Importance of registering with the Turkish authorities
The Government of Turkey is the principal provider of protection in Turkey. Registration is an important obligation for foreigners in Turkey as it forms the legal basis for your legal stay in Turkey and allows you to access public services and available assistance. Registration with the Turkish authorities therefore is the most important way of securing your rights in Turkey. In addition to the provision of your legal stay and access to public services and assistance, registration also protects you against forced return to your country.
Syrians seeking protection who do not register with the authorities cannot benefit from any services or assistance in Turkey, including access to health, education, social assistance or work opportunities. The only service you would be able to access would be emergency health services. If you are not registered, UNHCR, other UN agencies, and NGOs would also face obstacles when trying to assist you. Therefore, it is extremely important that all Syrians register with the Turkish authorities.
Procedure for Syrians to register with the Turkish authorities
Syrian refugees in Turkey are registered by the Turkish authorities. The Temporary Protection Regulation clearly mandates the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) – the national asylum institution working under the authority of the Ministry of Interior – to carry out the registration of individuals under temporary protection.
Registration of Syrians is conducted throughout Turkey except for a few provinces.
Syrians seeking protection should approach the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management (PDMM) in the province where they are residing. During registration, you will be expected to provide correct identification information and submit any available documents you may have from Syria and cooperate with the Turkish officials. If you do not have any documents from Syria, authorities would take your registration based on your testimony. If you need an interpreter during your registration, please request this from the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management as you have a right to ask for an interpreter, free of charge.
The registration location differs according to the province. You can find out the relevant address from the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management.
As of the beginning of 2016, Syrians seeking protection in Turkey need to be pre-registered by the Turkish authorities (Foreigners’ Police) before being able to register as temporary protection beneficiaries. During pre-registration, you and your family members’ basic data, contact details, fingerprints and photos are taken by the Foreigners’ Police. You can find out the location/address of the Foreigners’ Police from the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management of the province where you reside.
During pre-registration, you will be provided with a preliminary pre-registration document indicating you need to approach the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management in 30 days to receive the Temporary Protection Identity Document (TPID). This preliminary document entitles lawful stay in the country and is issued free of charge.
The 30-day period is foreseen for completion of security checks. This period however may be extended based on the backlog of the PDMMs and/or individual circumstances of the applicant. Syrians have access to emergency health services during the pre-registration period.
If you have a newborn baby or a serious condition and need to be registered earlier, please provide the birth report or a doctor’s report to the Foreigners’ Police and the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management; you may then be prioritized for the issuance of your Temporary Protection Identification cards.
If during the 30-day period you cannot pass the security check, you will be interviewed by the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management prior to any other action. The Directorate General of Migration Management will issue a decision on an individual basis if a person is assessed to be excluded from temporary protection. Since every administrative decision can be challenged at the Court, persons can appeal against these decisions of the Directorate General of Migration Management through legal procedures. You may seek legal aid support from the Bar Association in the province where you are residing. UNHCR or UNHCR’s partner organizations can also assist you.
Applicants who pass the security checks will be issued with the Temporary Protection Identification Card and will have access to the entire set of rights and services regulated in the Temporary Protection Regulation. As mentioned, the waiting periods for registration may vary depending upon the your location and the volume of registration that the authorities may have pending.
The Directorate General of Migration Management also retains the authority for carrying out registration of refugees residing in camps through registration facilities located within each camp.
All Syrian refugees in Turkey are protected against forced return to Syria. Nobody shall be returned to Syria against their will.