Detention and deportation in Turkey

last update: October 2016

If you enter Turkey irregularly (illegaly) and get apprehended before applying for asylum;
if you over stay your visa and have not applied for asylum and thus if you are in irregular situation (illegal situtation);
if you are apprehended while trying to exit Turkey irregularly (illegally) for ex by fake passport/visa, by boat etc;
if you failed to comply with your obligations as international protection applicant (for example not going to the migration office to give your signature 3 times in a row) or if you are considered to be threat to public security, you can be detained in a detention center whose official name in Turkey is “Removal Center”.
Moreover, if your asylum application is rejected and once the rejected decision is finalized, it means you can no longer stay in Turkey and if you do not leave Turkey within the given time frame, you can also get detained and deported.

While in detention, you have the right to apply for international protection and appeal against deportation order. Although only you can apply for international protection and nobody else can do it for you, for appeals to rejection and deportation orders, it is better to get legal aid. While in detention, you still have the right to ask for free legal aid. We strongly advice you to contact an experienced NGO, if you get detained as soon as possible.

According to the law, the authorities can detain a person upto 6+6 months.

Be aware that you are making your asylum application to directorate general of migration management (DGMM) of Turkey and NOT to the UNHCR. The UNHCR’s decisions has no bounding or suspension effect on rejection and deportation decisions made by Turkey. In other words, getting accepted as refugee by the UNHCR does not mean that Turkey will not/cannot reject your application or deport you.

According to the law, if you approach a PDMM (Provincial Directorate of Migration Management) and apply for asylum, you cannot be detained solely for lodging an asylum claim but there are exceptions:
you can be detained
a) for the purpose of determination of the identity or nationality in case there is serious doubt as to the accuracy of the information provided 
b) for the purpose of being withheld from entering into the Turkey in breach of terms [and conditions] of entry at the border gates
c) when it would not be possible to identify the elements of the grounds for their application unless subjected to administrative detention
d) when [the person] poses a serious public order or public security threat.

The period of administrative detention for international protection applicants (asylum seekers) shall not exceed 30 days. If you apply for asylum after being detained, once your application is registered, you should not be detained more than 30 days.

If you are under administrative detention, your legal representative or lawyer can appeal against the detention decision to the Judge of the Criminal Court of Peace.

Contacts you can find here (see “B) Legal advice”):

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