Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya has refuted the news concerning the deportation of Syrian refugees holding the temporary protection card “Kimlik” from Turkey. He clarified that deportations are primarily aimed at those who have violated the laws of the states where they originally reside, and they are sent back to the state that issued their Kimlik card.
In a press interview in Istanbul, Yerlikaya stated, “The Turkish authorities have no issue with Syrian refugees holding the Kimlik card and residing in the state from which they obtained it,” as reported by the channel Asharq.
Addressing the reports of violations against refugees by the Turkish police, which have been circulating on social networking sites through various videos, the Turkish Interior Minister acknowledged that some abuses have occurred by certain police personnel during the pursuit of violating refugees. However, he assured that these incidents were dealt with promptly. Yerlikaya also mentioned that 200 officers from the Turkish Interior and the head of the station received additional training to improve their efficiency in dealing with refugees and to ensure that no abuse takes place.
The Turkish Interior Minister’s statement comes in response to a report by the opposition Observatory, which claimed that around 30,000 Syrians in Turkey have been forcibly deported since the beginning of the year. The report also suggested that deportations increased significantly after Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election as President of the Republic. However, Yerlikaya did not address the specific numbers but expressed a commitment to addressing the issue effectively.
In this context, Turkish political analyst and expert in international relations, Muhannad Hafezoglu, commented on the situation, stating, “This campaign is part of Turkey’s effort to deal with the problem of illegal immigrants, some of whom are among those being deported.” He acknowledged that the number disclosed by the Observatory is not official, but it is likely not far from reality.
Recently, several videos have emerged on social media depicting instances of violence against Syrian refugees, either during deportation from Turkey or at the Turkish-Syrian border by the Turkish border guards Gendarmerie.
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.