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2014 UNHCR country operations profile - Turkey

| Overview |

Working environment

  • In April 2013, Turkey promulgated its Law on Foreigners and International Protection. While maintaining the geographical limitation to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the law provides a comprehensive framework for protecting and assisting all asylum-seekers and refugees, regardless of their country of origin, in line with international standards. A newly established Directorate General for Migration Management will be fully operational by April 2014.

  • In 2014, UNHCR will continue to cooperate with the national authorities to ensure that refugees and asylum-seekers in Turkey have access to asylum procedures and services, and to identify durable solutions.

  • Since the beginning of the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) in 2011, over 500,000 Syrians have sought protection in Turkey, according to Government estimates. The temporary protection regime established by the Government in October 2011 is likely to continue throughout 2014, given the ongoing protection needs of Syrian refugees. There are currently 21 camps in 10 provinces hosting more than 201,000 Syrian refugees. Another 300,000-400,000 Syrians are residing in Turkish cities, mostly in the provinces of Hatay, Gaziantep and Sanliurfa. By the end of 2013, it is estimated that 1 million Syrians will have arrived in Turkey -- approximately 300,000 in camps and 700,000 outside camps. This will put further pressure on Turkey and the international community in their efforts to assist those in camps and to register and ensure access to essential services for those refugees residing outside the camps.

  • UNHCR has provided core relief items to support the Turkish authorities in addressing the needs of the Syrian refugees. The Office will continue to assist the Turkish authorities with material and technical assistance to help manage the increase in arrivals and growing numbers of non-camp refugees, as well as to improve the registration of refugees to ensure that people with special needs are identified early and referred to the appropriate State mechanisms.

  • Turkey has also seen an unprecedented surge in the number of asylum applications from other nationalities over the past 24 months. The number of non-Syrian asylum-seekers and refugees has exceeded 50,000 individuals, adding to the strain on the country's protection environment. UNHCR continues to support protection measures for this non-Syrian population of concern through reception, registration, refugee status determination (RSD), durable solutions and assistance activities.

  • The emergency response by the authorities to the influx of Syrians has been exemplary. In 2014-2015, it is anticipated that the hospitality and support provided for Syrian and non-Syrian refugees hosted in Turkey will remain significant, including access to health services, psychosocial counselling, education, and legal and physical protection.

People of concern

UNHCR's programme in Turkey in 2014 will focus largely on Syrian refugees, most of whom have fled intense conflict in the northern border provinces of Syria. Non-Syrian people of concern include asylum-seekers from Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq (including those fleeing from Syria) and Somalia. For 2014, UNHCR forecasts increased arrivals of Iranians, Iraqis and Afghans. This may result in over 73,000 people of concern, not including Syrians, in Turkey.

Planning figures

UNHCR 2014 planning figures for Turkey
TYPE OF POPULATION ORIGIN Dec 2013 Dec 2014 Dec 2015
Total in country of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total 1,053,690 1,053,520 1,373,390 1,373,390 1,695,930 1,695,930
Refugees Afghanistan 4,520 4,520 4,200 4,200 3,830 3,830
Iraq 14,350 14,350 23,600 23,600 28,650 28,650
Syrian Arab Rep. 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,300,000 1,300,000 1,600,000 1,600,000
Various 7,350 7,180 8,850 8,850 10,770 10,770
Asylum-seekers Afghanistan 7,970 7,970 10,460 10,460 12,350 12,350
Islamic Rep. of Iran 5,880 5,880 9,040 9,040 14,170 14,170
Iraq 9,600 9,600 11,470 11,470 17,370 17,370
Various 4,020 4,020 5,770 5,770 8,790 8,790

| Response |

Needs and strategies

In 2014, UNHCR will continue to provide material and technical assistance to help the Turkish authorities cope with the Syrian arrivals and growing numbers of non-camp Syrian refugees in core protection areas including: registration and documentation; prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV); child protection; camp management and maintaining the civilian character of asylum. However, unless there is adequate funding for the 2014 programmes, there are likely to be gaps in the Office's capacity to provide such assistance and support.

The unprecedented increase in asylum applications since 2012 is coupled with growing needs of non-Syrian people of concern in the country. For this population, UNHCR's main objectives include: engaging with the newly created asylum entity and the new national system to ensure a smooth transition in 2014-2015 and to closely monitor the implementation of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection; working with the Government and partners in addressing the increased numbers of arrivals of individuals seeking protection and ensuring appropriate protection mechanisms are in place for all people of concern; supporting the Government in providing services in a consistent and coherent manner throughout the country through joint missions and assessments; and ensuring continued emphasis on the most vulnerable asylum-seekers and refugees, with a specific focus on unaccompanied minors, survivors of SGBV, women at risk, torture victims, and people in need of mental health support.

| Implementation |

Coordination

In 2014-2015, UNHCR will maintain its close cooperation with the line ministries and State institutions and will continue to support the Government in implementing the temporary protection regime for Syrian refugees. The Office will seek to engage expert NGOs to ensure strengthened assistance mechanisms for non-camp populations.

UNHCR will continue to coordinate all UN agency responses designed to support and complement efforts made by the host country for the Syria emergency response. Collaboration with IOM will also continue, specifically on resettlement and voluntary repatriation.

The Office will keep working with partners to implement protection activities and will advocate for the self-reliance of asylum-seekers in urban locations. In order to ensure consistent reception policies in the country, UNHCR will also intensify its efforts to strengthen and broaden its partnerships.

2014 UNHCR partners in Turkey
Implementing partners
NGOs: Association for Solidarity with Asylum-Seekers and Migrants, Human Resources Development Foundation, Turkish Red Crescent Society
Operational partners
Government agencies: Coast Guards Command, Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, Gendarmerie General Command, Ministry of Family and Social Policies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Interior, General Directorate for Migration Management, Ministry of the Interior, General Directorate for Security, National Human Rights Institution, Ombudsman Office, Presidency of Religious Affairs, Secretariat General for EU Affairs, Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency
NGOs: Amnesty International, Ankara Refugee Lunch Support Group, Association for Solidarity with Refugees (Multeci-Der), Bar Associations Caritas - Caritas Internationalis, Danish Refugee Council, Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Human Rights Association, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, International Blue Crescent, International Catholic Migration Commission, International Medical Corps, International Middle East Peace Research Center, International Rescue Committee, KADER - JRS: Chaldean-Assyrian Solidarity Association - Jesuit Refugee Service, KAMER - Center for Women, KAOS Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association, Kimse Yok Mu, MOZAIK - Mozaik Human Resources Development, Relief International, Support to Life, The Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Turkish Education, The Organization of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People (Mazlumder)
Others: IOM

| Financial information |

Over the last four years, the financial requirements for UNHCR's operation in Turkey have increased dramatically from USD 17.7 million in 2010 to a revised 2013 budget of USD 226.1 million, principally due to the refugee influxes from Iraq and Syria. The overall budget for Turkey in 2014 is set at USD 195 million, with the majority of the budget (USD 164.1 million) devoted to the emergency response for Syrian refugees. These financial requirements are based on the best estimates for 2014 using information available as of mid-2013. In light of the evolving situation in Syria, any additional requirements will be presented in the Regional Response Plan for Syrian refugees (RPP6) with the situation undergoing further review in the course of 2014.

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2014-2105


UNHCR contact information

The UNHCR Representation in Turkey
Style of Address The UNHCR Representative in Turkey
Street Address Tiflis Cad. 552. Sok. No:3
Sancak Mah. Cankaya Ankara
Turkey
Mailing Address Tiflis Cad. 552. Sok. No:3
Sancak Mah. Cankaya Ankara
Turkey
Telephone +90 312 409 7000
Facsimile +90 312 441 2173
Website http://www.unhcr.org.tr
Email turan@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 2:00
Working Hours
Monday:AM: 8:30 - 12:30, PM: 13:00 - 17:00
Tuesday:AM: 8:30 - 12:30, PM: 13:00 - 17:00
Wednesday:AM: 8:30 - 12:30, PM: 13:00 - 17:00
Thursday:AM: 8:30 - 12:30, PM: 13:00 - 17:00
Friday:AM: 8:30 - 12:30, PM: 13:00 - 17:00
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 03 January 2011, New Year's Day
19 May 2011, Youth Day
30 August 2011, Eid al-Fitr
31 August 2011, Eid al-Fitr
01 September 2011, Eid al-Fitr
28 October 2011, Republic Day's Eve
07 November 2011, Eid al-Adha
08 November 2011, Eid al-Adha
09 November 2011, Eid al-Adha
26 December 2011, Christmas Day
UNHCR Field Office Van
Style of Address Head of UNHCR Field Office in Van
Street Address Istasyon Caddesi Terminal 1.Sokak No 40/2
65000, Van
Mailing Address Istasyon Caddesi Terminal 1.Sokak No 40/2
65000, Van
Telephone + 90 432 223 4858
Facsimile + 90 432 223 3244
Website http://www.unhcr.org.tr
Email turva@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 2:00
Working Hours
Monday:AM 08:30 - 12:30, PM 13:00 - 17:00
Tuesday:AM 08:30 - 12:30, PM 13:00 - 17:00
Wednesday:AM 08:30 - 12:30, PM 13:00 - 17:00
Thursday:AM 08:30 - 12:30, PM 13:00 - 17:00
Friday:AM 08:30 - 12:30, PM 13:00 - 17:00
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 03 January 2011, New Year's Day
19 May 2011, Youth Day
30 August 2011, Eid al-Fitr
31 August 2011, Eid al-Fitr
01 September 2011, Eid al-Fitr
28 October 2011, Republic Day's Eve
07 November 2011, Eid al-Adha
08 November 2011, Eid al-Adha
09 November 2011, Eid al-Adha
26 December 2011, Christmas Day
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Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Turkey [1]
Refugees [2]
More info 609,938
Refugee figure for Syrians in Turkey is a Government estimate.
Asylum Seekers [3] 52,467
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7] 780
Various [8] 306
Total Population of Concern 663,491
Originating from Turkey [1]
Refugees [2] 66,607
Asylum Seekers [3] 10,556
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 10
Total Population of Concern 77,173
Government Contributions to UNHCR
2013 Contributions Breakdown
Total contribution in USD: 200,000 [rank: 40]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 200,000 [rank: 27]
Donor ranking per GDP: 62
Donor ranking per capita: 61
2013 Contributions chart
Contributions since 2000
YearUSD
2014
More info 500,000
As at 2 July 2014
2013
More info 200,000
Total contribution in USD: 200,000 [rank: 40]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 200,000 [rank: 27]
Donor ranking per GDP: 62
Donor ranking per capita: 61
2012
More info 500,000
Total contribution in USD: 500,000 [rank: 33]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 200,000 [rank: 25]
Donor ranking per GDP: 58
Donor ranking per capita: 56
2011
More info 201,000
Total contribution in USD: 201,000 [rank: 40]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 200,000 [rank: 26]
Donor ranking per GDP: 43
Donor ranking per capita: 44
2010
More info 200,000
Total contribution in USD: 200,000 (rank: 34)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 200,000 (rank: 26)
Donor ranking per GDP: 49
Donor ranking per capita: 49
2009
More info 400,000
Total contribution in USD: 400,000 (rank: 36)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 200,000 (rank: 25)
Donor ranking per GDP: 45
Donor ranking per capita: 45
2008
More info 450,000
Total contribution in USD: 450,000 (rank: 33)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 200,000 (rank: 28)
Donor ranking per GDP: 38
Donor ranking per capita: 39
2007
More info 3,200,000
Total contribution in USD: 3,200,000 (rank: 23)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 200,000 (rank: 25)
Donor ranking per GDP: 27
Donor ranking per capita: 32
2006
More info 200,000
Total contribution in USD: 200,000 (rank: 59)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 200,000 (rank: 30)
Donor ranking per GDP: 37
Donor ranking per capita: 37
2005
More info 1,100,000
USD 1,100,000 of which 550,000 (50%) unrestricted and USD 550,000 earmarked at the country level (50%).
2004 0
2003
More info 250,000
USD 250,000 of which USD 150,000 (60%) was unrestricted and USD 100,000 (40%) earmarked at the subregional level.
2002
More info 150,000
USD 150,000 of which 100% unrestricted.
2001
More info 150,000
USD 150,000 of which 100% unrestricted.
2000
More info 250,000
USD 250,000 of which 150,000 (60%) unrestricted and 100,000 (40%) earmarked.
Private Sector Contributions to UNHCR
Contributions since 2006
YearUSD
2014
More info 223
As at 8 May 2014
2013 112
2012 0
2011 0
2010 0
2009 0
2008 0
2007 0
2006 0

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Beyond the Border

In 2010, the Turkish border with Greece became the main entry point for people attempting by irregular methods to reach member states of the European Union, with over 132,000 arrivals. While some entered as migrants with the simple wish of finding a better life, a significant number fled violence or persecution in countries such as Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq and Somalia. The journey is perilous, with many reports of drowning when people board flimsy vessels and try to cross the Mediterranean Sea or the River Evros on the border between Greece and Turkey. The many deficiencies in the Greek asylum system are exacerbated by the pressure of tens of thousands of people awaiting asylum hearings. Reception facilities for new arrivals, including asylum-seekers, are woefully inadequate. Last year, UNHCR visited a number of overcrowded facilities where children, men and women were detained in cramped rooms with insufficient facilities. UNHCR is working with the Greek government to improve its asylum system and has called upon other European states to offer support.

Beyond the Border

Muazzez Ersoy

Muazzez Ersoy

Turkish Camps Provide Shelter to 90,000 Syrian Refugees

By mid-September, more than 200,000 Syrian refugees had crossed the border into Turkey. UNHCR estimates that half of them are children, and many have seen their homes destroyed in the conflict before fleeing to the border and safety.

The Turkish authorities have responded by building well-organized refugee camps along southern Turkey's border with Syria. These have assisted 120,000 refugees since the crisis conflict erupted in Syria. There are currently 12 camps hosting 90,000 refugees, while four more are under construction. The government has spent approximately US$300 million to date, and it continues to manage the camps and provide food and medical services.

The UN refugee agency has provided the Turkish government with tents, blankets and kitchen sets for distribution to the refugees. UNHCR also provides advice and guidelines, while staff from the organization monitor voluntary repatriation of refugees.

Most of the refugees crossing into Turkey come from areas of northern Syria, including the city of Aleppo. Some initially stayed in schools or other public buildings, but they have since been moved into the camps, where families live in tents or container homes and all basic services are available.

Turkish Camps Provide Shelter to 90,000 Syrian Refugees

From Paris With Love, Toys for Syrian Children

Every year, the Quai Branly Museum in Paris organizes a collection of toys from schoolchildren in Paris and, with a little help from UNHCR and other key partners, sends them to refugee children who have lost so much.

The beneficiaries this year were scores of Syrian children living in two camps in Turkey, one of the major host countries for the more than 1.4 million Syrians who have fled their country with or without their families. Most of these traumatized young people have lost their own belongings in the rubble of Syria.

Last week, staff from the museum, UNHCR and the Fédération des Associations d'Anciens du Scoutisme gathered up the toys and packed them into 60 boxes. They were then flown to Turkey by Aviation Sans Frontières (Aviation without Borders) and taken to the kindergarten and nursery schools in Nizip-1 and Nizip-2 camps near the city of Gaziantep.

A gift from more fortunate children in the French capital, the toys brought a ray of sunshine into the lives of some young Syrian refugees and reminded them that their peers in the outside world do care.

These images of the toy distribution were taken by photographer Aytac Akad and UNHCR's Selin Unal.

From Paris With Love, Toys for Syrian Children

Keeping Occupied in Turkey's Adiyaman camp for Syrian Refugees

Since the conflict in Syria erupted in April 2011, the government of neighbouring Turkey has established 17 camps in eight provinces to provide safety and shelter to tens of thousands of refugees - three-quarters of them women and children. The camps, including Adiyaman depicted here, provide a place to live and address the basic physical needs of the residents, but they also provide access to health care, education, vocational training and other forms of psychosocial support.

UNHCR teams are present on a regular basis in all the refugee camps and provide technical assistance to the Turkish authorities on all protection-related concerns, including registration, camp management, specific needs and vulnerabilities, and voluntary repatriation. UNHCR has contributed tents, cooking facilities and other relief items. The refugee agency is also working with the government to help an estimated 100,000 Syrian urban refugees. It will continue its material and technical support to help the authorities cope with an increase in arrivals. The following images of camp life were taken by American photographer, Brian Sokol, in Adiyaman camp, located in Turkey's Gaziantep province. At the start of February 2013, nearly 10,000 Syrian refugees were living in the camp.

Keeping Occupied in Turkey's Adiyaman camp for Syrian Refugees

Angelina Jolie visits Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the Middle East

In her new role as UNHCR Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie has made five trips to visit refugees so far this year. She travelled to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey in September 2012 to meet some of the tens of thousands of Syrians who have fled conflict in their homeland and sought shelter in neighbouring countries. Jolie wrapped up her Middle East visit in Iraq, where she met Syrian refugees in the north as well as internally displaced Iraqis and refugee returnees to Baghdad.

The following unpublished photos were taken during her visit to the Middle East and show her meeting with Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Angelina Jolie visits Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the Middle East

Syrian Refugees: Turkey Border Town WelcomePlay video

Syrian Refugees: Turkey Border Town Welcome

More than 10,000 Syrian Refugees have flowed into the town Akcakale in Southern Turkey. Akcakale is a town of 30,000 that now sits next door to a refugee camp with 30,000 more Syrian refugees seeking safety.

Syrian Refugees: Rebuilding Lives in TurkeyPlay video

Syrian Refugees: Rebuilding Lives in Turkey

Adiyaman camp in Turkey hosts 10,000 Syrian refugees. Once there, the refugees start to try and rebuild their lives in a positive direction. The camp management, with help from the local municipality, has set up workshops that are giving daily meaning to the lives of the refugees.

Syrian Refugees: An Urban Refugee in Turkey Play video

Syrian Refugees: An Urban Refugee in Turkey

There are more than 650,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey. Some 200,000 are housed in refugee camps along the border, but more than 460,000 live more precarious lives as urban refugees. One of them, Abdul Rahman, lives in the southern city of Urfa. It's been tough but the young man keeps his dreams alive.

Turkey: Supporting Syrian RefugeesPlay video

Turkey: Supporting Syrian Refugees

As the savings of Syrian refugees living in urban areas dwindle, soup kitchens provide much needed food assistance.

Turkey : Syrian Refugee RapPlay video

Turkey : Syrian Refugee Rap

Rapping in Arabic is not easy, but a group of Syrian refugees are finding a way. Syrian boys and girls in Kilis refugee camp in Turkey find an outlet for their talents and experiences through rap

Turkey: Saving FatmehPlay video

Turkey: Saving Fatmeh

In the care of her aunt, frail little nine-month old Fatmeh struggles to stay alive.
Turkey: Urban Refugees from SyriaPlay video

Turkey: Urban Refugees from Syria

The Turkish government has built nearly 20 camps for Syrian refugees, yet more and more of them are settling in urban areas.
Turkey: Special NeedsPlay video

Turkey: Special Needs

A Syrian father flees to Turkey with his family to ensure that his son, who lives with disability, gets the care he needs.
Turkey: UNHCR Chief Visits Syrian RefugeesPlay video

Turkey: UNHCR Chief Visits Syrian Refugees

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres visits Syrian refugees, thanks Turkey for hosting so many.
Turkey: Camp LifePlay video

Turkey: Camp Life

In Turkey, 14 refugee camps shelter more than 100,000 Syrians, but more are needed.
Three Conflicts - Three CrisesPlay video

Three Conflicts - Three Crises

UNHCR says a multitude of new refugee crises in Africa and the Middle East are stretching its capacity to respond.
Turkey: Escaping the ViolencePlay video

Turkey: Escaping the Violence

The story of one man and his family's flight to Turkey, which is hosting nearly 90,000 Syrian refugees in 13 camps.
Angelina Jolie visits Syrian refugees in TurkeyPlay video

Angelina Jolie visits Syrian refugees in Turkey

On the third leg of their tour, UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres went to Turkey. Their first stop there was in Kilis camp, home to 12,000 Syrian refugees.
Turkey: Angelina Jolie Meets Syrian RefugeesPlay video

Turkey: Angelina Jolie Meets Syrian Refugees

The UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador travelled to the Turkey-Syria border to hear the stories of Syrian civilians forced to flee their country.