Well, I'm Syrian refugee in Turkey and things doesn't getting better, let's say that I have entered the Canadian Embassy in Istanbul, and claim a refugee status there, what will happen next ?

1 Answer 1


There have been prominent cases before (József Mindszenty, Julian Assange) but that's only because the sending country supported them for political reasons. In that case, the host country cannot simply send police into the embassy and snatch the person, that would be a major breach of international laws and customs.

In all likelihood, however, you won't be able to enter the embassy and if you do, you will be handed over to the Turkish police. Canada is likely to consider that Turkey is a safe country and therefore that this is a regular intrusion by someone who is not in immediate danger. Note that in the cases I mentioned, Mindszenty or Assange were seeking protection from the country where they were physically present, which is not your case, at least if you plan to argue that you were persecuted or threatened by the war in Syria (as opposed to being somehow threatened by the Turkish authorities).

Some countries do have provisions to apply for asylum from a consular post abroad but that doesn't mean they welcome you forcing their hand by showing up on embassy grounds. They would rather have you lodge a proper application or go through the UNHCR resettlement programs. In both cases, the chances of success are very low.

  • Another interesting case are the thousands of East-German refugees who camped in the Prague embassy in 1989, and were eventually allowed to settle in West-Germany.
    – user11249
    May 13, 2017 at 13:42
  • @Carpetsmoker Yes, I also thought of mentioning that one too. But I think the main issue was securing safe passage from the Czechoslovak authorities and the consent of the East Germans and the Soviets. IIRC, East Germans never required any sort of special status to settle in West Germany as they had always been considered citizens by the Federal Republic.
    – Relaxed
    May 13, 2017 at 13:53
  • @Relaxed What about I mention to the Canadian Embassy I can't work legally, is that effect my claim ?
    – MEH
    May 14, 2017 at 5:33
  • @MohammadEliassAlhusain I am not sure what you mean but that's unlikely to change anything. I answered the question at a theoretical level since this is politics.SE but the reality is that you have little chance of success. If you go there and insist on staying on embassy grounds, they will throw you out. If you go there and ask how to apply, they might give you an application to fill in, tell you to go home and give you a decision later but that decision is very unlikely to be positive.
    – Relaxed
    May 14, 2017 at 8:01
  • @Relaxed To make things clearer, I got a temporary protection Document form the Turkish Gov. with ID number it's equal to UNHCR refugee status also I'm filling the application for resettlement to Canada with private sponsors, and this protection ID is valueless like you can't open a bank account with it, but you could send your children to school, you can't travel to another state, but you could buy the ticket .... and so on and so forth.
    – MEH
    May 14, 2017 at 8:12

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