Unsafe Haven: The Security Challenges Facing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Turkey

A joint publication of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Turkey and
Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration

“All refugees have problems in Turkey. However, I believe that some
problems are very unique to our situation. Many LGBT refugees have no
one to turn to. Refugees who fled their countries because of their
political activism often can turn to their political parties for
support. Refugees who fled for religious reasons can turn to their
religious communities. Some refugees can turn to their families in their
home country for support. Many of us left everything behind. We have
been cut off from our communities, our families in our countries and
have no one to turn to.”  An Iranian refugee…

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals are among the
most vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees in Turkey today. Having
escaped persecution in their countries of origin, they arrive in Turkey
to confront significant new challenges to their safety, security and

This report is based on in-depth interviews with 46 LGBT asylum seekers
and refugees living in Turkey, most of whom are Iranian. Their
testimonials shed light on serious gaps in their protection, including
violent harassment from local community members and other refugees, a
lack of sufficient police protection, identity-based barriers to
housing, employment, social services and education, and invasive
questioning during asylum procedures.  The report also sets out
specific, practical recommendations to stakeholders to ensure that
Turkey’s LGBT asylum seekers and refugees are safeguarded from violence
and harassment and provided equal access to their social and economic

You can download the report from:

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