The role of NGOs in the asylum system in Turkey: beyond intermediation
Balta, Ayşegül (2010) The role of NGOs in the asylum system in Turkey: beyond intermediation. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1304412 (Table of Contents)
The basic objective of this thesis is to explore the role of NGOs in the asylum system in Turkey, and to map the asylum field in terms of NGOs. First I examine the problems in the legal framework concerning asylum as well as the ways in which the implementation of the law diverges from the written texts. Based on twelve semi-structured interviews with UNHCR and eight NGOs, I then focus on power and capacity of NGOs to bring solutions to the problems in both legislation and implementation. NGOs have limited opportunities because of the shortage of material resources, ignorance of the government officers, unclarity of the legislation and arbitrary implementation. Nonetheless, I argue that they have a significant role in the system, one which is not a simple intermediation between refugees and authorities. Rather NGOs are actors intervening in the system in accordance with their own values and priorities which may be affected by such diverse principles as human rights, equality or religious references. I conclude that although the NGOs conduct valuable work to improve the current condition of the refugees such as giving them psycho-social and legal support, they are constrained when it comes to enacting more comprehensive and systemic changes. I believe that their roles as political actors and critics of the government are as important as their other missions, and agree with the need for a "reconsideration of political struggle" by the NGOs.
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