Interests over Justice in Policy Recommendations: A Philosophical Approach on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

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DOI: 10.12738/mejrs.2017.2.2.0112

Year: 2017 Vol: 2 Number: 2

Abstract

The recent Syrian refugee crisis opened up a debate on the under-theorized issue of migration law regarding the status and the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. According to UNHCR estimates, Turkey has, since the conflict in Syria begun, accommodated the most conspicuous number of refugees in the world (around 3 million) within its jurisdictional boundaries. Yet, none of them have been recognized legally as refugees. Turkey, one of the signatory states of the 1951 Geneva Convention, still applies “geographical limitations;” that is, it does not grant refugee status to non-European asylum seekers, but rather extends to them a status of “temporary protection.” This paper argues that the Syrian case is a typical case of “engineered regionalism,” according to which states take measures to keep refugees in their region of origin. All such measures, by a philosophical reading, have pernicious implications directly for the lives of refugees and indirectly for citizens themselves.

Keywords
Refugees, Normative theory, Migration law, Turkey, Protection

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