The International Federation of Iranian Refugees and Immigrants Councils (IFIRIC)
IFIRIC Mission Statments



A Report by Maryam Namazie


The Turkish government states that it has the "duty and obligation to monitor the flow of foreigners."20 Nonetheless, no government has the right to abuse internationally recognized refugee rights under the guise of sovereignty. As a member of the international community and a signatory to several international conventions, Turkey is bound to respect basic refugee rights, regardless of whether its "Regulation contains far more flexible provisions than similar regulations in other European countries."21 Unless immediate and specific improvements are made in the November 1994 Regulation and its implementation, mass deportations to Iran and Iraq as well as tragic deaths of people seeking refuge in safer countries, will become recurring occurrences.

The following specific measures are essential if non-European refugee rights are to be minimally safeguarded in Turkey. Those surveyed have stated that the government of Turkey should:

  1. Cease refoulement immediately;
  2. Make immediate, interim, administrative changes to improve the Regulation, including:
    • abolishing the five-day limit,
    • lifting the rule requiring the undocumented to apply for asylum with the police station nearest their point of entry and allow them to apply in their town of residence;
    • transferring the asylum determination process from the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Justice;
    • ensuring that those interviewing the refugees are impartial and trained in refugee and international laws; and
    • hiring professional translators.
  3. Provide temporary residence to all asylum seekers;
  4. Issue exit visas to all refugees accepted for third-country resettlement;
  5. Monitor police conduct; and,
  6. Allow the UNHCR to carry out its mandate and defer to UNHCR when that body recognizes a person as a refugee.

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