This week Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the EU not to return Syrian refugees to Turkey, under the EU-Turkey Deal, as the country is not able to provide sufficient protection and security for all the refugees it hosts. HRW found that in both Izmir and Istanbul Syrians faced long delays of several months in registering for temporary protection and receiving identification cards (kimliks), meaning that many are unable to access effective protection, jobs and services, such as education and health care.
Worryingly, HRW reports that since earlier this year Syrians are required to have a rental contract or bring their landlord in order to secure a registration appointment. Many who cannot meet the requirement choose to pay a broker that negotiates an earlier registration. Such a prerequisite is not foreseen in the temporary protection regulation.
Syrians are also facing serious obstacles to apply for work permits, the report documents. Under a new regulation issued in January, Syrians with temporary protection status can only apply for a work permit if they have been registered in the province where they want to work for at least six months. Their employer must also provide a contract, sponsor the application, and make sure that Syrians are not over 10% of its workforce. HRW reports on the lack of information among Syrians about the work permits and also that many have experienced abuse and exploitation.
HRW calls on EASO and Greece to consider all applications of Syrians on their merits and not consider the claims inadmissible based on the grounds that Turkey is a safe third country or a first country of asylum for Syrians.
This week, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least eight Syrians, included three children, were killed by Turkish border guards at the Syrian-Turkish borders. The LIBE Committee in the European Parliament has urged the EU to verify the veracity of such reports and called on the European Commission to assess whether the EU-Turkey deal can continue to apply in these circumstances.
This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 24 June 2016. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.