Although Turkey has been gradually transforming into a country of asylum, its legislation concerning refugees is inadequate to guarantee the fundamental rights and basic needs of this population, such as accommodation, healthcare, and employment. However, following legal modifications effected in 1994 and 2013, persons from non-European countries have been allowed to apply for "temporary asylum" in Turkey. Currently, almost 90% of the Syrian refugees in Turkey live in different Turkish cities, while Istanbul is hosting the highest number of out-of-camp Syrians (as opposed to those who live in refugee camps). The aim of the article is to analyse the legal and administrative framework in Turkey dedicated to providing assistance to refugees at the local level. For this purpose, the experiences of three lower tier municipalities of Istanbul, namely Zeytinburnu, Sultanbeyli, and Sisli, will be described, and their capacity and need to deal with the crisis they were faced with will be assessed.