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Human Rights Concerns: Ill-Treatment of Refugees

Each year, thousands of people seeking refugee status from more than 30 countries arrive in Turkey. The national authorities are taking ever greater responsibility for refugee status determination in Turkey but have yet to develop a fair procedure that meets international standards. A fundamental weakness in providing legal protection to asylum-seekers and refugees in Turkey lies in the fact that at the current time there is no comprehensive refugee law, with the conduct of state officials governed by secondary legislation that can be changed without notification.

Difficulties in gaining access to asylum procedures at Turkey’s borders, airports, and in detention mean that many people are expelled without having their asylum claims assessed, leaving them at risk of serious human rights abuses upon return to their countries. Registered asylum-seekers and recognized refugees are also increasingly forcibly returned from Turkey. Asylum-seekers’ access to adequate housing, health services, and work is very limited. Bureaucratic problems also prevent refugee children from accessing secondary education.

Turkey Newsroom



April 16, 2020 • Report

Mass protests in Europe provide hope as rights and judicial independence eroded

People’s rights are being violated by governments in Europe and Central Asia, who are cracking down on protests and seeking to erode the independence of the judiciary to avoid accountability, …

October 24, 2018 • Report

Purged beyond return? No remedy for Turkey’s dismissed public sector workers

More than two years after being arbitrarily dismissed, almost 130,000 Turkish public sector workers are still awaiting justice and facing an uncertain future, Amnesty International said in a report published today. 

May 21, 2017 • Report

No end in sight: Purged public sector workers denied a future in Turkey

The dismissal of more than 100,000 public sector workers in Turkey is arbitrary and has had a catastrophic impact on their lives and livelihoods, a new report published by Amnesty …

December 2, 2016 • Report

Displaced and dispossessed: Sur residents’ right to return home

Tens of thousands of residents of the UNESCO world heritage site of Sur are among an estimated half a million people forced out of their homes as a result of a brutal crackdown by Turkish authorities over the past year which may amount to collective punishment, said Amnesty International in a new report.

June 2, 2016 • Report

No safe refuge: Asylum-seekers and refugees denied effective protection in Turkey

The European Union (EU) must immediately halt plans to return asylum-seekers to Turkey on the false pretence that it is a “safe country” for refugees, said Amnesty International in a briefing published today.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

September 2, 2015 • Report

Use of Force – Guidelines for Implementation of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by law enforcement officials

From the streets of Ferguson, Missouri to the favelas of Brazil, the police use of force and firearms makes global headlines when it turns fatal.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

November 18, 2014 • Report

Struggling to Survive: Refugees from Syria in Turkey

The international community’s failure to deal with the growing number of Syrian refugees fleeing into Turkey has led to a crisis of unprecedented proportions with refugees facing push-backs and live fire at the border and hundreds of thousands living in destitution. "Struggling to Survive: Refugees from Syria in Turkey," documents serious human rights risks faced by the 1.6 million people who have sought refuge in the country over the last three and a half years. It also highlights the deplorable reluctance of the international community to take meaningful financial responsibility for the refugee crisis.

October 2, 2013 • Report

Gezi Park Protests: Brutal Denial of the Right to Peaceful Assembly in Turkey

On 30 May 2013, police cleared Gezi Park in central Istanbul of a small group of protestors opposed to its destruction. The denial of their right to protest and the violence used by the police touched a nerve and a wave of anti-government demonstrations swept across Turkey.