Amnesty: Syrian refugees face abuse in Turkey

Syrian refugees are facing human rights abuses and destitution as they flee into Turkey, Amnesty International (AI) said Nov. 20. The report (PDF), "Struggling to Survive: Refugees from Syria in Turkey," charges that Syrian refugees have faced live fire at the Turkish border—and destitution inside Turkey, with the international community slow to take financial responsibility for the crisis. While Turkey has opened its borders to Syrian refugees, the Turkish government is struggling to meet the most basic needs of hundreds of thousands of refugees. Turkey is host to half of the 3.2 million women, men and children who have fled violence, persecution and other human rights abuses in Syria. So far Turkey says it has spent $4 billion on the refugee crisis. Only 28% of the $497 million pledged to Turkey in the UN's 2014 regional funding appeal for Syrians has been committed by international donors.

Turkey offers two border crossings in the 900-kilometer border it shares with Syria, often a long journey for many refugees. As a result, refugees have resorted to crossing at unofficial points, and have been met with violence from Turkish authorities. AI claims this is a violation of international law. Inside the border, 220,000 of the 1.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey are living in the 22 well-resourced camps, which are currently operating at full capacity. The rest are left to fend for themselves, struggling to meet basic needs and find a source of income. AI claims the international community has abandoned the Syrian refugees in Turkey.

From Jurist, Nov. 20. Used with permission.

  1. Amnesty: Syrian refugees still face abuse in Turkey

    Refugees who were released from a detention center in Ankara, Turkey still face deportation, despite the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) approving an application to indefinitely prevent their deportation back to Syria, Amnesty International (AI) reported Nov. 27. The three refugees were detained in Turkey in September after allegedly participating in demonstrations and attempting to cross into Greece. According to AI, the refugees were repeatedly prohibited visits from attorneys and family members while detained. Upon their release, a judge issued a deportation order for refugees. AI says deporting any refugees to Syria would violate the international law principle of non-refoulement which prohibits sending anyone to a country where they could be at risk of serious human rights violations. (Jurist)