to the virus, announcing that by 27 March 2020, refugees on the Turkey-Greece border would be temporarily settled in nine cities as a precaution against further spread of Covid-19.


Last updated: October 2021

ENFORCEMENT DATA

Total Migration Detainee Entries: Flow (year)
Not Available
2020
Total Migration Detainees: Flow + Stock (year)
Not Available
2019
Countries of Origin (Year)
Afghanistan (Syria) Pakistan Iraq Iran
2020
Number of Asylum Seekers Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2020
Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2020
Not Available
2017
Number of dedicated medium-term immigration detention centres
0
2021
Number of immigration offices
81
2013
Number of Apprehensions of Non-Citizens (Year)
122,302
2020
454,662
2019
268,003
2018
175,752
2017
174,466
2016
146,485
2015
58,647
2014
39,890
2013
47,510
2012
44,415
2011
32,667
2010
34,345
2009
65,737
2008
64,290
2007
51,983
2006
57,428
2005
94,514
2000
29,426
1998
Total Immigration Detention Capacity
15,908
2021
16,116
2018
8,276
2018
6,810
2016
1,740
2015
1,941
2012
2,176
2009
7,030
2009
900
2007
Immigration Detention Capacity (Specialised Immigration Facilities Only)
15,908
2021
16,108
2019
Number of Transit/Border Detention Facilities
4
2020
Number of Dedicated Immigration Detention Centres
25
2021
26
2019
18
2018
19
2016
14
2014
Criminal Prison Population (Year)
201,177
2017
176,268
2015
151,333
2014
Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
2.1
2015
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
254
2017
224
2015
197
2014

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
84,300,000
2020
78,666,000
2015
74,600,000
2012
International Migrants (Year)
5,876,829
2019
2,964,900
2015
1,864,900
2013
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
3.8
2015
2.5
2013
Estimated Undocumented Population (Year)
36,898
2021
Refugees (Year)
3,579,531
2019
3,681,685
2018
3,480,348
2017
2,869,379
2016
1,838,848
2015
2,503,549
2015
609,938
2014
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
36.04
2016
20.48
2014
3.7
2012
New Asylum Applications (Year)
31,334
2020
56,417
2019
79,583
2016
87,820
2014
17,557
2012
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
3,600,000
2019
Stateless Persons (Year)
117
2018
780
2016
780
2014

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
9,126.6
2019
10,515
2014
10,946
2013
10,666
2012
Remittances to the Country
745
2020
1,128
2014
1,235
2011
Remittances From the Country
1,659
2020
175
2010
Unemployment Rate
13
2020
2009
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
824,909,973
2019
3,441.8
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
54 (Very high)
2019
90 (High)
2012
Integration Index Score
43
2019
World Bank Rule of Law Index
44 (-0.28)
2019
57
2012
58
2011
60
2010
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration
77
2007

B. Attitudes and Perceptions

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Do Migration Detainees Have Constitutional Guarantees?
Yes (Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, adopted in 1982, as amended up to 2011, Article 19.) 1982 1982
1982 2011
Detention-Related Legislation
Law No. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection adopted on 4 April 2013 (2013) 2013
2013
Additional Legislation
Law No. 5683, amended in March 2011 by the Law Amending Certain Laws for the Purpose of Speeding of Judicial Procedures (No. 6217) (1950) 2011
1950
Law on the Regulation of Emergency Provisions (No. 7070) - 7070 Olağanüstü Hal Kapsamında Bazı Düzenlemeler Yapılması Hakkında Kanun Hükmünde Kararnamenin Değiştirilerek Kabul Edilmesine Dair Kanun (2018)
2018
Law on Sojourn and Movement of Aliens (No. 5687) (1950)
1950
Law on Settlement (No. 2050) 1934
Passport Law (No.5682) of 15 July 1950 (1950)
1950
Regulations, Standards, Guidelines
Circular on Combating Illegal Migration (No. 2010/22) (2010)
2010
Circular on Reception at Centres and Informing those staying at Centres (No. 64/67) (2010)
2010
Circular on Refugees and Asylum Seekers (No. 2010/23 (2010)
2010
Temporary Protection Regulation (2014)
2014
Regulation on the Implementation of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection No 29656 (2016)
2016
Regulation on the Establishment and Operations of Reception and Accommodation Centres and Removal Centres, No: 28980 (2014)
2014

GROUNDS FOR MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

Immigration-Status-Related Grounds
Detention to prevent absconding
2016
Detention for unauthorised entry or stay
2016
Detention for unauthorised exit
2016
Detention for failing to respect a voluntary removal order
2016
Detention during the asylum process
2016
Detention to establish/verify identity and nationality
2016
Detention to prevent unauthorised entry at the border
2016
Non-Immigration-Status-Related Grounds in Immigration Legislation
Detention on health-related grounds
2016
Detention on public order, threats or security grounds
2016
Criminal Penalties for Immigration-Related Violations
Yes (No)
2016
Has the Country Decriminalised Immigration-Related Violations?
Yes
2014
Children & Other Vulnerable Groups
Asylum seekers (Provided) Yes
2015
Refugees (Not mentioned) Yes
2015
Accompanied minors (Provided) Yes
2015
Victims of trafficking (Prohibited) Yes
2015
Unaccompanied minors (Provided) Yes
2012
Re-Entry Ban
Yes
2016

LENGTH OF MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

Maximum Length of Administrative Immigration Detention
Number of Days: 365
2014
Maximum Length of Detention of Asylum-Seekers
Number of Days: 30
2015
Maximum Length in Custody Prior to Detention Order
Number of Days: 2
2013

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

Custodial Authorities
Provincial Directorates of Migration Management (Ministry of the Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
2015
Directorate General of Migration Management (Ministry of the Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
2015
(Ministry of the Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
2014
(Ministry of the Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
2011
(Ministry of the Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
2009
(Ministry of Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
2008
(Ministry of the Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
2007
(Ministry of the Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
2006
(Ministry of the Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
2001
Apprehending Authorities
Provincial Directorates of Migration Management (Immigration agency) Ministry of Interior (Home Affairs)
2015
Detention Facility Management
Provincial Directorates of Migration Management (Government-local)
2015
Directorate General for Migration Management (Governmental)
2014
Passport Police (Governmental)
2014
Tracing and Control Police (Governmental)
2009
Tracing and Control Police (Governmental)
2008
Tracing and Control Police (Governmental)
2006
Tracing and Control Police (Governmental)
2001
Types of Detention Facilities Used in Practice
Immigration detention centre (Administrative)
Reception centre (Administrative)
Immigration detention centre (Ad hoc)
2021
Immigration detention centre (Administrative)
Reception centre (Administrative)
Immigration detention centre (Ad hoc)
2016
Immigration detention centre (Administrative)
Reception centre (Administrative)
Immigration detention centre (Ad hoc)
2016
Immigration detention centre (Administrative)
Reception centre (Administrative)
Immigration detention centre (Ad hoc)
2015
Immigration detention centre (Administrative)
Reception centre (Administrative)
Immigration detention centre (Ad hoc)
2014

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

Procedural Standards
Right to legal counsel (Yes)
2015
Right to appeal the lawfulness of detention (Yes)
2015
Independent review of detention (Yes)
2015
Information to detainees (Yes)
2014
Types of Non-Custodial Measures (ATDs) Provided in Law
Designated regional residence (Yes) infrequently
2016

DETENTION MONITORS

Types of Authorised Detention Monitoring Institutions
Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey - TÜRKİYE'NİN İNSAN HAKLARI VE EŞİTE KURUMU (National Human Rights Institution (or Ombudsperson) (NHRI))
2016
Human Rights Institution of Turkey (TİHK) (National Human Rights Institution (or Ombudsperson) (NHRI))
2014
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (International or Regional Bodies (IRBs))
2013
Is the NHRI Recognised as Independent by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions?
No
2016
Does NHRI Visit Immigration Detention Centres?
Yes
2018
Yes
2014
Does NHRI Receive Complaints?
Yes
2016
Does NHRI Release Reports on Immigration Detention?
Yes
2019
Does the NPM Visit Immigration Detention Centres?
Yes
2018
Does NPM Receive Complaints?
Yes
2016
Does NPM Release Reports on Immigration Detention?
Yes
2019
NGO capacity to receive complaints?
No
2014
Names of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that Carry Out Detention Monitoring Visits
No
2020
Do IRBs publicly report their findings from inspections?
Yes
2015
Names of International Monitoring Bodies that Carry Out Detention Monitoring Visits
Yes
2016

TRANSPARENCY

READMISSION/RETURN/EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS

Bilateral/Multilateral Readmission Agreements
Greece (2002)
2017
Italy (2001)
2017
Romania (2004)
2017
Spain (2009)
2017
Georgia (2005)
2017
Russian Federation (2011)
2017
Ukraine (1998)
2017
Syria (2003)
2017
Kyrgyzstan (2009)
2017
Greece (2001)
2017
Belarus (2013)
2017
Montenegro (2013)
2017
Moldova (2014)
2017
Yemen (2013)
2017
Pakistan (2011)
2017
EU (2014)
2014

COVID-19

HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 DATA

Has the Country Restricted Access to Asylum Procedures?
Yes
2021

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
OPCRPD, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2015
2018
OP CRC Communications Procedure
2017
2018
OPCAT, Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
2011
2011
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2009
2009
ICRMW, International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
2004
2004
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
2003
2003
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
2003
2003
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2003
2003
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
2003
2003
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
2002
2002
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1995
1995
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
1988
1988
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1985
1985
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1976
1976
PCRSR, Protocol to the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1968
1968
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1962
1962
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 16/19
Treaty Reservations
Reservation Year
Observation Date
ICESCR Article 13 2003
2003
2003
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 2006
2006
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2002
2002
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 1988
1988
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
3 / 8
3 / 8
Relevant Recommendations Issued by Treaty Bodies
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 36. The Committee recommends that the State party take appropriate steps to improve the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. In particular, the State party should: […]; (b) avoid the detention of migrants in an irregular situation and asylum seekers, except as a measure of last resort; (c) improve the conditions at removal centres; […] 2016
2016
2018
Committee on Migrant Workers "§30. c) the ombudsperson institution has jurisdiction to intervene on all administrative decisions relating to migration, including arrest, detention, decisions on migration status and expulsion;" "§34. (c) provide civil society organizations with unhindered access to detention centres to enable them to support detained migrant workers and members of their families effectively." "§48. (a) ensure that administrative detention is used as a measure of last resort only and that non-custodial alternatives are promoted, in line with the committee’s general comment no. 2 (2013) on the rights of migrant workers in an irregular situation and members of their families; (b) expeditiously and completely cease the detention of children on the basis of their or their parents’ immigration status, and adopt alternatives to detention that allow children to remain with family members and/or guardians in non-custodial, community-based contexts while their immigration status is being resolved, consistent with their best interests, and with children’s rights to liberty and family life; (c) ensure that a humanitarian as opposed to a security approach to migration continues to guide all the state party’s policies and practices, including by prioritizing alternatives to, rather than increase in, detention." "§50. a) investigate effectively all cases of violence and other human rights abuses of detained migrants and provide on a regular basis mandatory human rights training for all law enforcement officials, with a view to preventing such violations; (b) ensure that all migrants and members of their families who are arrested are informed about the reasons for their arrest at the time of arrest and are promptly informed about their rights and the charges against them, in a language they understand; (c) ensure that migrants are detained only in facilities officially designated for that purpose; (d) ensure that all detention facilities provide adequate basic services, including food, health care, hygienic conditions and access to outdoor areas." "§52. (a) take the steps necessary to ensure that in administrative and judicial proceedings, including detention and expulsion proceedings, migrant workers and members of their families, particularly those in an irregular situation, are guaranteed due process on an equal basis with nationals of the state party before the courts and tribunals; (b) include in its follow-up and second periodic reports detailed disaggregated information on the number of migrant workers detained for immigration offences and the place, average duration and conditions of their detention, as well as information on the implementation of the rights of migrant workers in respect of due process and equality before the courts; (c) ensure that the minimum guarantees enshrined in the convention are assured with regard to administrative and judicial procedures against migrant workers and members of their families." "§84. (d) take measures to protect victims of trafficking from prosecution, detention or punishment for activities in which they were involved as a direct consequence of their situation as trafficked persons;" 2016
2016
2017
Human Rights Committee § 15 "... take measures to protect victims of trafficking from prosecution, detention or punishment for activities they were involved in as a direct consequence of their situation as trafficked persons." 2012
2012
2012
Committee against Torture "§ 15 (a) Ensure access by independent monitoring bodies to “foreigners’ guesthouses” and other places of detention and pursue, without delay, with the construction of new shelters that provide safe and healthy living conditions;[---]  (d) Ensure effective access to the asylum procedure for apprehended foreigners kept in detention and introduce suspensive effect of deportation proceedings during consideration of asylum requests; (e) Ensure access of UNHCR personnel, in line with Ministry of Interior circular on asylum-seekers and refugees, to persons in detention who wish to apply for asylum, so as to ensure their right to do so; (f) Ensure access of lawyers to asylum-seekers and refugees in detention so as to ensure their right to challenge decisions concerning their asylum application or other aspect of their legal status before appropriate legal tribunals." 2011
2011
2011
Committee on the Rights of the Child § 61. "The Committee reiterates its previous concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.152, para.58) and encourages the State party to consider withdrawing the geographical limitation on the application of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol in order to allow non-European child refugees to be granted refugee status. The Committee recommends that the State party conduct an assessment of the challenges experienced by asylum-seeking and refugee children with regard to accessing health, education and social services, and urgently address such challenges. Also, in accordance with the Guidelines on protection and care of refugee children, issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that every effort is made to identify children who require special support on their arrival in the State party, and consider providing adequate psychological assistance to them. The Committee encourages the State party to seek technical assistance from UNHCR." 2012
2012
Committee on the Right of Persons with Disabilities § 39. The State party: (a) Conduct research and collect data to assess the situation of persons with disabilities on the move in the State party, including migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees with disabilities, disaggregated by, inter alia, gender, age and ethnic background, and establish a multi-stakeholder mechanism, which includes organizations of persons with disabilities, aimed at informing public policies and programmes; (b) Adopt a protocol on the provision of procedural accommodations and support during immigration procedures, refugee status determination procedures and resettlement; provide persons with disabilities with information on available accommodations and support, in accessible formats, Easy Read formats and in the native languages of the main migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee communities; and ensure the training of officials working at protection desks on the rights of persons with disabilities under the Convention ; (c) Ensure that, in public policies and programmes, migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees with disabilities are recognized, and allocate the human, financial and technical resources to ensure the accessibility, reasonable accommodations and support that they may require, in particular for refugee women with disabilities. 2019
2019

NON-TREATY-BASED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Visits by Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council
Year of Visit
Observation Date
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants 2012
2012
2016
Relevant Recommendations by UN Special Procedures
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants

§ 94. Avoid detaining individuals for the sole purpose of their irregular migration status, and systematically explore non-custodial alternatives to detention. 95. Detention should be limited to those cases where there is a risk of absconding or when the person poses a threat to his/her own or public security, and its duration should be limited to the minimum time necessary in order to carry out removal proceedings. 96. Establish clear procedures to avoid the detention of migrants whose removal is unlikely, inter alia due to statelessness, lack of diplomatic presence in Turkey, or unwillingness of the countries of origin to receive their own nationals. 97. Refrain from detaining children and families with children, in conformity with the principle of the best interests of the child and family unity. 98. Facilitate, where possible, the voluntary return of migrants who are willing to return to their countries, as opposed to deportation proceedings, in accordance with international human rights law. 99. Ensure adequate access to all places where migrants are detained, including the transit zone at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, to lawyers, CSOs, UNHCR and other international organizations. 100. Establish a system of independent monitoring of all detention facilities, including by the National Preventive Mechanism, the National Human Rights Institution, civil society organizations and international organizations. 101. Develop regulations in line with international human rights standards concerning procedural safeguards and conditions of detention, and ensure that all migrants deprived of their liberty are able to promptly contact their family, consular services and a lawyer, which should be free of charge if necessary, to seek asylum if requested, and to promptly and effectively challenge their detention. 102. Ensure that all detained migrants have access to proper medical care, adequate food and hygienic conditions, and to an interpreter. 103. Improve the human rights training of police officers and other officials working in the area of migration, including the staff in detention facilities. 

2012
2012
2012
Relevant Recommendations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2010
2017
Yes 2015
Yes 2020

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Regional Legal Instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
Observation Date
CATHB, Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings 2016
2016
2017
ECHR, Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly known as the European Convention on Human Rights 1954
1954
2017
ECHRP1, Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 1954
1954
2017
ECPT, European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment 1988
1988
2017
ECHRP7, Protocol 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 2016
2016
2017
CPCSE, Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse 2011
2011
2014
Regional Treaty Reservations
Reservation Year
Observation Date
ECHRP1Article 2 1954
1954
1954
Regional Judicial Decisions on Individual Complaints
Observation Date
European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

GHORBANOV AND OTHERS v. TURKEY (Application no. 28127/09), European Court of Human Rights, 3 December 2013

2013
European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

ATHARY v. TURKEY. 50372/09. ECtHR. 11 December 2012

2012
European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

DBOUBA v. TURKEY (Application no. 15916/09), ECtHR, 13 July 2010

2010
European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

D.B. v. TURKEY (Application no. 33526/08), European Court of Human Rights, 13 July 2010

2010
European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

Alipour and Hosseinzadjan v. Turkey (Appls.nos.6909/08, 12792/08, 28960/08), European Court of Human Rights, 13 July 2010

2010
European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

Ahmadpour v. Turkey (Appl.no.12717/08), European Court of Human Rights, 15 June 2010

2010
European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

Tehrani and Others v. Turkey (nos. 32940/08, 41626/08 and 43616/08), European Court of Human Rights, 13 April 2010

2010
European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

Ranjbar and Others v. Turkey (no. 37040/07), European Court of Human Rights, 13 April 2010

2010
European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

Charahili v. Turkey (no. 46605/07), European Court of Human Rights, 13 April 2010

2010
Recommendations of Regional Human Rights Mechanisms
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

Detention of foreign nationals under aliens legislation - for as long as the detention facility for foreign nationals at the Ankara Police Headquarters remains in service, detained persons to be offered access to the open air for at least one hour every day (paragraph 40).

 

 

2013
2013
2013
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

Detention centres for foreigners - police officers at the detention centres in Ağrı, Edirne-Tunça and Kirklareli to be reminded that all forms of ill-treatment of immigration detainees are not acceptable and will be punished accordingly (paragraph 41); - the Turkish authorities to take the necessary steps to prevent any “informal deportations” from occurring in the future (paragraph 43); - the Turkish authorities to prevent any repetition of the severe overcrowding which reportedly occurred at Van Detention Centre in August and September 2009 (paragraph 44); - steps to be taken to significantly reduce the official capacity of Istanbul-Kumkapı Detention Centre and to ensure that future occupancy levels are always kept within the limits of the new capacity (paragraph 45); - urgent steps to be taken to ensure that the detention centres at Ağrı, Kırklareli (unit for male adults), Konya and Van are kept in an acceptable state of repair and hygiene (paragraph 48); - the Turkish authorities to take steps at all the detention centres visited to ensure that foreign nationals are offered a greater number and broader range of activities (paragraph 49); - 66 - - the provision of food to immigration detainees to be reviewed in all the detention centres for foreigners, to ensure that it is adequate in terms of both quantity and quality (paragraph 51); - the necessary steps to be taken in all the detention centres for foreigners to: ƒ ensure that all newly-arrived detainees are promptly examined by a doctor or by a fully-qualified nurse reporting to a doctor; ƒ arrange for the daily presence of a person with a recognised nursing qualification, the length of time of that presence depending on the number of immigration detainees; a nurse should be present on a full-time basis at Istanbul-Kumkapı. Such nursing staff could in particular perform the initial medical screening of new arrivals, receive requests from foreign nationals to see a doctor, ensure the provision and distribution of prescribed medicines, keep the medical documentation (thus ensuring confidentiality of medical data) and supervise the general conditions of hygiene (paragraph 52); - steps to be taken in all detention centres for foreigners to ensure that police officers working in direct contact with immigration detainees receive appropriate initial and continuous training (including in interpersonal communication skills) (paragraph 59).

Legal situation of immigration detainees - the Turkish authorities to take steps to ensure that all immigration detainees are able to have unrestricted and confidential access to a lawyer throughout their detention (paragraph 63)

Holding facilities for foreign nationals in the transit zone of Istanbul International Airport  - the Turkish authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure that foreign nationals held in the transit zone are allowed to contact and meet representatives of UNHCR (paragraph 67).

 

2011
2011
2011

GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

Legal Tradition(s)
Civil law
Federal or Centralised Governing System
Centralized system
2016
Centralised or Decentralised Immigration Authority
Centralized immigration authority
2016

DETENTION COSTS

OUTSOURCING

FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS

Foreign Financial Support for Detention Operations
Yes
2013
Yes
2010
Yes
2009
Yes
2007
Description of Foreign Assistance
Under a 2007 Twinning project titled "Support to Turkey’s Capacity in Combating Illegal Migration and Establishment of Removal Centres for Illegal Migrants”—the EU agreed to provide €15,000,000 towards the establishment of at least two removal centres and development of standards for their management by 2012. This project aims to “provide a better capacity to cope with illegal migration” and create centres devoted to “the purpose of controlling the illegal migrants to be removed” that will serve as models for future facilities.
2016
Supply, delivery, installation, putting into operation, inspection, testing, training, calibration and warranty services of furbishing equipment and material of reception and removal centres in order to ensure their well functioning in line with the EU best practice and international standards. Including: furniture, home textile and upholstery, electrical appliances, security equipment, medical equipment, laundry equipment, kitchen equipment and IT equipment.
2013