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The EU and Turkey’s Asylum Policy in Light of the Syrian Crisis 15 janvier 2014

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie, Turkey-EU / Turquie-UE.
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GTE Policy Brief (Istituto Affari Internazionali) No. 10, 15 January 2014

by Juliette Tolay *

In the past, Turkey’s asylum policy was considered as highly deficient, in comparison with the higher standards of the EU. Recently, this perception has been changing, with Turkey’s newly adopted law on foreigners, which contrasts with the EU’s slow-paced moves towards standardizing asylum policies and its restrictive approaches towards Syrian refugees. Unlike the EU’s de facto closed-door policy for many Syrian refugees, Turkey has applied so far an open-door policy towards Syrian citizens seeking refuge at its southern borders, welcoming more than 600,000 since June 2011. Moving forward, there seem to be many ways in which Turkey and the EU could work together on refugee policy in general, and on the Syrian refugee crisis in particular. At the core of this reassessment of asylum practices is the need to take seriously the concept of solidarity, meaning solidarity among EU member states, solidarity with countries hosting large numbers of refugees in the region, and, most importantly, solidarity with the refugees themselves.

Document prepared for the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in the context of the IAI-Istanbul Policy Center-Mercator Foundation project « Turkey, Europe and the World », January 2014.

* Juliette Tolay is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Penn State Harrisburg.

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