The legislation of law of foreigners in Turkey consist of clauses about foreigners in specific laws and some general laws created based on rights vested to foreigners. In other words, there occurs no law gathering the rights of foreigners under a single regulation in Turkey. Here are some of the several different legal regulations:
Law on the Work Permit for Foreigners no 4817 regulating the rights of work for foreigners
Law on the Direct Foreign Investment no 4875 regulating the establishment of company in Turkey
Turkish Citizenship Law no 5901 also regulating to become a Turkish citizen
Art. 35 of the Land Register Law no 2644 regulating to purchase a real estate for foreigners etc.
But the rights which first come to mind regarding all foreigners living in Turkey and law of foreigners are visa and residence permit. Visa and residence permit are the most important rights for foreigners. Because, at the hearth of the rights of foreigners arranged by the specific laws lie the necessity of entering the country with the correct visa and getting a residence permit.
Despite the fact that the visa and residence rights the among the major rights in the Law of Foreigners, there wasn’t a specific law regulate these rights in Turkey, like in many other countries, too. These very important matters for foreigners was being conducted by the other provisions in Passport Law no 5682 and the Law Related to Residence and Travel of Foreigners no 5683.
Moreover, as we can say based on our long-time experience as implementers, the residence and visa rights of Foreigners were concretely implemented rather with notices conducted by Department of Foreigners Borders and Asylum prepared by Turkish Ministry of Interior. Regulations as notices and directives are legal arrangements which we call as in secondary qualification and which come after laws and are easier to arrange, amend and remove.
Arranging visa and residence rights with notices were causing many problems in practice, a regulation were sometimes in contradiction with the other and an arrangement were removed when you came to Turkey again.
International law aims to minimize the difference between the rights of foreigners and the practice. The governments want to be flexible to problems regarding either international conjuncture or global crisis or bilateral state relations and public order and want to have an ability to reflection. Therefore, while international law want some fundamental rights of foreigners are arranged by law, governments prefer these rights to be made with secondary regulations easily changeable and removable, legitimizing the administration a wide discretion.
Within the framework of EU harmonization studies, Turkey has accepted the Law on Foreigners and International Protection no 6458 on 04.04.2013 arranging matters like visa, residence, asylum, refugee and immigration rights, entering a country, exclusion order, deportation (better known as “deport”), invitation to leave, repatriation centre (better known ass “foreigners pension”), objection and judicial remedy. It entered into force this year, on 04.04.2014.
Despite the rights are the ones that already vested to foreigners in Turkey, gathering these rights as a whole under the legal regulation by harmonizing with the EU legislation is an extremely important improvement which shows how Turkey follow a path about the Law on Foreigners in terms of Turkish Foreigners Law.
Differences between rights and liberties of Turkish citizens and that of foreigners gradually increased in the last ten years with the laws abovementioned and they were made familiar both purchasing a real estate of foreigners and establishing a company and working that were came closer with the rights that Turkish citizens have.
About the implementation of the Law on Foreigners and international Protection no 6458 will for certain arise some problems. From now on, it can be said that the related law is not in line with the Law on Register Services, Regulation about Making Entry of Register for Foreigners and some other regulations. However, it can also be said that shortly after the law enters into force will these tiny problems go beyond and considering the improvements on law on foreigners in Turkey, Turkey will be on a far advanced level for international and foreigner law beside many EU countries.
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