Human Rights Watch on Oct. 24 reported that Turkish authorities arbitrarily arrested, detained and deported hundreds of Syrian refugee men and boys between February and July 2022. The report found that refugees are arrested in their homes, workplaces and on the street, then detained in harsh conditions, and forced over the border to Syria.
According to the UN, Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee population with 3.7 million Syrians under temporary protection by the Turkish state and over 320,000 refugees and asylum-seekers under international protection within Turkish territory. The deportation of Syrian refugees is contrary to the prohibition of refoulement under international law—meaning the return of refugees to a place where they would face a real risk of persecution, torture or other ill-treatment, or a threat to life.
Nadia Hardman, refugee and migrant rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, says the EU must “acknowledge that Turkey does not meet its criteria for a safe third country and suspend its funding of migration detention and border controls until forced deportations cease.”
In May, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that he aimed to encourage one million Syrian refugees to return to their country by building them housing and local infrastructure in “safe zones” in northern Syria outside of the government’s reach. However, HRW reports that many have been returned to areas under government control.
From Jurist, Oct. 24. Used with permission.