Refugees take a rest as they arrive to Turkey along a route to the west, in Erzurum, Turkey, 23 April 2017 | Credit: EPA/ERDEM SAHIN
Refugees take a rest as they arrive to Turkey along a route to the west, in Erzurum, Turkey, 23 April 2017 | Credit: EPA/ERDEM SAHIN

The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR has ended its registration of asylum seekers in Turkey, passing the responsibility to Turkish authorities.

The NGO European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) said the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR ended its registration of international protection seekers in Turkey on September 10 as part of the process of transferring responsibilities on determination of refugee status to the Turkish General Directorate of Migration Management. 


Applicant registration process 

ECRE said in a statement that UNHCR was in charge of registering international protection applications by persons coming from countries other than Syria, with its implementing partner, the Association for Solidarity with Asylum-Seekers and Migrants (ASAM) conducting registration in Ankara. 

Following registration with UNHCR, applicants for international protection were assigned to the province where they were required to reside, known as "satellite city", and were instructed to appear before their respective Provincial Directorate for Migration Management (PDMM) to continue the procedure. A total of 63,039 asylum seekers were registered with UNHCR from January to July 2018. 

Procedure in hands of Turkish authorities 

With the end of the UNHCR asylum registration, applications for international protection will now be directly registered with the PDMM, as is the case for Syrian refugees registering under Turkey's temporary protection regime. 

Whereas the registration of applications for international protection can be conducted by PDMM across all 81 provinces of the country, applicants will only be allowed to reside in "satellite cities." According to UNHCR, 19 provinces - including Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara - are currently excluded from the "satellite city" system. 
 

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