Türkiye

Although Türkiye is party to most relevant human rights instruments, of the core statelessness conventions it has only acceded to the 1954 Convention. Data on stateless populations in the country is insufficient and incomplete, and there has not been a mapping study on statelessness in Türkiye. Despite having established a statelessness determination procedure (SDP) leading to a dedicated status, there is no publicly available data on the number of applications, grants, and refusals. While the SDP is relatively accessible, there is a lack of awareness of the procedure and the available information is not detailed, which may hinder access. The burden of proof in the procedure is shared, but there is no standard of proof set in law and the evidentiary requirements can be difficult to meet. A person recognised as stateless is issued a Stateless Person Identification Document granting a renewable right to stay, the right to apply for a travel document and a work permit, access to education and to the healthcare insurance scheme. There is no official temporary protection regime in Türkiye for people fleeing the war in Ukraine, although they may apply for international protection and residence permits Türkiye has introduced a temporary protection regime for people fleeing the war in neighbouring Syria.

Immigration detention is provided for in law, but in practice authorities usually detain people only for the purpose of deportation and avoid routinely detaining asylum-seekers.  Alternatives to detention and procedural safeguards are established in law, but there are gaps in systematic and effective implementation. There are no publicly available mechanisms to identify statelessness in removal centres and statelessness is not considered a factor increasing vulnerability.

There is no facilitated route to naturalisation specifically designed for stateless people, who must fulfil the standard, strict criteria to apply for nationality, and are only exempt from presenting certain documentation. There are relatively good safeguards to prevent childhood statelessness for foundlings and in the context of adoption, and there is a provision that allows otherwise stateless children born in Türkiye to apply for nationality. However, an application and several documents must be submitted, which is particularly concerning as there are reported barriers to birth registration in Türkiye. Few measures have been put in place to reduce statelessness in recent years, although Türkiye has facilitated the granting of nationality to Meskhetian Turks. There are provisions on deprivation of nationality as a national security measure, which do not include safeguards against statelessness. Positively, renunciation and derivative loss of nationality can only occur if the person holds another nationality.

Последна актуализация: 
Ян. 2024
Държавен експерт(и): 

Допълнителни ресурси

КЛЮЧ ЗА ОЦЕНКА

++ПОЛОЖИТЕЛНО
+ ДОНЯКЪДЕ ПОЛОЖИТЕЛНО
+-ПОЛОЖИТЕЛНО И ОТРИЦАТЕЛНО
- ДОНЯКЪДЕ ОТРИЦАТЕЛНО
--ОТРИЦАТЕЛНО

ДОПЪЛНИТЕЛНА ИНФОРМАЦИЯ

-НОРМИ И ДОБРИ ПРАКТИКИ

 

Международни и регионални инструменти

Assesses whether countries are State party to the relevant international and regional instruments, including whether reservations have an impact on statelessness, and whether instruments are incorporated into domestic law. The four core statelessness treaties (1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons; 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness; European Convention on Nationality; Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in Relation to State Succession) carry more weight than other relevant human rights instruments in the assessment.

Of the four core statelessness conventions, Türkiye is only State Party to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. It has not acceded to the 1961 Convention, the European Convention on Nationality, nor the European Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in Relation to State Succession. Türkiye is party to all other relevant human rights instruments, although with reservations to most instruments that do not substantively impact on statelessness.

  • Türkiye is State Party to the 1954 Convention with no reservations, and it has direct effect.
  • Türkiye is not State Party to the 1961 Convention. In 2011, the Turkish Parliament passed a bill to approve Türkiye's accession to the Convention, but the bill has not yet become law.
  • Türkiye is not a party to the European Convention on Nationality nor the European Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in Relation to State Succession.
  • Türkiye is party to the European Convention on Human Rights with no reservations, and to all other relevant human rights treaties. It entered reservations to almost all instruments, but these do not have a substantive impact on statelessness nor the right to a nationality.

Данни за населението без гражданство

Examines the availability and sources of disaggregated population data on statelessness. Provides recent figures and assesses reliability of measures countries have in place to count stateless persons, including in the census, population registries, and migration databases. Notes whether statelessness has been mapped in the country and whether there are sufficient measures in place to count stateless persons in detention.

The stateless population in Türkiye has not been mapped, and existing data is incomplete and/or insufficient due to overlapping categories, lack of disaggregated data in some statistics, and the absence of data on the number of applications, grants, and refusals under the statelessness determination procedure. Data collected by the Government includes categories such as ‘stateless’, ‘unknown nationality’, and ‘Palestinian’, but separate data is collected on the number of beneficiaries of temporary protection (granted to people who have fled Syria), which is not disaggregated by nationality status. There have not been any mapping studies on statelessness. There is no publicly available official data on the number of individuals held in immigration detention.

  • The stateless population in Türkiye has not been mapped, and existing data is incomplete and/or insufficient due to the absence of data on the SDP, overlapping categories, and the fact that not all the data is disaggregated by nationality status.
  • The Government collects and publishes some data on the number of stateless people in Türkiye disaggregated by gender. In 2022, the Address-Based Population Registration System recorded 439 stateless individuals (261 men and 178 women), 237 people with ‘unknown nationality’ (121 men and 116 women), and 26,278 Palestinians (15,523 men and 10,755 women).
  • The International Migration Statistics also reported the number of people who immigrated to Türkiye in 2022: 109 stateless individuals (64 men and 45 women), 100 recorded as having ‘unknown nationality’ (39 men and 61 women), and 5,581 Palestinians (3,855 men and 1,726 women).
  • The above statistics provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute only encompass people with a residence or work permit and beneficiaries of international protection. The data excludes beneficiaries of temporary protection who fled Syria or people with permits shorter than three months, therefore it does not present a complete picture of stateless migrants in Türkiye.
  • As of 31 August 2023, there were 3,298,817 beneficiaries of temporary protection in Türkiye, but these statistics do not differentiate between Syrian nationals, refugees, or stateless individuals from Syria. Despite the historical presence of a stateless population in Syria, it remains unknown how many of these stateless individuals currently reside in Türkiye under temporary protection due to a lack of sufficient data. In 2018, an official report asserted that as many as 276,000 Syrian children born in Türkiye may be stateless, although this information may not be reliable or up to date.
  • There are no publicly available official figures for the number of stateless refugees and/or asylum-seekers, or for the number of applications, grants, and refusals of statelessness status under the statelessness determination procedure.
  • There have been no mapping studies on statelessness, and UNHCR has not published an estimate of the size of the stateless or at risk population in Türkiye.
  • There is no publicly available official data on the number of individuals held in immigration detention, and only very limited data on the number of individuals apprehended on grounds of irregular migration status.

Установяване на липсата на гражданство и предоставяне на статут на лице без гражданство

Identifies whether countries have a definition of a stateless person in national law that aligns with the 1954 Convention, and whether they have a dedicated statelessness determination procedure (SDP) leading to a dedicated stateless status. If an SDP is not place, it assesses whether there are other procedures in which statelessness can be identified or other routes through which stateless people could regularise their stay or access their rights. Countries are subdivided in three groups to enable comparison between those with an SDP leading to protection, those with other procedures, and those with a statelessness status but no clear mechanism to access protection. The existing procedures and rights granted to stateless persons are examined and assessed against international norms and good practice. Assesses whether stateless people fleeing war have access to temporary protection.

Türkiye has a statelessness determination procedure established in law and a definition of a stateless person, albeit the definition is narrower than the 1954 Convention. An application can be submitted in several different provinces and is examined by a central authority. While the application can be submitted orally or in writing in several languages, there is no lawful stay requirement, nor any fees. However, there is a lack of awareness of the procedure and the available information is not detailed, which may hinder access. The burden of proof is shared, but there is no standard of proof set in law and the evidentiary requirements can be difficult to meet. Applicants are considered lawfully present in the country while their application is pending, but they have limited economic and social rights during this period and are not fully protected against expulsion. A person recognised as stateless is granted statelessness status, issued a Stateless Person Identification Document granting the right to stay, automatically renewable every two years. They have the right to apply for a travel document and a work permit. Recognised stateless people also have access to education and to the General Health Insurance Scheme, but do not have the right to vote. Türkiye has introduced a temporary protection regime for people fleeing the war in neighbouring Syria, but there is no specific temporary protection regime for people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

  • The Law on Foreigners and International Protection defines a stateless person as ‘someone who does not hold the nationality of any state and is considered as foreigner’. This is narrower than the definition in the 1954 Convention, as it excludes the term ‘under the operation of its law’ which requires consideration of how the laws are applied in practice.
  • Despite this narrower definition in national law, the definition of the 1954 Convention is deemed as part of international customary law and is therefore binding upon Türkiye.
  • There is no publicly available information on the provision of formal training for public authorities or the judiciary.
  • Ad-hoc trainings have been organised by other entities. In 2020, UNHCR organised a workshop for public officials on the protection of stateless people and the SDP, which resulted in the review of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which provide guidance on the determination of statelessness. In 2022, Refugee Rights Turkey and the European Network on Statelessness delivered an online seminar series and an in-person workshop on statelessness for legal professionals, civil society, academics, and representatives from state institutions..
  • There is a dedicated statelessness determination procedure (SDP) established by the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, complemented by its implementing regulation. The SDP is an administrative procedure conducted by the migration management authorities. A person determined as stateless is granted statelessness status and issued a Stateless Person Identification Document.
  • A statelessness application can be submitted to any Provincial Directorate of Migration Management, which is then responsible to forward the application to the Presidency of Migration Management, the central statelessness determination body. Each Provincial Directorate has its own organisational structure, and some may have a specialised unit dedicated to assessing statelessness applications.
  • Some information is available on the website of the Presidency of Migration Management on how to submit a statelessness claim, but the information is very limited and not adequately disseminated.
  • Applications can be submitted orally and/or in writing in any language, through a simple and short application form. It may be difficult to find interpreters for less commonly spoken languages. Authorities cannot initiate the SDP on their own initiative (ex officio), although the official receiving the application can complete the form based on the applicant’s responses.
  • There are no application fees, no lawful stay requirement, nor any time limit to apply. If a person already holds an identity or travel document for stateless people issued by another country their application will not be processed.
  • The law provides that enforcement agencies, border crossing officials, or other public institutions who receive a statelessness application should immediately report them to the respective Provincial Directorate, but it is unclear whether this is applied in practice.
  • The burden of proof is shared between the applicant and the migration management authorities, but the law does not establish a standard of proof for the SDP. Applicants are required to provide information or documentation proving that they do not hold a nationality of any country (through a ‘certificate of non-nationality’), and the authorities may contact foreign consulates, although there are typically long delays in this correspondence.
  • There are specific provisions aimed at addressing the challenges with proving statelessness. If the applicant is unable to provide information or documentation proving statelessness, the nationality laws of the relevant country are accepted as evidence. In practice, the authorities often supplement their assessment with additional documentary evidence, rather than relying solely on the applicants’ oral statements or the nationality laws of the countries concerned.
  • The law provides that priority must be given to ‘persons with special needs’ in international protection procedures, but it does not refer to priority in the SDP. The list of people considered to have special needs is specified and does not include stateless people. There are also special provisions for unaccompanied children in international protection procedures, but these do not extend to the SDP.
  • UNHCR and the Presidency for Migration Management developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to provide guidance to decision-makers on the procedure to determine statelessness. The SOPs are not publicly available.
  • There are no known errors in decision-making, although only a small number of cases has been processed.
  • Free legal aid is provided for applicants and beneficiaries of international protection by a State-funded system run by provincial bar associations. Applicants for statelessness status are not specifically mentioned, but in principle anyone who lacks the financial means to cover legal representation should have access to legal aid. It is unclear whether applicants under the SDP can access legal aid in practice.
  • Applicants for statelessness status have the right to an interview, but they do not have the right to free interpretation services, which can be a barrier in practice.
  • All decisions must be given in writing with reasoning, although this does not always happen in practice. The procedure to determine statelessness should be completed within 90 days, although this time limit is often surpassed particularly in cases with limited evidence available.
  • There are no quality assurance audits of the SDP, and UNHCR’s role appears to be limited to providing training and developing guidance for the authorities.
  • While the law does not address the determination of statelessness during international protection procedures, statelessness can be a valid reason for an applicant’s well-founded fear of persecution. If an individual’s application for international protection status is denied, there is no mechanism in place to refer them to the SDP. In such cases, individuals are required to submit a separate application for statelessness status on their own initiative. If a stateless refugee is granted international protection status, they cannot simultaneously apply for statelessness status. Individuals should decide for which status they want to apply. People originating from Syria, including stateless people, are only eligible for temporary protection and not international protection, but they can apply for statelessness status or other residence permits.
  • While awaiting the outcome of the SDP, applicants are considered lawfully present in the country. Unless the person already holds an identity or travel document from another country, the applicant is issued a document confirming they have applied under the SDP, which serves as a legal permit to stay in the country.
  • Applicants for statelessness status do not have the right to work or social assistance, unlike applicants for international protection. People living in destitution may apply for cash or in-kind assistance.
  • Applicants for statelessness status are not routinely detained, but they are not protected from detention and expulsion if a decision is made to deport them based on reasons stipulated in law (e.g. engaging in work without a permit or posing a threat to public order).
  • Applicants have the right to appeal a negative decision to the administrative court in Ankara.
  • Applicants without financial means may have access to legal aid, but the right to legal aid in appeal proceedings is not specifically foreseen in the law for stateless applicants (as is for applicants for international protection). It is unclear whether stateless appellants can access legal aid in practice.
  • There are some administrative costs in the appeal process.
  • Recognition as stateless results in the issuance of a Stateless Person Identification Document, which grants the right to stay in the country and is automatically renewed every two years. Statelessness status holders cannot be deported unless they pose a serious threat to public order or public security.
  • Statelessness status grants the person the right to apply for a travel document, although the travel document is only valid for a single entry into or single exit from Türkiye and does not allow multiple entries. Stateless people can also apply for a residence permit in accordance with the conditions set out in the law, including a (a) short-term residence permit; (b) family residence permit; (c) student residence permit; (d) long-term residence permit; (e) humanitarian residence permit; or (f) a residence permit for victims of human trafficking.
  • The family residence permit allows the holder to apply for family reunification for their spouse and minor or dependent children.
  • Statelessness status holders can apply for a work permit, and access primary, secondary, and higher education. They are also included in the General Health Insurance Scheme, which requires all residents to have some form of private or public health insurance and provides free health care for individuals whose income falls below a certain threshold.
  • The right to vote is reserved exclusively for Turkish nationals in both local and national elections.
  • Statelessness status can only be revoked under specific circumstances set out in law, but a proportionality assessment is not required.
  • Türkiye has introduced a temporary protection regime for people fleeing the war in neighbouring Syria. This temporary protection applies to everyone who arrives in Türkiye from Syria, including Syrian nationals, refugees, and stateless people, even if they lack documents upon arrival.
  • There is no specific temporary protection regime in Türkiye for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. People from countries other than Syria, including stateless people and people fleeing Ukraine, may be granted international protection under the Law on Foreigners and International Protection if they qualify for protection as a refugee (people fleeing from Council of Europe Member States), conditional refugee (if fleeing other countries), or subsidiary protection (on the basis of the principle of non-refoulement).

Задържане

Analyses law, policy and practice relating to immigration detention generally, but focusing on protections in place to prevent the arbitrary detention of stateless people during removal and deportation procedures. Subthemes examine areas such as the identification of statelessness and assessment of whether there is a reasonable prospect of removal, procedural safeguards such as time limits, judicial oversight, and effective remedies, as well as the rights granted to stateless people upon release from detention and protection against re-detention.

Immigration detention is provided for in law, either for the purpose of deportation or for international protection applicants while their application is being processed. In practice, authorities avoid routinely detaining people seeking international protection solely on the basis of their asylum application. Alternative measures to detention are established in law but there are gaps in their systematic and effective implementation. Although not explicitly required, a country of removal should be identified prior to detaining a person for removal purposes and some administrative courts have annulled removal orders due to the absence of a specified country of removal. The law specifies people considered to have ‘special needs’, but statelessness is not considered as a factor increasing vulnerability. Despite the existence of relatively strong procedural safeguards in law for people held in immigration detention, access to these safeguards is often limited in practice. While detainees must be released if the reasons for detention are no longer valid, none of these reasons relate to statelessness and there is no obligation on authorities to release a person when there is no reasonable prospect of removal. There are no publicly available guidelines in place governing the process of re-documentation, and individuals released from detention under alternative measures are still subject to removal proceedings. Upon release, former detainees are provided with a document which clarifies that the imposition of alternative measures does not confer a right to remain in the country and that removal proceedings are still in progress. The EU-Türkiye Readmission Agreement of 2014 recognises statelessness as a legally relevant factor, but it treats stateless people similarly to people with a nationality, and this agreement is not currently applied.

  • Immigration detention is provided for in law, either for the purpose of deportation or for international protection applicants while their application is being processed. In practice, authorities avoid routinely detaining people seeking international protection solely on the basis of their asylum application. Türkiye uses alternative places for immigration-related detention, such as police stations, ad hoc sites, and airport transit facilities.
  • Since 2022, there are alternatives to detention set out in law which provide the option to replace immigration detention with measures that do not restrict an individual’s liberty when they have received a removal order. Limited information is available on the practical implementation of this new legal framework. There are challenges in the systematic and effective implementation of the assessment of alternatives to detention.
  • The law allows foreigners to be deported to their country of origin, a transit country, or a third country by means of a deportation order. Although there is no explicit provision requiring the country of removal to be specified in removal orders, the assessment of whether the individual would be at risk if returned inherently requires identification of the country of removal in order to assess the conditions therein. In practice, removal orders issued by migration management authorities often do not specify a country of removal, but there have been numerous cases in which administrative courts annulled these orders due to the absence of a specified country of removal.
  • There are regular monthly reviews of the necessity of detention, and detainees must be released if the reasons for detention are no longer valid, although in practice there are cases where the authorities have failed to conduct such reviews. There is no obligation on authorities to release a person when there is no reasonable prospect of removal.
  • Similarly to other undocumented or unregistered individuals, stateless people, particularly those who have not applied for the SDP or for international protection, are at heightened risk of detention and may be subject to removal if the conditions set out in law are also met. Amongst other reasons, detention can be justified if there are significant uncertainties about the individual's identity or nationality, although this applies particularly to applicants suspected of providing inaccurate information about their identity or nationality. If a stateless asylum seeker applying for international protection declares a lack of nationality, this should not be a ground for their detention.
  • The law specifies people considered to have ‘special needs’, but statelessness is not included. In general, the law does not regard statelessness as a factor that heightens vulnerability.
  • The issuance of a detention order requires an individualised assessment of the need for detention, taking into account specific personal circumstances. There are some provisions to adapt the procedure and conditions of detention to people with special needs, but only unaccompanied minors who applied for international protection are exempt from detention.
  • There is no publicly accessible official screening mechanism to identify vulnerabilities within detention facilities, nor to identify asylum-seekers or stateless people and refer them to the asylum procedure or the SDP.
  • There are essential procedural safeguards established in law for individuals held in immigration detention. These include a limit of six months for pre-removal detention (which can be extended up to 12 months), or a limit of 30 days for the detention of international protection applicants. There are monthly reviews to assess the ongoing necessity of pre-removal detention, the right to access legal assistance, counselling, and free legal aid. Detention decisions can be appealed to a criminal judge, although these do not have a suspensive effect, and removal orders can be appealed to an administrative court. In removal centres, detainees are entitled to visits and communication, including to receive visits from consular offices of their country of origin, UNHCR, civil society organisations, or lawyers. According to law, detainees must be provided with clear information in a language they understand about the implications of the detention order, the appeal procedure, and the prescribed time limits for filing an appeal.
  • Despite the existence of a relatively comprehensive legal framework providing procedural safeguards for people held in immigration detention, the practical implementation of these measures is often limited. Authorities often fail in their duty to provide detainees with essential information about the reasons for their detention, the procedures they will face and their rights during their detention, including the right to access legal assistance and apply for international protection or the SDP.
  • There are no publicly available guidelines in place governing the process of re-documentation. In practice, individuals released from detention are provided with a document, which includes information such as name, surname, date of birth, language, and nationality. Under the law, if a deportation order cannot be executed because the detainee fails to cooperate, that may constitute grounds for further extension of the period of detention.
  • Individuals released from detention are provided with a document known as the 'Immigration Detention Termination Notification Form', commonly referred to as the 'T6 Form', which contains personal information such as name, date of birth, nationality, and language. However, the primary purpose of the form is to define the alternative measures to detention that the person must comply with (such as residence and reporting requirements). The T6 form explicitly clarifies that the imposition of alternative measures does not confer a right to remain in the country and that removal proceedings are still in progress.
  • The T6 form is also issued to individuals who are released from detention when the initial purpose of their detention cannot be fulfilled. Such people are not granted any lawful status or rights, including the right to stay in the country, and are still subject to a removal order.
  • In the EU-Türkiye Readmission Agreement of 2014, statelessness is recognised as a legally relevant factor. However, the agreement does not incorporate specific provisions tailored to address the unique circumstances of statelessness, treating stateless individuals equivalently to nationals of EU Member States or Turkish nationals. There is no information on whether stateless people have been returned under this agreement and currently this agreement is not applied.
  • The Readmission Agreement does not specifically mention the principle of the child's best interests nor the child's right to a nationality in the country of return.

Превенция и намаляване случаите на лица без гражданство

Assesses the adequacy of safeguards in nationality laws to prevent and reduce statelessness, including facilitated routes to naturalisation for stateless people, and protections for otherwise stateless children born on the territory or to nationals abroad, foundlings and adopted children. Examines law, policy, and practice on birth registration, including access to late birth registration, and reduction measures taken by States to prevent and reduce in situ statelessness. Analyses provisions on deprivation of nationality and whether there are safeguards related to renunciation and deprivation of nationality to prevent statelessness from occurring.

There is no facilitated route to naturalisation for stateless people. Stateless people may apply for naturalisation under the general conditions established in law, which contain several requirements including residence, language, good character, income, and not having criminal convictions nor currently being on trial for any offence. Stateless people are exempt from providing certain documentations in the procedure if they do not possess these.
There are relatively good safeguards to prevent childhood statelessness for foundlings, in the context of adoption, and for children born to Turkish nationals (ius sanguinis). However, the provision that allows otherwise stateless children born in Türkiye to apply for nationality requires an application and several documents, including a birth certificate and evidence that the child did not acquire the nationality of the parents. This is concerning as there are reported barriers to birth registration in Türkiye, which particularly affect migrant and undocumented populations due the lack of awareness about the process and the fear of being reported to immigration authorities. Moreover, foreign parents must first register themselves with the Turkish authorities and obtain a foreigner’s ID number to be able to register the births of their children in Türkiye.
No particular measures have been put in place to promote civil and birth registration, despite the approval of a 2016-2021 strategy to promote access to documentation for the Romani population. Türkiye has facilitated the granting of Turkish nationality to Meskhetian Turks. There are provisions on deprivation of nationality as a national security measure, which do not include safeguards to prevent statelessness. Positively, renunciation and derivative loss of nationality can only occur if the person holds another nationality.

  • Stateless people can apply for naturalisation as Turkish nationals under the general conditions established in law. The requirements include, amongst others, that the person is an adult who has continuously and lawfully resided in Türkiye for five years, demonstrates good character, has proficiency in the Turkish language, and has a source of income. The applicant must not be considered a threat to national security and public order and must not have criminal convictions nor currently being on trial for any offence. The application is subject to the payment of a fee.
  • There is only one exemption to the general requirements for stateless people, which is that they may provide a written declaration instead of certain documentation, if they do not hold all the necessary documents to apply for Turkish nationality.
  • People recognised as stateless under the SDP may apply for naturalisation according to the above criteria. The duration of their stay as holders of a Stateless Person Identification Document counts towards the period of five years of uninterrupted lawful residence. However, holders of temporary protection status from Syria are not eligible for naturalisation under the general route, and there are no provisions on the naturalisation of beneficiaries of international protection.
  • Children born in Türkiye who do not acquire a nationality from either parent, including when the parents are stateless, can acquire Turkish nationality by birth.
  • An application must be submitted, alongside several documents including a birth certificate, proof of registration of the birth, and evidence that the child did not acquire a nationality from either parent. It is not a requirement that the parents of the child are also stateless, but if both parents are stateless, they should present documentation proving their statelessness (unless they do not possess such documentation).
  • Neither the child nor the parents are required to fulfil a period of residence in Türkiye, and there are no age restrictions nor fees for otherwise stateless children to apply for Turkish nationality.
  • Parents are not provided with information about their child’s nationality rights and relevant procedures, and there is often a lack of awareness about children’s right to a nationality and the duty to register the child at birth.
    Turkish law does not have a dedicated provision specifically aimed at safeguarding the right to a nationality for children born to refugees or holders of temporary protection.
  • A child found in Türkiye is regarded as having been born in Türkiye unless proven otherwise and is automatically granted Turkish nationality. The safeguard applies to all children, including those who are not yet able to communicate their identity or place of birth, and there is no age limit.
  • Individuals granted Turkish nationality by birth, including foundlings, who later acquire a nationality from a foreign parent, can choose to renounce their Turkish nationality within three years of reaching adulthood. This is not permitted if renunciation would result in statelessness.
  • A Turkish child adopted by foreign parents does not lose their Turkish nationality. They will have the option to renounce their Turkish nationality within three years from the date they reach adulthood. However, such renunciation is not permitted if it would lead to the person becoming stateless.
  • A minor who is adopted by a Turkish national may obtain Turkish nationality. Although there is no age limit explicitly mentioned in the law, it is essential that the person does not present any risk to national security and public order. If the adoption relationship is terminated after the acquisition of Turkish nationality, the adopted person will still maintain their Turkish nationality.
  • A child is considered a Turkish national by descent, whether they are born in Türkiye or abroad, if the child was (a) born to a married Turkish father or mother (if born abroad, regardless of whether they also acquire the nationality of the country of birth); (b) born out of wedlock to a Turkish mother and a foreign, stateless or unknown father; or (c) born out of wedlock to a Turkish father and a foreign mother, if the conditions and procedures for determining paternal descent are met. In the latter case, it must be confirmed that the child is descendant from a Turkish father, in which case the child is granted Turkish nationality from birth.
  • Türkiye does not legally acknowledge same-sex parenthood.
  • The law requires that parents, guardians, or trustees notify the births of their children to the Population and Civil Registry Department within 30 days of the date of birth. This duty also applies to foreigners, in which case the information is recorded in a separate Population Record for Foreign Residents.
  • Foreign parents must first register themselves with the Turkish authorities and obtain a foreign ID number to be able to register the births of their children in Türkiye.
  • Births occurring within a healthcare setting are reported to the civil registry by the respective healthcare facility, along with a formal application form requesting a birth certificate. For births not supervised by healthcare professionals, parents are required to verbally declare the birth of their children, which will be followed by an investigation before the birth is officially registered. In both scenarios, once the birth is registered a multilingual birth certificate is issued.
  • There is a process to determine the nationality of the child if they are born to a Turkish father or a Turkish mother. However, if the child is born to foreign parents there is often a presumption that the child has the same nationality as the parent(s). The birth record indicates the nationality of the child born to non-Turkish parents, the names of the mother and father, as well as the place and date of birth. The child's information is recorded in the foreigner registry, and the connection between the child and the mother or father who reported the child’s birth is established using the foreigner’s identification number.
  • There are several issues especially regarding the birth registration of children born in Türkiye to Syrian refugees. Some of the key challenges reported include inconsistent and arbitrary practices within both the Population and Civil Registry Department and the Provincial Directorates for Migration Management; a lack of awareness and incentives among parents; child, early and forced marriage and polygamy (including due to reluctance in approaching the authorities); the non-registration of the mother’s status; and difficulties in proving the Syrian nationality of a child (particularly when the Syrian father’s name is absent from the birth certificate, due to Syria's gender-discriminatory nationality laws).
  • Undocumented migrant parents are at risk of detention and deportation in all interactions with the authorities, given that foreigners must first register themselves to access rights and services. This may deter parents with unregulated residence status from registering the births of their children.
  • If a child is not registered within 30 days from birth, late birth registration can still take place subject to an administrative fine. There are several provisions to enforce the identification and registration of individuals who are found not to be registered in the Population and Civil Registry Departments.
  • Same-sex parenthood is not legally recognised in Türkiye and cannot be reflected in the birth certificate, which can impact on the child’s ability to confirm or acquire a nationality.
  • The government has not put in place particular measures to promote civil and birth registration. According to the Strategy Document on Roma Citizens for 2016-2021, one of the identified actions was to ensure that all Roma had identity documents, but no progress report on the implementation of this strategy has been published. The strategy document was renewed for the period 2023-2025, but no action on access to civil documentation for the Romani population was included.
  • Since 1992, Türkiye has facilitated the granting of Turkish nationality to Meskhetian Turks. According to recent media reports, a total of 70,000 Meskhetian Turks had been granted nationality as of April 2023.
  • The Turkish Citizenship Law establishes that people who, for whatever reason, have not been registered in the family registers by the time they reach the age of 18 and who do not have nationality ties with another country, shall acquire Turkish nationality if they submit a medical certificate proving the relationship to their parents or their siblings, one of whom must be a Turkish national.
  • Under prescribed conditions, Turkish nationality may be revoked by a Presidential decree for people who engaged in services for a foreign State that are contrary to Türkiye’s interests, and people who willingly continue to provide services to a country at war with Türkiye or who voluntarily serve in the military of a foreign State without obtaining the required authorisation. Turkish nationals residing abroad may also be deprived of their nationality, if they cannot be contacted, are being investigated or prosecuted for national security offences, and do not return to Türkiye within three months of the announcement in the Official Gazette.
  • Turkish Citizenship Law does not contain a safeguard to prevent statelessness resulting from the deprivation of Turkish nationality under the above conditions.
  • There are several circumstances under which individuals can renounce their Turkish nationality, but in all cases the law requires that the person holds the nationality of another country, thus preventing statelessness.
  • Derivative loss of nationality can occur in some cases. The renunciation of Turkish nationality does not impact the nationality of a spouse, but it may result in the loss of Turkish nationality of a child if the parent losing nationality requests it and the other spouse consents to it. If the spouse does not consent, a judge may decide the case. If both parents simultaneously renounce their Turkish nationality, their child will also lose nationality. In all these cases, the loss of the child’s nationality is not permitted if it would result in statelessness.

Ресурси

Library of resources, legal instruments, publications and training materials on statelessness, specifically relevant to this country. More regional and international materials, as well as resources from other countries, are available on the Resources library. Domestic case law can be consulted in the Statelessness Case Law Database (with summaries available in English).

Please note that we are in the process of adding new resources, so check back soon.

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