Turkey has stepped up pushbacks to Afghanistan since Taliban takeover: HRW
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkey is routinely pushing tens of thousands of Afghans back at its land border with Iran or deporting them directly to Afghanistan with little or no examination of their claims for international protection, Human Rights Watch said in a report on Friday.
As of October 20, 2022, the Presidency of Migration Management in Turkey’s Interior Ministry reported 238,448 “irregular migrants whose entrance to our country has been prevented” in 2022, most of them Afghans.
Turkey reported deporting 44,768 Afghans by air to Kabul in the first eight months of 2022, a 150 percent increase over the first eight months of 2021.
“Although Turkey has rightly earned international acclaim and support for hosting the largest number of refugees of any country in the world, it is simultaneously pushing many Afghans back at its borders or deporting them to Afghanistan with little or no examination of their claims for international protection,” said Bill Frelick, refugee and migrant rights director at Human Rights Watch in the report.
“Turkey should immediately halt these routine pushbacks of Afghans from its borders and give all Afghans facing removal the opportunity to make refugee claims.”
Nevertheless, HRW said that Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees of any country in the world, an estimated 3.9 million people, 3.6 million Syrians with temporary protection and 320,000 others, mostly Afghans.