Challenges and Opportunities of Refugee Integration in Turkey

Challenges and Opportunities of Refugee Integration in Turkey

15. May. 2017
IGAM
pdf

Historically Turkey has always been at the crossroads of global migration. With over three million refugees currently in the country, many of whom cannot go back to their countries of origin, Turkey faces an enormous challenge. According to the UNHCR, even after armed conflicts have ended, it takes another 17 years for the first refugees to return to their country. It is clear that many of the refugees will stay in Turkey for the years to come. Men and women being well-integrated into Turkish society would be an immense opportunity for the country’s future, but also a great political challenge since integration is more than giving someone food and a place to stay, it’s about empowerment and about regaining agency of one’s own life. With the report ‘Challenges and Opportunities of Refugee Integration in Turkey’ by the Research Centre on Asylum and Migration (IGAM) we try to contribute a part to unlock the potential, integration could have for Turkey and the refugee population alike. The present report which has been funded by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Derneği not only illustrates the integration gap under the current temporary asylum system but provides ideas for how to tackle the challenges to refugee integration. For centuries Turkish people themselves have settled all around the globe and the experiences they made with integration policies – good or bad – can serve as an opportunity for the country itself. The report provides bestpractice-examples from Germany, the UK, France, the US and Canada, and ideas how a Turkish solution could look like. One major lesson-learnt from all countries that have faced migration over the years is that integration is not a one-way road. Not only does the host country change the newcomers who settle within its borders, but the newcomers also change the country and make it more diverse. Foreword 4 It is an unprecedented challenge to handle the global refugee crises, supporting the more than 60 million women, men and children worldwide, who had to flee their homes. Research on asylum and migration is going to remain a very important issue both for Turkey, as well as for our foundation. And we will continue to invest in dialogue between Turkey and its partners in this regard. We are glad for having been able to support IGAM and thank the 12 refugees who gave us their time and shared their experiences for this report.

Kristian Brakel HBSD, Head of Office 

Table of contents:

TABLES.............................................................................................. 4

FIGURES ........................................................................................... 4

ABBREVIATIONS............................................................................. 5

INTRODUCTION............................................................................ 6

CHAPTER I - REFUGEE INTEGRATION ................................... 11

Part I: Theoretical Framework of ‘Integration’.............................. 11

Part II: Right-based integration as a durable solution for refugees 13

1. International Standards........................................................ 13

2. Components of an ideal refugee integration scheme............. 15

Part III: Best Practices ....................................................................... 48

1. Germany’s Integration Policy ............................................... 48

2. United Kingdom’s Integration Policy ................................... 51

3. France’s Integration Policy.................................................... 53

4. United States’ Integration Policy .......................................... 55

5. Canada’s Integration Policy .................................................. 58

CHAPTER II - DURABLE SOLUTION OPTIONS FOR THE BENEFICIARIS OF INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION IN TURKEY..................................................................................... 67

Part I: Turkey’s Asylum System..................................................... 67

1. The 1951 Convention and Protocol Relation to the Status of Refugees............................................................ 67

2. The Law of Foreigners and International Protection............. 69

3. The Regulations and the Secondary Law.............................. 76

4. Durable Solutions in the Turkish Law.................................. 77

TABLE OF CONTENTS 8 Part II:

The Impact of Syrian refugee crisis on Legislation and Practices.............................................................. 79

1. Historical Overview of Syrian Migration to Turkey.............. 79

2. Socio-economic and cultural aspects of Syrian migration .....

82 CHAPTER III - THE INTEGRATION GAP OF THE TURKISH TEPMORARY ASYLUM SYSTEM ............................... 87

Part I ........................................................................................... 88

1. Recognition of Legal Residence and Related Rights ............. 88

2. Wage-Earning Employment, Self-Employment, Liberal Professions ............................................................... 90

3. Housing............................................................................... 92

4. Education ............................................................................ 93

5. Public Relief, Social Security and Health Care..................... 98

6. Family Unity and Family Reunification.............................. 100

7. Identity Papers and Convention Travel Documents............ 102

CHAPTER IV – Recommendations ............................................... 107

1. Lifting of the Geographical Limitation/One time solution..... 107

2. Permanent Residency............................................................. 107

3. Integration Ministry and coordination................................... 108

4. Intensive government/NGO joint ventures............................ 109

5. Harmonisation of refugee and citizenship legislation.............. 109

6. Economic self-sufficiency, employment.................................. 109

7. Language ............................................................................... 110

8. Housing................................................................................. 112

9. Education ..................................................................................................... 112

10. Public Relief, Social Security and Health Care.......................................... 113

References ....................................................................................... 114

9 Boxes Box 1 Comprehensive Immigration Policy: The Canadian Model the Canadian Context..................................... 61

Box 2 The Role of UNHCR as the “integral part” of the Turkish asylum.... 83

Box 3 Voices of refugees: Focus Group discussions.................................... 105

TABLES Table 1 Germany’s Division of Integration-Related Tasks across Governance Levels and Areas................................... 51

Table 2 Key Common Statistics .................................................................. 55

Table 3 Employment rates for immigrants, by migration class (Percentage). 59

Table 4 Breakdown of the Population of Concern to UNHCR Turkey........ 75

FIGURES Figure 1 The Number of People Participating in Integration Cources.... 50

Figure 2 Refugees in the U.S. Working Force ............................................. 57

Figure 3 English Language Skills of Refugees in U.S.A. .............................. 58

Figure 4 How Canada Scores in Welcoming Newcomers............................ 60

Figure 5 Different Types of Durable Solutions Turkish asylum system offers to different refugee groups................................................... 73

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