Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria were the top three nationalities of newcomers in 2018. Among the top 15 countries of origin, Turkmenistan registered the strongest increase (15 000) and Uzbekistan the largest decrease (-2 600) in flows to Turkey compared to the previous year. In 2019, the number of first asylum applicants decreased by -32.7%, to reach around 56 000. The majority of applicants came from Afghanistan (35 000), Iraq (16 000) and Iran (3 600). The largest decrease since 2018 concerned nationals of Afghanistan (-17 000). Of the 51 000 decisions taken in 2019, 10.3% were positive.

According to the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), around 3.6 million Syrian refugees were under temporary protection in Turkey on 25 June 2020. Almost 1.6 million were 18 years old or younger; 1.7% of the total were in government shelters.

2019 saw a record number of apprehensions of irregular migrants, 455 000, 41% more than in 2018. Driving the increase were the leading nationalities, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Figures for the first half of 2020 suggest a sharp decline in apprehensions.

From 2019, residence permit renewal requires an in-person appointment at the Migration Office. This requirement was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic with applications only allowed by post.

Turkey has expanded its visa waivers and exemptions. In January 2020, Uzbek nationals entering for tourism or business became visa exempt for 90 days in a 180-day period, up from 30 days. In March 2020, a similar expansion was granted for nationals of Croatia, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, replacing an e-visa and eliminating related fees.

From 2020, short-term tourist visas can no longer be renewed; holders must change status to another visa category.

In 2019, proof of residence address was shifted from paper issuance to on-line confirmation through the national population registry electronic service, in which foreigners must enrol to receive documents necessary for permit renewal.

For further information:









Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2020

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at http://www.oecd.org/termsandconditions.