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Turkey's Asylum Policy in the Light of EU Accession - The Impact of its Geographical Limitation to the Geneva Convention

Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen
Publication Date
  • Geneva Convention
  • Eu-Turkey Relations
  • Geographical Limitation
  • Europeanization
  • Asylum Policy
  • Law And Political Science


The reader of this thesis will gain an enhanced understanding of the complexity of the EU-Turkey relations on asylum. Turkey has ratified the Geneva Convention relating to the status of refugees with a geographical limitation. This limits the country to only grant refugee status to European asylum seekers and non-European asylum seekers are resettled in third countries. According to the European Commission, this causes the Turkish asylum system to be ineffective and Turkey has been requested to lift the geographical limitation as part of its EU accession process. From a rational Europeanization perspective the thesis explores some of the reforms Turkey is undertaking to its asylum system. The theoretical approach argues that positive membership conditionality has a profound impact on candidate states’ willingness to adhere to EU’s requests. Drawing on the findings from five expert interviews in combination with an analysis of policy documents published by the EU and Turkey, the thesis concludes that the two actors use the geographical limitation as a bargaining chip in the membership negotiations. Whether a lifting of the geographical limitation to the Geneva Convention will be undertaken in the nearest future or not, depends on the forthcoming relationship between EU and Turkey.

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