Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Turkey Pro Bono Directory

Click here to see the numbers and origins of refugees hosted by Turkey. 

As UNHCR statistics generally rely on data from host countries, statistics on refugees alone can give an insufficient account of refugee numbers, as some host countries will not grant refugee status to certain groups. Including statistics for individuals in refugee-like situations is an attempt to account for unrecognised refugees and does not include internally displaced persons. Statistics for stateless refugees are included if available.

w2eu.info - Welcome to Europe

Email: contactatw2eu [dot] info or w2eu_infoatyahoo [dot] com

This hyperlink -w2eu.info - leads to an independent source of information for refugees coming to Europe. w2eu.info might be useful on their journey to and through Europe by giving access to counseling and useful contacts in different European countries. 

Refugee Rights Turkey (Mülteci Hakları Merkezi) 

Address: Refik Saydam Cad. Dilber Apt. No:39 Kat:4 Daire: 11 Sishane, Beyoglu - Istanbul
Contact Person: Oktay Durukan. Email: oktay [dot] durukanatmhd [dot] org [dot] tr
Tel: +90 212 292 48 30
Fax: +90 212 292 48 33
Email: infoatmhd [dot] org [dot] tr

Refugee Rights Turkey / RRT is an independent NGO based in Istanbul, formerly known as ‘Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Turkey – Refugee Advocacy and Support Program’ (HCA-RASP).RRT provides:

  • specialized legal information and assistance services to asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants,
  • organizes trainings and generates reference materials for lawyers and NGO workers,
  • and advocates for improvements in Turkey’s legislation and policy concerning the legal protection of refugees and migrants in line with international standards.

From 2005 to 2015, the organization existed by the name of ‘Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Refugee Advocacy and Support Program’ (HCA-RASP). As of March 2015 it was formally transitioned into a new organizational framework and rebranded Refugee Rights Turkey. It remains a leading civil society voice on refugee and migrant protection issues in Turkey and internationally.RRT extends legal counselling and assistance services and carries out litigation interventions representing all nationalities of protection seekers all across Turkey, both Syrians and non-Syrians. RRT’s legal aid work is  entirely independent from Turkish Government agencies and other decision makers including UNHCR; informed by the framework legal rules and principles laid down by relevant domestic, European and international human rights and refugee standards, and is strictly committed to respecting and protecting the privacy and confidentiality of all information presented by asylum seeker beneficiaries.RRT’s specialized legal counselling and assistance services and interventions for asylum seekers address legal questions and problems in relation to:

  • Turkish Government procedures applicable to refugees from Syria subject to Turkey’s “temporary protection” regime

  • Turkish Government procedures applicable to other nationalities of asylum seekers processed within the framework of the Government’s “international protection procedure”

  • UNHCR Turkey refugee status determination (RSD) proceedings

  • Detention and deportation cases involving arbitrary deprivation of liberty, problems in registering an asylum application and risk of refoulement

  • Access to basic rights and services problems

  • Identification and legal protection of particularly vulnerably categories of asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors and persons affected by/at risk of gender-based violence

  • Other complex issues of a legal nature and protection problems encountered by asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants

Please see also the essential legal aid guidelines issued by Refugee Rights Turkey.

Advocates Abroad

Email: casesatadvocatesabroad [dot] org

Advocates Abroad is a non-profit organization of field based and remote volunteer attorneys, interpreters, asylum experts providing essential and free legal aid to refugees and asylum seekers without discrimination or compensation. Advocates field attorneys operate throughout Greece, Turkey, and Switzerland - and now Italy. These Advocates attorneys on the ground in Northern Italy are a new and critical addition to European operations. Remote Advocate attorneys are widely diverse in background and placement - these attorneys are qualified in, and based out of, states around the world: the United States, Europe, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and Palestine. Remote attorneys have even provided in person aid to a refugee in need, where geography permitted.

Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants

Address: Aşağı Dikmen Mah. Galip Erdem Cad. No:42 Çankaya ANKARA
Contact Person: Lawyer Sinan Yolalan
                          Lawyer Reyyan Kavaklıoğlu 
Tel: +09 312 427 55 83, +09 312 212 60 12 or +09 312 212 60 13 
Fax: +09 312 212 60 14
Email: infoatsgdd-asam [dot] org
The Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM) was established in Ankara on December 22, 1995 as a non-governmental and non-profit organization. The main objective of ASAM is to develop solutions to the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers encounter in Turkey. Since its establishment, ASAM has been providing psycho-social support for asylum seekers and refugees coming from neighbouring countries or conflict zones and advocates to improve their access to rights in Turkey. ASAM performs awareness raising activities and work towards directing the attention of the relevant authorities to the problems of refugees and asylum seekers. In 2013, as the implementing partner of UNHCR Turkey Office, ASAM began to conduct pre-registration of the new comers (non-Syrians) and took over the main registration in May 2015. In Turkish asylum system, protection begins with UNHCR registration which provides a referral letter for the asylum seekers to be registered to the Turkish authorities. 
Our aims are:
  • Developing solutions to the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers encounter in Turkey and supporting them in meeting their basic and social needs and accessing rights through advocacy and mobilising local and national resources
  • Raising public awareness on the issue by disseminating accurate information through conferences, meetings and panels,
  • Building peace between host community and refugees by organising cultural and social activities,
  • Interpreting relevant statistics and providing guidance to public authorities and NGOs on the latest migration trends to/in Turkey,
  • Contributing to academic research on the issue. 

What we do?

  • Registrating asylum seekers (non-Syrians) on behalf of the UNHCR Turkey Office,
  • Informing new arrivals about their rights and obligations in Turkey,
  • Protecting asylum seekers and refugees in over 40 provinces through field offices,
  • Provision of psycho-social and legal counselling for refugees and asylum seekers,
  • Assisting asylum seekers and refugees with accessing their rights (health, education, etc.),
  • Preparing booklets for different satellite cities to help refugees integrate to the socio-economic life,
  • Providing assistance (shelter, financial resources, etc.) for the most vulnerable cases by mobilising various resources,
  • Organising social and peace-building activities,
  • Contribution to the law-making procedures.

Mülteci-Der / Mültecilerle Dayanışma Derneği (Association for Solidarity with Refugees) 

Address: Anafartalar Caddesi, Salepcioglu Ishani, No.96/511, Konak-Izmir, Turkey
Tel: +90 232 483 54 21
Mobile: +90 549 483 54 21 or +90 549 483 54 22
Email: bilgiatmulteci [dot] org [dot] tr
In order to protect and defend the rights of the asylum seekers, immigrants and refugees, who have taken shelter in Turkey, Association for Solidarity with Refugees (MülteciDer) was founded in 31 January 2008 in İzmir. In August 2012, Mülteci-Der opened its branch in Edirne which is located at the border between Turkey and Greece. As an organisation working in the area of human rights, humanitarian solidarity and humanitarian aid, the main aim of the organisation is to protect and promote human rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants and other target groups. Mülteci Der conducts its work independent of any political party, governments or intergovernmental organisations. Without making any discrimination regarding language, religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, political or ideological beliefs, ethnic origin or on any other bases, it addresses the human rights and humanitarian needs of the target population. Mülteci-Der gives direct legal counselling to people in the target group, in particular to those in need of international protection, and engages in advocacy, lobbying and raising awareness activities to empower their basic rights.For this purpose Mülteci-Der:
  • Provides legal counselling and assistance to those in need of international protection in detention or in risk of deportation regarding access to asylum, access to basic rights, cases of non-refoulement, cases of readmission, migration related child detention and detention of vulnerable groups;
  • Provides legal counselling and assistance for problems faced during the asylum procedures before the UNHCR and the Turkish authorities;
  • Provides psychosocial counselling and assistance for basic needs when possible and directs those who need basic or specialised support to the related organisations and specialists.
  • Carries out monitoring, research and reporting activities on access to rights and conditions in detention places; on access to the services for basic needs such as health, education, shelter, food and clothing in satellite cities where refugees and asylum seekers are requested to reside.
  • Advocates and lobbies activities directed to national, local as well as international bodies to improve the legal framework, policies and practices of refugee and migrant rights;
  • Tries to mobilise the attention of all related authorities to intervene about inhuman, degrading behaviours and conditions and abuses.
  • Conducts raising awareness activities, trainings, production of written and visual materials for refugee and migrants rights addressing to NGOs, lawyers, activists, universities, media, local and national authorities and the general public.
  • Encourages and participates in networks and platforms to promote refugee/migrant rights.


Rehabilitation and Adaptation Center for Victims of Violence and Migration

www.sohram.com (in Turkish)
Address: Kurt Ismail Pasa Mah. 2.sokak Demiray Apt. Kat:3/8, ofis / Diyarbakir / Turkey
Tel: +90 41 22 24 44 77
Fax: +90 41 22 28 88 80
Email: sohramathotmail [dot] com
SOHRAM-CASA, in Diyarbakir, works with victims of violence and torture. They offer therapy and medical help to those who have been affected by violence and torture. They are also able to help in the preperation of legal reports and consultations for torture victims. SOHRAM-CASA also carry out research and educative programmes.

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) 

Address: Urban Justice Center, 40 Rector St, 9th Fl, New York, NY 10006
Email: infoatrefugeerights [dot] org
IRAP is a legal aid organisation and cannot provide financial assistance or other benefits. They do not make any decisions concerning resettlement and they are completely independent from UNHCR and national governments. Any information sent to IRAP is highly confidential, and all services are free of any charge. IRAP provides free legal services to refugees seeking refugee protection and resettlement. Here are a few types of assistance that IRAP provides.
  • Refugees in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. They can help individuals gather documents and present their refugee claim prior to IOM or USCIS interviews. If they are denied, they can review to see if they can assist with a Request for Review, including written counseling for individuals with security-related reasons ("other") denials.
  • Iraqis with U.S. employment or U.S. family affiliations. They help Iraqis apply to the Direct Access Program (DAP) administered by IOM. Their volunteers help locate employment verification. Additionally, they can coordinate with US relatives of Iraqis who may be able to file family-based immigration petitions for DAP.
  • Afghans or Iraqis with U.S. employment applying for Special Immigrant Visa programs. They assist Afghans and Iraqis with all stages of the SIV process, including locating former US supervisors and preparing application documents.
  • UNHCR Assistance. For exceptionally vulnerable cases, and in cooperation with local UNHCR offices, they can refer a case to UNHCR to request protection services. The decision regarding any follow-up ultimately rests with UNHCR.

To contact them, send an email with your full name, telephone number, email address and a brief description of your need for legal services in English or Arabic to infoatrefugeerights [dot] org. They are not able to assist everyone who contacts them, and emailing them does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Human Rights Agenda Association 
Address: Güniz Sokak 38/8 06700 Kavaklıdere/Ankara -TURKEY
Phone: 0090 312 428 06 10-11 
Fax: 0090 312 428 06 13
E-mail: refugeepostaatrightsagenda [dot] org (@rightsagenda.org)
Contact: Roberto Frifrini
The Human Rights Agenda Association, an independent national NGO, has been founded in 2002 in Izmir. At the moment, the HRAA has three offices: Ankara (main office), Izmir and Diyarbakir. Alongside working on monitoring activities on the status of human rights in Turkey and neighbouring countries (from minority rights to women rights to constitutional rights), the HRAA works to promote awareness of International and European law rights, carrying out studies and professional workshops. 
Specifically, in promoting migrants' rights, the HRAA utilizises an holistic approach, grounding all of its studies on the provisions of International Human Rights and Humanitarian laws. Accepting that human values are above domestic context and legislation, the HRAA aims to underline the diversity within the different aspects of migration related issues: every migrant, as a human being, owns his/her specifity given by religion, sexuality, political opinions and ethnicity. Through a particularistic approach, the HRAA's members denounce any possible violation of basic human rights perpetrated by relevant actors.
Main areas are:   
  • Promoting the analysis and development of a common and complete understanding of European asylum law
  • Promoting the cooperation among NGOs, both domestic and International ones, with a focus on South-Eastern Mediterranean area.
  • To improve migrants' conditions and to create a better comprehension on the subject, the HRAA promotes technical and informative workshops, providing data and legal opinions on the latest legal developments.  
As a pool of lawyers, the HRAA's expertise investigates various areas of immigration and migrants' rights, denouncing all form of violence and creating awareness on any violation of basic human rights.

Helsinki Citizens' Assembly - Turkey

Address: Dr. Refik Saydam Cad. Dilber Apt. No: 39 Daire: 12 Kat: 4 Şişhane, Beyoğlu - İstanbul
Tel: +90 212 292 68 42 - 43 
Fax: +90 0 212 292 68 44 
Email: iletisimathyd [dot] org [dot] tr
Twitter: @hydturkiye

The Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly  is a non-governmental organization based in Istanbul, Turkey, promoting fundamental rights and liberties, democracy and pluralism.

hCa is devoted to: 
  • ensuring the legal protection of refugees and vulnerable migrants in Turkey; 
  • monitoring state policies and practice in the area of asylum and irregular migration control; 
  • advocating for legislation and policies in line with international standards; and 
  • encouraging public awareness and local ownership. 
hCa does not directly provide legal assistance to refugees, but is collaborating with Bar Associations and lawyers throughout Turkey. hCa is member of the advisory committee of the SILA project (conducted by the UNDP and the Turkish Bar Association Union) and partner of the refugee commission established by the Urfa Bar Association. Currently, hCa is working on a number of issues such as human security, societal peace, refugee policies, and collaborates with NGOs working with refugees. 
hCa is also providing psychological support and primary health care for Syrian refugees living in Kilis, Turkey. This project is technically and financially supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-Spain.


Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity (Kaos GL) Association

Address: GMK Bulvarı 29/12 Kızılay Ankara
Website: www.kaosgl.org
Telephone: +90 312 230 0358
Email: refugeeatkaosgl [dot] org
Contact: Hayriye Kara

Kaos GL is providing legal and social assistance to LGBT refugees since 2007. Kaos GL conducts refugee activities in the context of human rights monitoring, reporting and legal support. This support is given as social and legal activities to LGBT individuals who are coming to Turkey as a transit country. Within the scope of this program, Kaos GL provides legal assistance in cooperation with UNHCR and DGMM (General Directorate of Migration Management), within the advocacy work Kaos GL communicates and cooperates with NGOs, national and international institutions which are working in the field of immigration and human rights.