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.