Removal Centres (formerly named as Police Department Foreigners Section Guesthouse) are places where illegal immigrants caught within the national territory or foreigners, whose legal stay in the country has become problematic, are kept until their deportation. People, who are caught during their attempt of irregular entrance into the country, staying in the country or irregular exiting the country, are kept in removal centres when they are taken under custody usually until they leave Turkey or are deported as per the administrative decision of the Ministry of Interior.
Upon rumors that people kept in İstanbul Removal Centre were not allowed to go outdoors and left with inhumane living conditions, the issue was put on the agenda of HRI of Turkey. In the meeting of Human Rights Board (HRB) dated 17.04.2014 it was decided that the violation claim would be investigated on site by the members and experts of the Board on 02.05.2014, and representatives of NGOs working on asylum seekers would be invited to the visit.
On 02.05.2014, a visit was paid to İstanbul Removal Centre together with Fatma BENLİ, Levent KORKUT and Nihat BULUT, members of the Board, and Selahattin BATUR, the expert of the Board, and Volkan GÖRENDAĞ, Asylum Seeker Coordinator of Amnesty International, Asst. Prof. Dr. Lami Bertan TOKUZLU at Bilgi University, Aybüke EKİCİ, the representative of International Association for Asylum Seekers, Cüneyt TORAMAN, member of Lawyers Association and İstanbul Human Rights Board, Atty. Sinem Uludağ and Ceren Öztürk, in charge in Asylum Seekers Office of Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Turan HANÇERLİ, President of Turkey Handicap Association, Dr. F. Deniz MARDİN, member of İstanbul Medical Chamber Human Rights Commission
This report, “The Report on İstanbul Removal Centre”, prepared by HRI of Turkey was adopted upon discussions in the HRB meeting numbered 2014/29 on 06.11.2014.
This report, prepared as a result of the visit and investigations on human rights issues in İstanbul Removal Centre as well as efforts to improve the conditions as far as possible through discussions with authorities, presents legal and administrative solutions proposed by the HRI of Turkey to the information of relevant authorities and the general public. Following the publication of the report, regular visits will be paid in order to monitor whether the gaps indicated in the report are fulfilled.
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