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Title:The effect of UNHCR operations in the development of Turkey's asylum framework
Author(s):Cartwright, Natalie
Advisor(s):Pahre, Robert D.; Ozkan, Sebnem
Department / Program:Liberal Arts & Sciences
Discipline:European Union Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
asylum and refugee movements
migration studies
European Union studies
Abstract:Turkey is increasingly occupying an important position within the world and more so within migration studies because of its triple role, as a sending, receiving, and transit country. This text addresses Turkey’s changing position within world orders in regards to migration and asylum concerns and how UNHCR operations have affected Turkey’s development of its asylum framework. Due to Turkey’s geographical location at the heart of major migratory networks, it continues to strictly observe the 1951 Geneva Convention through the lens of its Geographical Limitation. This limitation is central to Turkey’s current asylum system with the separation of Europeans from non-Europeans ensuing in the application of differential treatment by which only Europeans are eligible for the granting of full fledged refugee status. One of Turkey’s most recent milestones is its successful completion of the draft process for its first ever law on asylum - The Law on Foreigners and International Protection, a significant portion of Turkey’ s quest of reforming its asylum framework through policy. Both the EU and UNHCR were able to exert their influence on Turkish officials throughout the draft law process. Their influential impact will be addressed through the phenomena of UNHCR-ization and Europeanization respectively. The EU’s power significantly stems from EU-Turkey accession negotiations while UNHCR has become influential because of its identity as the mandated UN agency for the international protection of asylum seekers and refugees. The position UNHCR occupies in Turkey is valuable in assessing the influence an international organization can have on the development of a nation’s national policy and the potential power gain, whether intentional or unintentional, in carrying out the respective policy. UNHCR’s influence within Turkey’s asylum system is observable in the organization’s increasing operations. These operations include the processing of asylum claims, determining refugee status, and resettling refugees out of Turkey. The EU is an important actor for Turkey’s asylum reform process, but they are not the only actor enacting change and they might not even be the most influential actor. The Turkey-UNHCR relationship, especially in regards to providing services of international protection to asylum seekers and refugees is worth further analysis.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Natalie Cartwright
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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