Turkey

Legal status and visa requirements for those who were forced to leave Ukraine

General information and legal support within Turkey

  • Holders of official and regular passports are exempt from visas for a term of 90 days, every 180 days. Ukraine nationals, on the condition of travelling from Ukraine to Turkey, can enter without a visa if they have a valid biometric identity card/biometric passport.
  • Temporary protection is not applicable in Turkey for Ukrainians. Ukrainians can get international protection status in Turkey.

Refugee status/ asylum seeker status/ temporary protection status

  • For the Ukrainians who had to leave Ukraine, there are 2 main ways to stay legally in Turkey after 90 days without a visa:
    • International protection status
    • Short term residence permit. There are several types based on their grounds: tourism, humanitarian, family, treatment, etc. www.ukr-ayna.com
  • International protection status: applications can be made to the Migration Management for International Protection. International Protection Registration applications are made to the Governorship of the province of stay through the Provincial Migration Management Directorate (İGİM) of that province. During registration, the applicant is obliged to correctly declare his/her identity details and submit, if any, documents, and travel documents that would prove his/her identity to the authorities. A personal interview is made with the applicant within thirty days of the registration date. A 6-month-termed International Protection Applicant Identity Document is issued for the applicant and, if any, family members who he/she came together, whose registration procedures are completed, indicating that he/she requested international protection, including foreigner identity number.
  • Short Term Residence Permit: Short term residence permit terms and extension options vary according to the grounds of the application. A short term residence permit can be issued for 2-year terms maximum.

Learn more about staying in Turkey:

YİMER 157 from where foreigners can get answers to all their questions on visa, residence permit, international protection, temporary protection, etc. issues services in 7 languages, namely Turkish, English, Arabic, Persian, Russian, German and Pashto.

The Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Interior, Presidency of Migration Management

Ukraine Embassy

UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency

Ukraine Association

Refugee Rights Centre

    Address: Dr. Refik Saydam Cad. Dilber Apartmanı No: 39 Daire: 11 Kat: 4 Şişhane, Beyoğlu - İstanbul

    Website: mhd.org.tr

    E-mail: info@mhd.org.tr

    Phone: +90 212 292 48 30

Access to healthcare services

  • The prerequisites for Ukrainians who had to leave Ukraine to get health services can vary according to their legal statuses.
    • Case 1; Those who are without a visa for 90 days, and those who have a short term residence permit, can only enjoy emergency health services free of charge. They cannot enjoy other health services free of charge. They can get health services from all private hospitals in Turkey by making private health insurance or by paying private hospitals.
    • Case 2; Those who have international protection status.
  • The persons who have applied for international protection in Turkey, or who have international protection status, those who do not have any health coverage and have the power to pay can enjoy health services free of charge. For this, they must have applied to Provincial Migration Management Directorate for international protection, or they must have this status. The important point here is that they must get an “International Protection Status Holder Identity Document” to start enjoying health services free of charge and in full.
  • For those who do not have international protection status, payment is required for all services except for emergency services.
  • Ukrainians who had to leave Ukraine can apply to Ukraine Association for access to health services. Ukraine Association works in cooperation with UNCHR.  UNCHR refers Ukrainians who do not have health coverage to the Private Çankaya Polyclinic from where they get Health Consultancy service.

Ukraine Association

UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency

Özel Çankaya Polikliniği

Acute treatment and Chronic/long-term treatment

  • In diseases or injuries requiring emergency health support or in life-threatening situations, 112 Emergency Health Services can be called. In these cases, the call is diverted to the free of charge hotline 0850 288 38 38 of the Ministry of Health and interpretation support can be obtained at this line in English, French, Persian, Arabic, Russian and German.
  • In addition to primary health organisations, a person can also directly apply to secondary and tertiary health organisations. While state hospitals are recognized as secondary health organisations, training and research hospitals and university hospitals are qualified as tertiary organisations.
  • Primary health organisations are health organisations where outpatient or inpatient diagnoses and treatments of patients are made. Migrant health centres, health units, health centres, maternal and infant health and family planning centres and tuberculosis control dispensaries are primary health organisations.
  • Direct application to universities’ health applications and research centres and private hospitals is not possible. This is very important as, except for exceptions such as some emergencies, it won’t be possible to enjoy free of charge health services at such places without a referral.  If the person has an international protection status holder identity document, he/she can go to primary and secondary health organisations. If needed, these organisations refer patients to university health applications and research centres and private hospitals.
  • In addition, referrals to health applications and research centres and private hospitals are only made for emergency health and intensive care cases and burn injury and cancer treatment. 

Visiting family doctors

There is no need to register with family doctors. However, a person can get services from the family doctors after getting the “International Protection Status Holder Identity Document”. If a person intends to register with the family doctor, it is necessary to go and apply to the health unit of their preference/which is the closest to the “International Protection Status Holder Identity Document”. The family doctor gives a petition to submit to the District Health Directorate, completing the registration.

Other services

  • Other services, e.g. screening, test, and vaccination.

It is possible to apply to primary diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation services at primary health organisations, i.e. health units, health centres, maternal and infant health, family planning centres, and tuberculosis control dispensaries.

The list of primary health organisations can be found here: www.trhastane.com

It is also possible to enjoy necessary screening and vaccination services against the risk of infectious diseases, services provided to babies, children and teenagers and services regarding women’s and reproductive health at these organisations.

Emergency patients can enjoy state or private health organisations at all levels regardless of their legal status.  What is an emergency? Unexpected sudden change in the health of the person, accident, breakage, drowning, heart attack, rape, electric shock, freezing, heat stroke, burns, injuries, etc.

Services for People Living with HIV

HIV-testing

  • There are centres in various provinces of Turkey where Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine can get free of charge HIV testing:
  • Those who have international protection status can be tested for HIV free of charge at state hospitals and SGK (Social Security Institution)  contracted hospitals. Those with other statuses have to pay for testing at private hospitals.
  • Tests cannot be conducted on children under 18 without parental consent.

Free of charge testing centres: hsgm.saglik.gov.tr 

Antiretroviral treatment (ART)

  • People on ART can bring their medication into the country together with their doctor’s prescription.
  • It is not possible to get medication in Turkey with prescriptions from Ukraine. It is necessary to see a doctor in Turkey, have an examination, and get medication with a new and valid prescription according to the result.
  • To receive ART free of charge, it is necessary to have international protection status and a diagnosis made in Turkey.
  • If the diagnosis was made in Turkey, treatment expenses are paid under general health insurance. If the diagnosis was made earlier in the own country, treatment expenses are not paid and one has to pay for treatment services.

How can minors get treatment?

Children under the age of 18 can receive ART under parental supervision and with parental consent.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

Available free of charge in some cases at hospitals that have an infectious diseases department. Free of charge if the person has international protection status, is a health worker or victim of sexual violence.

Medication treatment must be started within 72 hours at the latest. The earlier the treatment starts, the better results are achieved. The treatment is recommended for a term of 72 hours – to 1 month and the duration varies based on medication and treatment type.

There is no minimum age limit.

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

PEP can be received free of charge for persons who have international protection status. Those who do not have international protection status have to pay. There is no minimum age limit.

Those who have national protection status receive PEP free of charge at state hospitals and SGK-contracted private hospitals that have an infectious diseases department. Those who do not have national protection status receive PEP in return for payment at all hospitals that have an infectious diseases department.

Services for People Living with Hepatitis B/C

Hepatitis B/C testing, Hepatitis B vaccination, and Hepatitis B/C treatment availability

  • For those who have international protection status, hepatitis B or C testing, hepatitis B vaccination and hepatitis B or C treatment are free of charge. Those who do not have international protection status have to pay for these services.
  • For Hepatitis B or C, Ukrainians should visit statre or private hospitals that have an internal diseases/gastroenterology department. After examination by a specialist, a blood test is performed, and treatment commences if hepatitis is confirmed.
  • After examination by a doctor who is specialized in testing Hepatitis B, a blood test is requested. Treatment is continued after blood testing and examinations.
  • If the viral load is below the limit, the person is followed. If it is above the limit, treatment is started.  

Treatment options available for hepatitis related liver diseases

  • Treatment for hepatitis related liver diseases is decided upon by a medical board. The treatment is free of charge for patients who have an international protection status. Those without would have to pay for the treatment.

Support systems (harm reduction/safer use, social support, or psychosocial support) available for the Ukrainians undergoing therapy for hepatitis C or related liver diseases

Psychosocial support is given free of charge for those who have international protection status. Those who do not have international protection status have to pay.

Tuberculosis services

If the person has TB symptoms:

  • TB screening is not compulsory unless there is a symptom or risk.
  • Those who have international protection status can go to the tuberculosis control dispensaries or state or private hospitals that have a Chest Diseases department.
  • Those who do not have international protection status can receive services free of charge from primary health organisations, upon presentation of identity, in cases of emergencies and infectious and epidemic diseases.
  • Except for vaccination, preventive and protective treatment is available at tuberculosis control dispensaries or state or private hospitals that have a Chest Diseases department. www.medicana.com.tr

If TB was already diagnosed in Ukraine and the person needs to continue treatment:

  • A person can apply to state hospitals or private hospitals that have a Chest Diseases department. All examinations and analyses will be repeated.
  • If ambulatory treatment will continue, the patient is referred to tuberculosis control dispensaries. www.hsgm.saglik.gov.tr
    • Ankara Provincial Health Directorate Tuberculosis Control Coordination Office and tuberculosis control dispensaries continue DOT/ DVOT treatment. www.verem.org.tr 

Non-medical support

Hospitals that have a Chest Diseases department, Ankara Provincial Health Directorate Tuberculosis Control Coordination Office, and tuberculosis control dispensaries provide psychological support and medication support.

If a person has a Ukrainian prescription for TB treatment medication…

As names of medications and methods of treatment vary, a prescription taken in Ukraine is not valid. A person can get their medication with an approved prescription taken from Turkey.

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination for children

BCG-tuberculosis vaccination is administered free of charge at Family Health Centres, Tuberculosis Control Dispensaries and hospitals.

Contacts:

Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Services

Medication rules

  • People can bring medication that they use together with the prescriptions. In case there are medications given with a green prescription in Turkey (e.g. psychotropic drugs) among them, they are not allowed into Turkey even if they are prescribed.
  • The medication with prescription would be re-approved in Turkey as names of medication and treatment methods vary and the prescription taken from own country is not valid.
  • It is possible to receive OAT free of charge from health institutions that have addiction treatment centres if a person has international protection status, and in return for payment if there is no international protection status.
  • It is not possible to get medication in Turkey with prescriptions brought from Ukraine. To receive OAT, a person has to apply to health institutions that have addiction centres. After re-examination at a psychiatric polyclinic or a hospital that has an addiction centre, a new treatment is planned and initiated. Neuropsychiatric and physiological tests would also be conducted to clarify opiate addiction diagnosis. Prescription is rewritten based on the results.

Arslan Begenjou

What OAT drugs are available in the country?

Medications such as naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine are used for this purpose.

Take-home dosages availability

There is no such practice in Turkey.

Minimum age for people who use drugs to receive OAT

Opiate addiction inspections and examinations are available to children under 18 years under the supervision and with the consent of the parent. They can use medication prescribed as a result of examination and inspection.

Sources

General requirements and access to healthcare

HIV

Hepatitis B/C

TB

OAT