Turkey, the European Union and the 'Refugee Crisis'

In cooperation with ACCESS EUROPE and the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

18okt2017 20:00 - 21:30


As a result of the Syrian civil war that started in 2011, millions of Syrians have been displaced - with more than three million currently residing in the neighboring country of Turkey. This event aims to shed light on the governance of refugees in Turkey, including in relation to Turkey's cooperation with the EU.

When around one million refugees – both from Syria and elsewhere – crossed the Aegean Sea to reach the European Union (EU) in 2015, public and political attention focused on Turkey’s role in the management of EU borders in order to address the so-called ‘refugee crisis’. This has resulted in a number of high-level Turkey-EU political initiatives, including joint statements and a Readmission Agreement (2013) as well as a financial aid programme by the EU with the declared goal of helping Turkey in the integration of Syrian refugees.

These developments withstanding, we know little about the actual governance of refugees in Turkey including those policies adopted by the country in the context of its cooperation with the EU. The main objective of this event is to discuss these issues. What is the current status of refugees in Turkey? What are the central legal, political and social questions surrounding the lives of the refugees in Turkey? How are Turkish-EU relations in the light of the so-called Turkey-EU Deal of 2016, including the implementation of the agreement by both sides? What concrete policies have been adopted in Turkey for Syrian refugees and the growing number of asylum-seekers from other countries? How is the highly debated EU-Turkey Readmission Agreement implemented on the ground and with what effects for refugee lives, rights and decisions (including further migration)? 

This event aims to address the questions by bringing together academics and practitioners with expertise in and immediate access to Turkey’s refugee policies. 

About the speakers

Beste Isleyen is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science of the UvA. She examines European Union policy towards the Southern Mediterranean in the aftermath of the recent protests and uprisings in the Arab world.

Can E. Mutlu is Assistant Professor at Acadia University, Canada, and is particularly interested in topics such as borders and mobility, and critical approaches to security studies. 

Orçun Ulusoy is Assistant Professor at the Law Faculty of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. One of his main research topics concerns the conditions of refugees that have been readmitted from Greece to Turkey.

Polly Pallister-Wilkins (moderator) is an assistant professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Amsterdam where her research is concerned with the politics of borders and humanitarian modes of control. 


You can sign up for this program for free. If you subscribe for the program we count on your presence. If you are unable to attend, please let us know via spui25@uva.nl | T: +31 (0)20 525 8142.

Location: SPUI25