Turkey to Engage With Syrian Opposition Leadership on Refugee Issue

As a growing number of Turks call for refugees to be sent home, authorities are engaging in forced deportations and increasing pressures on Syrians living in Istanbul reports Anadolu.

An adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Yasin Aktay, said that the Turkish government would hold consultations and negotiations with the Syrian leadership in the city of Istanbul to find a solution to the refugee crisis.

This comes at a time when Istanbul is witnessing the expulsion of Syrian refugees to Syria who held temporary protection cards from other states, as well as some figures holding cards issued in Istanbul.

In statements carried by Anadolu agency on Sunday, Aktay said that, “the opposition party in every country on earth considered a leftist party always stands with refugee rights—but in Turkey, the opposition parties are against refugees and have incited people in a populist manner against them. In the end, we are a democratic country that complies with the will of its people.”

Aktay said that the number of Syrian refugees had increased greatly in Istanbul, adding that, “It has become clear to the Turkish people, that they are carrying out their work illegally and without the correct licences, which has pushed them to make accusations against Syrian refugees, given then increasing unemployment rates among Turks.”

The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey is up to about 3,663,000, according to statistics from the Turkish Passport and Migration Department in January.

Alsouria Net has observed cases of arbitrary deportations by Turkish authorities against Syrian refugees carrying temporary protection cards issued by Istanbul state, including the case of Amjad Tabriyeh, who explained in a video recording how he was deported to Idleb.

The young man told his story, saying that he had left the house of one of his relatives to buy something and had forgotten his temporary protection card in the house. He said that the police refused to wait for his brother to bring the card and put him on a bus with other refugees.

Aktay stressed the need to stop the harsh measures against Syrian refugees and, “review the matter and resolve the problems in an objective and realistic fashion that accords with the principles of the Turkish state.”

Erdogan has said that his government will take new measures with Syrians in Turkey that cover three issues—encouraging return, deporting criminals, and deducting taxes in the hospitals.

He added in a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party on Jul. 13, 2019, that, “we will have new steps in this respect: We will take the necessary steps to encourage return, we will expel those who have committed crimes, and we will take taxes for medical treatment which they receive.”

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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