Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey has historically been a country of origin, transit and destination for migrants. With is geopolitical location on the route from the Middle East to Europe and open conflicts continuing in neighbouring Iraq, Iran and Syria, Turkey hosts one of the largest migrant populations in the world.
The number of migrants and refugees residing in Turkey now stands at 3.9 million, over 90 per cent of whom are Syrian and came to Turkey as a result of ongoing conflict in Syria. 3.6 million Syrians have registered for Temporary Protection in Turkey, along with other migrants made up of differing nationalities seeking asylum, international protection or refugee status.
Turkey was also at the centre of the Mediterranean Crisis in 2015. Though the number of migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey has fallen in the past two years since a peak in 2015 of over 850,000 to 186,786 in 2017, figures remain substantial. Turkey is still facing some of the biggest challenges in terms of irregular migration by land and sea.
The sheer number and diversity of migrants and refugees in Turkey demands effective humanitarian assistance, migrant protection and migration management strategies. In Turkey, governments, international organizations, and humanitarian organizations are working together to develop comprehensive policies and actions to sustainably manage migration and facilitate its potential positive outcomes.
As the UN Migration Agency, IOM provides support and assistance to the Turkish Government for an effective, comprehensive and human-rights based migration management system.