Living Conditions in Turkey during your application process
last update: January 2012
- The police send you to a certain city, so called “satellite” city. There are 52 satellite cities. They are all fairly small. The big cities Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir are NOT one of them. Officially you are forced to live there. (Theoretically, it is possible to be transferred to a different city, but only in severe reasons e.g. medical reasons or to move to live with close relatives).
- You are forced to report to the police in your satellite city, sometimes every day, sometimes once a week.
- If you want to leave the city for a few days you have to apply for permission with the police. You have to give them a “good” reason, for example because you have to go to the UNHCR.
- You have to pay around 306 TL per person (also children) for your living permit (Ikamet) every six months. (Theoretically it is possible to be exempted from paying this fee, if you can prove that you don’t have money, but it is difficult to be accepted)
- The government does not provide housing. So you have to find this yourself.
- Generally, refugees do not get a work permit. You need a job offer to apply and the employer has to prove that it is impossible to find a turkish citizen for the job. This makes it nearly impossible to get a work permit. Working without a permit is common, but sometime difficult in the small cities. Up to now, not one single refugee has received an official work permit.
- Generally, there is no financial help for health care and you are only allowed to seek treatment in the city you were assigned to. You can try to apply to the “Valilik” (regional governor), but it depends on where you are, and they don’t provide help to everyone. Some cities like Agri are known to be better than other cities e.g. Van. If you have no papers, it is also difficult to get treatment. Apply to the UNHCR’s partner organisations, SGDD or IKGV, for help about medical care (see: contacts).
- If you have papers and live in the city assigned to you, children can receive primary education. If you don’t have papers it seems impossible.
- Neither the government nor the UNHCR gives any monetary help. Very rarely, if a refugee is in a very difficult situation, a partner of the UNHCR, called SGDD or IKGV, can organise money. So apply to SGDD or IKGV (see contacts).