Construction of Reception and Removal Centres LOT 4

                                                                          

Project Title: Construction of Reception and Removal Centres LOT 4 (one in Izmir and one in Kayseri)

EU funding

EUR 13,101,142.67 (75%)

3rd Party Contributions

EUR 4,367,047.56 (25%)

Duration:

Contract entered into force on 16 Dec 2011; opening of the centre: 1 April 2016

Beneficiaries:

DGMM

Implementing Partners:

Dogcan Insaat Taahhut Is Mak. Orj.

Overall objective:

To reform the overall system of controlling illegal immigration in line with the EU standards and practices.

Main activities:

Construction of two removal centres

Estimated results:

Functioning of well-structured removal centres with social premises, health-care, psychological support facilities.

The centre in Kayseri was built and equipped as part of the National APs 2007 and 2010, in the framework of which 7 removal centres in total were built/equipped (2 in Erzurum, 1 each in Van, Kayseri, Izmir, Gaziantep, Kirklareli), with a migrants' hosting capacity of 750 persons (5,250 for the 7 centres). Overall budget for all 7 centres: EUR 49.139 million for works, EUR 4.866 million for supplies, and EUR 2.9 million for TA (2 Twinnings, language courses for staff). Important to know: (1) In late 2015, EC HQ (Director) agreed with DGMM's request to temporarily transform 6 of the 7 centres, originally designed to become reception centres (including the one in Kayseri), into removal centres. (2) The centre in Kayseri is currently used for migrants returned in the framework of the 18 March 2016 agreement from the Greek islands.

 

1.  The construction of the Kayseri Removal Centre is part of a macro intervention, encompassing Institution Building, Technical Assistance, Works and Supply components whose ultimate goal, as per project fiche, is the delivery of (7) fully operational reception centres for asylum seekers and (2) removal centres for irregular migrants that will help Turkey in the management of asylum and migration.

The construction of the centres has been complemented with a supply component so as to furnish and equip these.

2. The project has been programmed and its implementation has started with the Turkish National Police (TNP) as the beneficiary. However during implementation, in 2013 the Law on Foreigners and International Protection has been adopted and DGMM has been set up as the administration in charge of all issues related to foreigners and migration management. In line with the Law, projects in the field of migration management have been handed over from the TNP to DGMM.

3. In 2015 DGMM has approached the Commission to transform the reception centres set up in the project, into removal centres for irregular migrants owing to the increased numbers of irregular migrants apprehended in Turkey and the further expected increase due to the entering into force of the EU-Turkey Readmission agreement. DGMM has declared that the transformation will be temporarily and costs will be borne by the administration. The request has been accepted by the Commission.

As a result of this transformation currently 7 removal centres each with a capacity to host 750 persons have been set up financed from IPA funds in the following provinces:

  • Kayseri
  • Van
  • Gaziantep
  • Izmir
  • Kırklareli
  • Erzurum (two removal centre)

4. DGMM is operating a network of 23 removal centres to host irregular migrants. The total capacity of these removal centres currently operated by DGMM is 8308. The seven removal centres established with the support of IPA funds are part of this network and with their capacity of 5250 in total; they constitute a major portion of the Turkey's hosting capacity. DGMM is continuing to boost its hosting capacity by constructing new removal centres through national funds but also IPA funds. Currently preparations are ongoing to construct 6 more removal centres through IPA funds, each with a capacity to host 400 persons in various provinces of Turkey as part of the 2015 National Programme.

5. The Kayseri Removal Centre has become operational on 10 March 2016. It has a capacity to host 750 irregular migrants.

6. The centre is a five storey building of 2,520 sqm build on a 100,000 sqm big plot of land. It has in total 156 rooms for irregular migrants and 4 rooms for persons that require special attention. There are rooms made specifically for single males and females, and rooms designed for families. These categories are generally hosted in separate floors or blocks depending on needs. 

The premises feature, rooms for single males and females, family rooms, kitchens, canteens, healthcare facilities, barber's shop, sports facilities (play basketball and billiard), TV rooms, prayer room, small shop, children's play room, outside playground, visitors' room, psychological support unit (for aggressive inmates in first place).

The centre has been visited on the occasion of the visit of the EP Budgetary Committee on November 2016. Another visit has been carried out so as to monitor the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016.

At the time of the visit to the centre in November 2016 the number of staff permanently employed was 115 (including 90 guards of a private security company).

7. The Kayseri Removal Centre is actively being used for the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement of the 18th March. As of March 2017 the centre has started to host irregular migrants of non-Syrian origin returned from the Greek islands as part of the Statement.  As of June 2017, the centre hosts 113 migrants that have been returned as part of this agreement.

The costs of these 113 persons (daily expenses like food, basic supplies, medication) is being covered from the project "Support to the Implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016" a grant agreement signed with DGMM of 60 M EUR (100% EU-funded) under the FRIT.

Main issues concerning removal centres

8. Visits to various removal centres have disclosed that the basic physical aspects of the centres are good. Nevertheless, DGMM brought to our attention the need for more human resources such as social workers, psychologists, technicians, security personnel as well as needs linked to physical infrastructure and utilities.

9. There are some deficiencies related to the services delivered to irregular migrants hosted in the centres (not specific to Kayseri):

- Access to legal counselling is limited. Irregular migrants have little, if any information about their rights and entitlements. Access to legal counsel depends on the financial means of every individual. UNHCR informed that some locally available lawyers reportedly charged migrants as much as 1000 U.S. dollars. The Law on Foreigners and International Protection provides for free legal aid however recourse to this entitlement still requires access to lawyers/bar associations etc. In many removal centres basic information (phone numbers, contact details) to enable such access is not easily available (e.g. posters, leaflets etc.).

- Access to information and interpretation services is limited. DGMM acknowledges the lack of interpreters as an impediment to their services. We are trying to address this need through various projects however it is a reoccurring problem in removal centres and PDMM's having an effect on asylum procedures and services delivered.

- Overall communication with the outside world is limited. Previous visits disclosed that upon arrival personal belongings, including mobile phones are being confiscated due to security concerns. Pay phones are available in the centre but again their use depends on access to prepaid phone cards etc. We have account from civil society organisations that there are also time restrictions on the use of payphones in some removal centres.

- Access of civil society is limited. DGMM has regulated the inspection of removal centres according to which a commission formed of officials, representatives of the bar association and civil society organisations can visit the centres with and without previous announcement. However we have not come across reports of such inspections demonstrating that they have been effectively carried out.