The purpose of this COI Focus is to review the security situation in Turkey, more particularly in the period from 13 September 2018 (date of the previous update) to 18 March 2019. Documentary research for this update was completed on 18 March 2019.
The security situation in Turkey is still primarily determined by the conflict between the PKK and the Turkish authorities. Between September 2018 and March 2019, the conflict consisted of attacks and armed clashes between PKK militants and Turkish security forces in some provinces in the east and south-east of the country.
The International Crisis Group has observed a steady decline in the intensity of the fighting and the number of casualties since November 2016. Between 1 September 2018 and 28 February 2019, the conflict between the Turkish armed forces and the PKK killed 127 people : 93 PKK militants, 29 members of the Turkish security forces and 5 civilians. This amounts to a decrease of more than 50% compared to the previous six months.
Between August 2015 and April 2016, the most intense fighting took place in urban areas placed under curfew by Turkish security forces in order to wrest control back from Kurdish armed groups. Since May 2016, fighting has gradually ceased in urban areas, and clashes occur almost exclusively in rural areas in some eastern and, especially, south-eastern provinces. Between 1 September 2018 and 28 February 2019, only one person was killed in urban areas.
Since July 2015, more than 350 curfews have been imposed in different localities in eastern and south-eastern Turkey, mainly in the province of Diyarbakir, which registered more than 50% of the curfews. Several international observers accused the Turkish government of excessive and indiscriminate use of force resulting in civilian deaths and the destruction of entire neighbourhoods, as well as other serious human rights violations under the curfews of 2015 and 2016. Curfews continue to be imposed in rural areas during armed operations against the PKK, but sources no longer report serious violations under those curfews.
Since 2016, the authorities have launched several ambitious reconstruction projects in the areas affected by the fighting. However, several sources report that the new housing units are perceived as inadequate and too expensive.
Turkey was hit by numerous terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016 but since January 2017, no major terrorist attack has taken place.
Violence between Syrian refugees and local population has caused at least 35 dead (including 24 Syrians) in 2017, mainly in popular neighbourhoods in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. Several incidents have been reported in June, July and September 2018, with a total of 5 people killed.
The policy implemented by the Commissioner General is based on a thorough analysis of accurate and up-to-date information on the general situation in the country of origin. This information is collated in a professional manner from various, objective sources, including the EASO, the UNHCR, relevant international human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, professional literature and coverage in the media. When determining policy, the Commissioner General does not only examine the COI Focuses written by Cedoca and published on this website, as these deal with just one aspect of the general situation in the country of origin. The fact that a COI Focus could be out-of-date does not mean that the policy that is being implemented by the Commissioner General is no longer up-to-date.
When assessing an application for asylum, the Commissioner General not only considers the actual situation in the country of origin at the moment of decision-making, he also takes into account the individual situation and personal circumstances of the applicant for international protection. Every asylum application is examined individually. An applicant must comprehensively demonstrate that he has a well-founded fear of persecution or that there is a clear personal risk of serious harm. He cannot, therefore, simply refer back to the general conditions in his country, but must also present concrete, credible and personal facts.
There is no policy paper for this country available on the website.