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Deconstructing Turkey’s “Open Door” Policy towards Refugees from Syria

Burcu Togral Koca

Abstract

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, it is widely claimed that Turkey has not adopted a securitization strategy in its dealings with the refugees. However, this article argues that the stated “open door” approach and its limitations have gone largely unexamined. The assertion is, here, refugees fleeing Syria have been integrated into a security framework embedding exclusionary, militarized and technologized border practices. 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. 

Keywords

Refugees; Turkey; Syria; border control; securitization

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