The Turkish Directorate-General of Migration Management (DGMM) has published its Annual Migration Report for 2016, which provides information inter alia on its international protection procedure established by the Law on Foreigners and International Protection (LFIP) and on its temporary protection regime for persons fleeing Syria.

Due to its relatively recent establishment, the DGMM has not published detailed information on the operation of the Turkish international protection system in previous years. As explained in the AIDA Country Report Turkey of December 2015, Provincial DGMM Directorates had only issued a modest number of status decisions in 2015, whether positive or negative, given that their resources were primarily focused on the registration of applications.

The DGMM has made available more comprehensive figures concerning its work in 2016. Throughout the course of the year, the DGMM has registered a total 66,167 applications for international protection, marking a slight increase from 64,232 applications in 2015. The main nationalities of international protection applicants in Turkey were:

International protection applications registered by the Turkish DGMM: 2016
Total 66,167
Iraq 42,162
Afghanistan 21,445
Iran 11,172
Somalia 435
Palestine 260
Pakistan 254
Turkmenistan 154
Uganda 148
Uzbekistan 129
Tajikistan 77
Russia 56

Beyond the claims registered by DGMM, it should be borne in mind that a significant number of asylum seekers continue to approach and register with UNHCR Turkey, which has not ceased its Mandate Refugee Status Determination (RSD) in Turkey. More than 33,000 persons have registered as asylum seekers with UNHCR Turkey in 2016, mainly originating from Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.

According to the Annual Migration Report, the DGMM granted international protection in 23,886 cases and rejected 6,494 applications in 2016, thereby indicating an overall international protection rate of 78.6%. Protection rates in 2016 were higher in Turkey compared to many European countries, including Sweden (77.8%), Germany (71.4%), the Netherlands (71.8%) or France (39%).

However, the DGMM report does not provide a breakdown of positive decisions per type of protection granted under the Law on Foreigners and International Protection (LFIP), namely conditional refugee status and subsidiary protection, or a breakdown of decisions by country of origin.

The DGMM report includes figures on Turkey’s temporary protection regime applicable to persons fleeing Syria for 2016. More recent information, up-to-date as of 27 April 2017, refers to a total 2,992,567 Syrians registered under the temporary protection regime. The vast majority of Syrians under temporary protection (91.7%) remain outside the 23 temporary accommodation camps set up in 10 provinces of the country.

As of March 2017, the number of children under temporary protection enrolled in the National Education System was 459,521. This represents a significant increase compared to a total of 276,890 children enrolled as of October 2015.

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Photo: (cc) DG International Cooperation and Development 2014