This presentation of the detention of foreigners in Turkey comes after the signing of a readmission agreement with the European Union, facilitating the return to Turkey of people who have stayed there over the previous five years, and adoption under EU’s pressure of a new legislation on immigration and asylum. On asylum, the new law maintains the geographical limitation clause that Turkey applied before, and which provides that the authorities take into account only asylum claims of European nationals. Turkey applies a system of temporary protection for Syrian refugees, while nationals of other countries must apply for asylum with the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), and must then if the response is positive wait for resettlement in another country. These asylum seekers are assigned residence in some cities for the duration of the procedure , and may be detained if they leave this city without permission or try to leave the country illegally.
The new legislation is largely based on a compilation of earlier texts. Thus, people should always cover the cost of their deportation. The maximum period of continued detention is set at one year, the situation of persons imprisoned indefinitely until they can pay their tickets should disappear.
Minors may still be detained, except when seeking asylum. In fact, access to asylum procedures for people in detention remains difficult. Numerous reports have documented over the last twenty years, a worrying situation in detention centers, in terms of access to information and rights, abuse and detention conditions.
Cooperation with the European Union is also reflected in financial support for border control and the construction of six reception centers for asylum seekers and a new detention center.
The detention of foreigners may be in detention centers (of which there is no official list available, Global Detention Project has identified 14), police stations and gendarmerie, transit areas, or in areas affected to detention in circumstances. The document describes the conditions in the various identified centers.
To read the country profile (in English) :
Kumkapi’s detention center in Istanbul.