Turkey deports hundreds of Syrians: HRW
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish authorities arbitrarily arrested, detained, and deported hundreds of Syrian refugee men and boys to Syria between February and July 2022, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.
Turkish authorities have recently rounded up hundreds of Syrian refugees and illegally forced them back to northern Syria. Turkey had provided temporary protection to 3.6 million Syrian refugees, but now is trying to dump many back in dangerous Syria. https://t.co/RwPrgqTDeK pic.twitter.com/FRn1v1vmRD— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) October 24, 2022
Deported Syrians told Human Rights Watch (HRW) that Turkish officials arrested them in their homes, workplaces, and on the street, detained them in poor conditions, beat and abused most of them, forced them to sign voluntary return forms, drove them to border crossing points with northern Syria, and forced them across at gunpoint.
“In violation of international law Turkish authorities have rounded up hundreds of Syrian refugees, even unaccompanied children, and forced them back to northern Syria,” said Nadia Hardman, refugee and migrant rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“Although Turkey provided temporary protection to 3.6 million Syrian refugees, it now looks like Turkey is trying to make northern Syria a refugee dumping ground.”
HRW also said that recent signs from Turkey and other governments indicate that they are considering normalizing relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
In May 2022, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey also announced that he intends to resettle one million refugees in northern Syria, although Syria remains unsafe.
“The deportations provide a stark counterpoint to Turkey’s record of generosity as host to more refugees than any other country in the world and almost four times as many as the whole European Union (EU), for which the EU has provided billions of Euros in funding for humanitarian support and migration management,” HRW said.
A total of 526,932 Syrians have returned so far to ‘safe areas in their country’, Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Çataklı told reporters in early October, the Turkish state-affiliated Daily Sabah reported on Wednesday.
“The number of Syrians who returned to their country voluntarily reached 526,932. As of today, the number of Syrians registered under temporary protection status is 3,646,278,” Çataklı.
In May, Turkey said it deported 20,000 Syrians.