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Project News: Field Research by ICMPD WB&TR Regional Office: CSO-Public Cooperation in Turkey

29 January 2021


New field research conducted under the “Technical Assistance for Cooperation with Civil Society in the Field of Migration Project” sheds light on the potential for further strengthening cooperation between CSOs and public institutions in Turkey for better migration management.

The project that is implemented with the technical assistance of a consortium is led by International Consulting Expertise (ICE EEIG) and its partners ICMPD, Eurasia Social Change (ESC) and FCG Swedish Development (FCG Sweden). The project’s beneficiary is the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) that is the central authority for migration management in Turkey. The Project is co-funded by the Republic of Turkey and the European Union and the contracting authority is the Central Finance and Contracts Unit (CFCU).

One of the key activities of the project is the field research conducted by the ICMPD WB&TR Regional Office. Between December 2019 and June 2020, ICMPD Turkey conducted a total of 117 face-to-face and online interviews with 47 CSOs and several public institutions, professional organizations, universities and local administrations in 15 provinces in Turkey to assess the current capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) and public institutions for cooperation in the field of migration and international protection, and to identify potential areas of cooperation at the local and national levels. The field research is expected to guide further policy-making to promote CSO-public sector cooperation for better migration management.

The main findings of the field research suggest that:

  • Turkey has a track record of quite robust examples of civil society-public sector cooperation in the field of migration and international protection. The CSO-public consultation process during the drafting of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection (LFIP) back in the early 2010s and cooperation in the field of human trafficking stand out as notable examples.
  • Currently, there are a good number of CSOs in Turkey operating in the field of migration and international protection. Some of these CSOs have significant services targeting migrants, Temporary Protection (TP) holders (mainly Syrians) and International Protection (IP) applicants, and a strong outreach to these communities. Overall, CSOs active in the field of migration also have strong capacities and some of them provide significant support to public institutions in various ways notably at the provincial level.
  • The pressing needs on the ground, with the unprecedented influx of Syrian refugees and migrants of other nationalities to Turkey in recent years, have already brought several CSOs and public institutions together for joint work in several provinces. It is essential to create necessary platforms for the exchange of experience among provinces to expand good practices on CSO-public sector coordination and cooperation across Turkey.
  • An increased dialogue is also needed between CSOs and public institutions at both provincial and central levels.

The field research was conducted within the framework of the co-funded by the Republic of Turkey and the European Union “Technical Assistance for Cooperation with Civil Society in the Field of Migration Project”.