Turkey has taken a number of steps including regulations granting approximately three million Syrian refugees with the guarantee of nonrefoulement, access to basic humanitarian services, and the right to access education, health services and the labour market. The Turkish government’s policy position on the Syrian refugees has gradually begun evolving from ‘hospitality’ to ‘integration’. The Statement between the EU and Turkey has raised concerns about the assumption of Turkey as a “safe third country” to return refugees to, however, one aspect of the agreement, which focuses on the EU’s financial support to improve the situation of Syrian refugees in Turkey, is considered as an important positive step towards the integration of Syrians. This paper aims to address the question of whether Turkey can be considered as a “safe third country” for Syrian refugees. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in İstanbul, İzmir and Gaziantep, this paper focuses on the experiences of Syrian refugees in Turkey to explore whether Turkey can be recognized as a “safe third country” for refugees.
- Perceptions Spring-Summer 2019
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