The European Union’s Effect on Turkish Civil Society Organizations Working in the Asylum System

Gözde Arasıl

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis examines the role of domestic civil society organizations (CSOs) working in Turkey’s asylum system and tries to understand how these organizations have been affected by the European Union (EU) pre-accession process. The thesis is written from a historical perspective and CSOs working in the asylum system are analysed within the framework of the country’s asylum policy and civil society. The situation of global civil society and the conditions of non-governmental organizations working in refugee protection are also examined since the discussion on civil society in Turkey is not free from the discussion on global civil society. The findings of the thesis argue that both the service-providing and human rights organizations working in the asylum system have an invaluable role to protect both refugee rights and provide asylum seekers and refugees with psycho-social support. The EU pre-accession process has had a positive influence on functions and activities of these organizations through the legal reforms made in the context of the asylum policy and laws of associations and foundations. Nevertheless, CSOs working in the field of asylum are still largely dependent on the state, they cannot influence state policies and decisions and they are not effective actors of the democratization process and its consolidation in state-society relations.

EducationsHistory, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date20 Aug 2012
SupervisorsJakob Egholm Feldt


  • Turkey,Civil society,asylum