Deconstructing Turkey's "Open Door" Policy towards Refugees from Syria

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Koca B. T.

MIGRATION LETTERS, vol.12, no.3, pp.209-225, 2015 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.33182/ml.v12i3.275
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.209-225
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


Turkey has followed an "open door" policy towards refugees from Syria since the March 2011 outbreak of the devastating civil war in Syria. This "liberal" policy has been accompanied by a "humanitarian discourse" regarding the admission and accommodation of the refugees. In such a context, Turkey's efforts have been widely praised and well-received both inside and outside the country. However, the article argues that, the stated "open door" approach and its limitations are not critically examined as needed. The assertion is, here, refugees fleeing Syria have been administered in a security framework embedding exclusionary, militarized and technologized border practices; in other words, they have been securitized. Drawing on the critical border studies, the article deconstructs these practices and the way they are violating the principle of non-refoulement in particular and human rights of refugees in general.