Assimilating Third-Country Nationals
to EU Citizens: Turkey
Asst. Prof. Dr., Boğaziçi University
Except for some specific groups of third-country nationals, rights of aliens, even long-term resident aliens, are not assimilated to national citizens’ rights in any field that is traditionally reserved for Turkish nationals. In respect to fundamental rights and freedoms granted to third-country nationals, there is a distinction between Turkish nationals and foreigners; especially political and organisational rights are reserved for Turkish nationals on a constitutional level. As to the subject of immigration, in 2003, the Turkish government has issued a National Action Plan on Asylum and Migration, according to which the status of legal and illegal aliens is to be substantially ameliorated gradually until the accession of Turkey to the EU. However, it had been foreseen that some major amendments should be adopted until the end of 2005, but these projects have not yet been accepted by the Turkish Parliament. It is essential that the legal reforms in the field of migration and asylum listed in “Turkey’s Harmonisation Programme to EU Acquis” be carried out in the foreseen timeframe. Within the last two years, there have been significant amendments in the criminal justice system in order to improve the efficiency of the security forces combating terrorism. However, this reform clearly aims at the separatist terrorism and not the international terrorism.