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AUGUST 2021 Admissibility Interview (Turkey Interview)


The below information sheet is available in ArabicDari, Pashto, Bangla, Somali, Urdu and Kurmanji.

In June 2021, the Greek government declared that Turkey is a safe country for nationals of Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. If you are from one of these countries and seeking asylum in Greece, an interview only about Turkey (Turkey interview) will be conducted by the Greek Asylum Service, in order to decide whether your claim for asylum is admissible in Greece. The interview is designed to determine whether you can go back to Turkey, instead of continuing with your asylum claim in Greece.


Who is affected by the new law?

People from Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Syria, who are in Greece on the islands or mainland

  • Who are over 15 years old (if you have children aged 15 and over, they will have Turkey interviews. Unaccompanied minors aged 15 and over will have these interviews too. Interviews for minors should focus on what is in the minor’s best interests)

  • Who have not yet claimed asylum (when you register your claim for asylum and get your white card the Greek Asylum Service may ask you questions about Turkey or give you another date to come for the Turkey interview)

  • Who seek asylum in Greece who have not yet had their asylum interview (your asylum interview may have been scheduled for months/years time, but you will be called for a Turkey interview before this. If your asylum interview is coming up soon, this interview will now be a Turkey interview)


Be aware:

  • You could be called for an ‘admissibility’ interview at very short notice - sometimes just a few days

  • All family members will be interviewed separately, accounts should be consistent

  • Anything stated at your registration interview (when you got your asylum card) is on the record and could be cross-checked by the Asylum Service with what you state now. 


Tell the Greek Asylum Service:

  • If you have requested to be reunited with a close family member elsewhere in Europe (if you are in the ‘Dublin’ procedure, you should not have a Turkey interview, because you are requesting that your asylum application is processed in the country where your family member is)

  • If you have close family members in Greece that have been granted refugee status or another form of permission to stay in Greece (the family relationship should have existed in your home country)

  • If you have close family members who are not from Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Syria


The new law applies even if you are vulnerable, but describe and provide evidence if possible of the problems you faced in Turkey due to

  • Old age -   Being a minor

  • Medical issues (including psychological) -   Being a single parent

  • Disabilities -   Pregnancy 


What happens if I get a positive decision after my admissibility interview in Greece?

If you get a positive decision after your interview about Turkey, it means the Greek Asylum Service accepts that Turkey is not safe for you and you will continue your asylum procedure in Greece. You will have to wait to be told when your actual asylum interview will be.

What should I do if I am rejected after my admissibility interview in Greece?

You can appeal against the decision with the help of a Greek lawyer within 20 days. Your decision will be either handed to you by the Asylum Service at a scheduled appointment or will be sent to you by post or delivered to your camp. The deadline counts from the day you officially receive the decision. If you receive it by post, the date of receipt is noted on the envelope and you should keep the envelope as proof. 

If your appeal is also rejected it is possible to go to court but this procedure is complicated and there are expenses involved. You should seek legal advice urgently from an experienced organisation or lawyer.


What does it mean if my asylum claim is declared ‘inadmissible’?

If you receive a rejection following your interview about Turkey and you do not appeal, or if your appeals are also rejected, it means that you cannot continue your asylum claim in Greece and you are expected to return to Turkey. You will lose any state support or shelter, if you have it. Legally, you could be detained and forcibly returned back to Turkey but It is not yet clear what will happen in practice. 


In the admissibility interview you should mention:

  • Any personal problems you had in Turkey, for example because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, ethnic group, gender, sexuality

  • Any problems you experienced with the Turkish authorities, for example when crossing the border into or out of Turkey or any violence experienced from Turkish police/military whilst in Turkey

  • Any problems you faced trying to claim asylum, or with the asylum procedure in Turkey, including any documents you were issued with asking you to leave Turkey or banning you from Turkish territory

  • Any attempts by the Turkish authorities to deport you or push you back over the border

  • Any fear you have of being sent back to your home country, because of the actions of the Turkish authorities

  • Each period of imprisonment in Turkey and the conditions you faced in each closed camp/police station/ deportation centre etc,

  • Any difficulties you had obtaining necessary medical treatment or other support  in Turkey

  • Any difficulties you had finding shelter, food or other basic essentials whilst in Turkey

  • Any experience in Turkey where you were forced to work (including sexual exploitation) or work in exploitative conditions


The admissibility interview is designed for you to speak only about Turkey, but mention:

  • Why you left your home country, including any violence, mistreatment or imprisonment you experienced there (it is important to seek legal information/advice first, if possible)

  • How you are settled in Greece, including children going to school, learning Greek language, engagement with medical or psychological support services here


Questions you may be asked:

  • When did you leave your country of origin and which countries did you pass through before Greece?

  • How did you cross the border into Turkey? Did you have any problems crossing the border?

  • How long did you stay in Turkey before coming to Greece?

  • Had you ever been to Turkey before?

  • Why did you leave Turkey?

  • Have you ever been in contact with the Turkish authorities? If so, give details.

  • Have you applied for asylum or residence in Turkey?

[If not] Why? [If yes] Have you been granted any status or residence permit?

What relevant documents were you given? Do you have them with you?

  • Where did you live in Turkey?

  • Have you worked in Turkey? If yes, did you have a work permit?

  • Do you have family members/relatives/friends/acquaintances in Turkey? If so, what’s their status?

  • Do you think you can return to Turkey? If not, please explain

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