Risks In Turkey

Life in Turkey is very difficult for migrants. Many face obstacles accessing work, decent housing, and legal documentation, and live with the constant fear of exploitation and abuse. In some cases, the harsh living conditions and dire economic situation pushes many migrants to move on to Europe.

The asylum process in Turkey is very challenging. Non-European asylum seekers are not eligible for refugee status.  Refugees of other non-European nationalities (eg, Afghans and Iraqis) may be given conditional refugee status in Turkey which allows them to stay in the country temporarily with limited rights and protection until they are resettled to another country, which could take years.

Migrants must obtain the Turkish kimlik in order to access healthcare and education as well as apply for a work permit. Until they have a kimlik, migrants can only access emergency medical assistance. Most asylum seekers who are employed work in the informal sector and face high risks of exploitation or abuse.

The Turkish kimlik provides asylum seekers with access to essential services, such as health care and education. In order to obtain the kimlik, migrants are required to register for international protection at the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management (PDMM) upon arrival. In order to qualify for the Turkish kimlik a person must first have a valid Turkish residence permit known as ikamet. The application process can be completed online at: https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/. Asylum seekers must have a valid passport with 1 year validity from date of application, a rental agreement or guarantee from a Turkish citizen that you are living with them along with proof of finances (minimum of USD 500 per month of requested stay), valid health insurance and a copy of the stamp in your passport when you entered Turkey. It can take between six-12 months to process your application but in reality, many single men face challenges obtaining the kimlik.

Irregular migrants who do not have the necessary documentation risk being detained by the Turkish authorities and deported back to their countries of origin.