Turkey: Between Eden and Hades / Revisiting Nation State Practice through the Field of Asylum in Turkey and its Path to EU Accession

University essay from Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: This thesis looks at the asylum policy of Turkey, on its path to EU accession. This thesis accepts the hypothesis that a rigid nation state practice is a hindrance to the development of human rights and examines this issue in the context of Turkey. The research question of this thesis asks; is there a possibility to gain decent life conditions for refugees in Turkey? Is the EU membership/accession process a way to transform the Turkish nation-state practice to a direction where having a decent, human rights-based asylum/migration policy is possible? The thesis begins with a glance at the historical background of asylum in Turkey and how the policy has developed from the time of the establishment of Turkey as a nation state, until the current time. This thesis then examines the current situation of asylum seekers in Turkey; their access to asylum procedures and their access to rights. It looks at national legislation governing asylum seekers and analyses these laws in light of the international human rights law responsibilities of Turkey. The next section examines whether the EU policy on asylum and migration, which Turkey should harmonize its legislation with, can remedy the human rights deficiencies found in Turkish asylum and refugee legislation. Furthermore, it examines related EU acquis in the field of asylum and migration, looking at issues of Europeanization and securitization of the migration/asylum field. The final part of this thesis takes the principles contained in the Common European Asylum System, the common “area of freedom, security and justice” policy, and questions whose freedom, whose justice and whose security is being talked about. This thesis concludes, after having analyzed the relevant policies of the EU and Turkey relating to asylum and refugees, that the EU acquis will work to partly develop the field of asylum in Turkey, however to avoid the trap of securitization, the thesis highlights the importance of Turkey taking a human rights policy over a nation state based approach.

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