Turkey: Selective protection: discriminatory treatment of non-European refugees and asylum-seekers

By Amnesty International, , Index number: EUR 44/016/1994

AI is concerned that the security of hundreds of refugees and asylum-seekers in Turkey is at risk as the Turkish Government increasingly refuses to cooperate with the office of UNHCR in Turkey. Iranians, Tunisians and Iraqis, some of whom had been recognized by the UNHCR, have recently been returned to the countries they came from, even though many risk serious violations in their countries of origin. Turkey limits its obligations under the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees to refugees from European countries, of which it has accepted hundreds of thousands. No legal provisions exist for non-Europeans to apply for asylum and there is no clear provision for prohibiting their refoulement. An informal arrangement with UNHCR, whereby non-Europeans accepted by UNHCR were allowed to stay until a resettlement country was found appears to be breaking down.

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