By Didem Doğar
Interest Group member Didem Doğar, PhD candidate at McGill University, recently published an article in Refugee Survey Quarterly entitled: ‘Against All Odds: Turkey’s Reponse to “Undesirable but Unreturnable” Asylum-Seekers’. This piece critically analyses Turkish legislation and practice regulating the status of “undesirable but unreturnable” asylum-seekers, who are suspected and/or convicted of criminality but cannot be removed from Turkey due to the principle of non-refoulement, questioning how the issue is tackled by the Turkish State. The current political situation in the region having forced it to change and update its legislation, it has created a temporary protection regimen to handle refugee influxes, a subsidiary protection regime, and other categories of staying permits for foreigners who cannot be removed from Turkish territory. Beyond the political situation, its legal and judicial initiatives are, however, affected by its international and regional legal obligations, as European Court of Human Rights case law demonstrates. There is limited information as to how many exclusion-triggered cases are processed and how many refugees are excluded and what happens to those who are excluded after this decision. Furthermore, Turkey’s situation might be untenable, as it is the main transit hub for foreign terrorist fighters and people fleeing the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts.