In October, a total of 8,864 Syrians were repatriated from Turkey to Syria via the main border crossings. According to data released by the administration of Bab al-Hawa crossing on November 4, 2,832 individuals were deported from this crossing during the same month.
Similarly, Bab al-Salama Crossing reported that 4,338 people “voluntarily returned” in October. Meanwhile, Fayez al-Kati, the director of the Tal Abyad crossing, stated that 1,694 individuals “returned” during the same period.
It’s worth noting that some border crossings avoid using the terms “deportation” or “refoulement,” instead categorizing deportees as “voluntary returnees.” However, it is important to acknowledge that Turkish authorities were involved in the transfer of these individuals to the border crossings.
On July 9th, Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya issued directives to address the issue of irregular migrants residing without proper documentation in various Turkish cities. This initiative, initiated nearly two months after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s victory in the presidential election, aimed to reduce the presence of “irregular” migrants.
The Turkish Interior Minister emphasized that the repatriation process is being carried out voluntarily and without coercion, with a focus on safety. He also noted that there were approximately 4.9 million illegal immigrants in Turkey, and their locations and movements were known to the authorities regarding entry, residence, and exit.
Since the inception of this campaign, major border crossings with Turkey have witnessed daily crossings of forcibly displaced Syrians.
In a previous interview with Enab Baladi, Mazen Alloush, the media office director of Bab al-Hawa crossing, reported that during the month of July, 1,207 people were deported through the crossing, with approximately 50 of them being apprehended while attempting to enter Turkey in an “irregular” manner. Alloush explained that over 1,150 of them were made to sign voluntary return documents, and the majority of these returns were not entirely voluntary.
According to the most recent statistics released by the Immigration Department on October 26, the number of Syrian refugees under “temporary protection” had reached three million and 259,853 refugees.
In 2022, the number of Syrians deported from Turkey to Syria amounted to 49,439 individuals.
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.