In the 2010 MIPEX, Turkey ranked last of all MIPEX countries in terms of its approach to integration, scoring only 22 points on the 100-point MIPEX scale. Little changed by the 2014 MIPEX (+2 points), as Turkey’s foundational Law 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection left the new Migration Board to create the new procedures for international protection, work permits, residence permits and mutual ‘harmonisation’ of immigrants and society. In 2014, the situation was still unfavourable for integration in Turkey, ranked at the bottom of the MIPEX alongside China, Indonesia and India. MIPEX classified its approach as “Immigration without Integration” as legal residents were denied basic rights and opportunities and the public was encouraged to see immigrants as subordinates and strangers.
From 2014 to 2019, the average MIPEX country increased by +2 points on MIPEX. In contrast, Turkey made the greatest improvements to its integration policies, with +17 points. Turkey rose out of the Bottom 10 MIPEX countries.
Turkey is developing what MIPEX classifies as a basic comprehensive approach. While legal residents are not necessarily more secure about their long-term future, Turkey’s major improvements have gone halfway to guarantee them basic rights and opportunities while living in the country. With these fundamental shifts, Turkey has started to recognise its reality as a country of immigration.
Over the past five years, Turkey has committed to provide legal residents with basic access to education, health and discrimination protections. Turkey adopted its first comprehensive anti-discrimination law, the 2016 Law on the Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey (2016). The Turkish education system started to integrate and support immigrant pupils and Turkish language learners, especially Syrian refugees. The health sector also guaranteed some minimum healthcare access for all residents, including the undocumented, while also providing basic information and support for immigrant patients to access healthcare services. Finally, small procedural improvements were introduced to access the Turkish labour market and Turkish citizenship, following international reform trends.
Positive changes on MIPEX indicators:
- Public employment services
- Measures to bring migrants into the teacher workforce
- Measures to address educational situation of migrant groups
- Language instruction standards in education
- Language instruction in education
- Educational guidance at all levels
- Communicative/academic fluency
- Access to higher education
- Access to social security and assistance for permanent residence
- Dual Nationality
- Law covers direct/indirect discrimination, harassment, instruction
- Anti-discrimination: Social protection
- Anti-discrimination: Access to and supply of public goods and services, including housing
- Anti-discrimination: enforcement mechanisms
- Mandate of equality body
- Equality bodies
- Conditions for undocumented migrants to access healthcare
- Information for migrants concerning entitlements and use of health services
- Information for migrants concerning health education and promotion
- Cost/availability of health interpreters
- Involvement of migrants in information provision, service design and delivery
Negative changes on MIPEX indicators:
- Dependent relatives’ access to family reunification