Geographical Limitation

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In the A.2 clause of the 1st article of the 1951 Convention, the expression of “As a result of events occurring before I January 1951 […] is outside the country of his nationality…” is declared. In the B1 clause of the same article the following expressions are stated; “For the purposes of this Convention, the words "events occurring before I January 1951" in article 1, section A, shall be understood to mean either (a) "events occurring in Europe before I January 1951"; or (b) "events occurring in Europe or elsewhere before I January 1951"; and each Contracting State shall make a declaration at the time of signature, ratification or accession, specifying which of these meanings it applies for the purpose of its obligations under this Convention”


One of the first contracting states of the convention; Turkey, made its declaration in 29th of August 1961 and specified that it applies and accepts the meaning of “events occurring in Europe before 1 January 1951” given in the preamble. Therefore, Turkey accepted the 1951 Convention with significant “geographical limitations.”


In the year of 1967, UN General Assembly accepted the Protocol Relating to the Legal Status of the Refugees (generally known as Protocol of 1967 or New York Protocol) which foresees some amendments as an annex to the convention of 1951 in New York.


The most important feature of the protocol is that in the definition declared in 1/2nd article of the convention the expressions of “As a result of events occurring before 1st of January 1951” and “as a result of such events” were excluded. Turkey became a party to the protocol by the decision of the council of ministers in 1st of July 1968. However, as stated above, Turkey maintained its status since it accepted the convention of 1951 with the geographical limitation.
As consequence of these limitations, Turkey do not grant the status of refugee for people from outside of Europe but instead Turkey accepts these people as “asylum seeker” under the provisions of the convention and provides them temporary protection until their placement in a 3rd country.



Source: Orçun Ulusoy; 2009; Sorularla İnsan Hakları; İnsan Hakları Gündemi Derneği; Turkish