Even though Lebanon recently announced a slowdown in the number of Syrians returning from Lebanon, as several returning Syrians had recently been killed, the Turkish state run Anadolu agency reports about thousands of Syrians crossing the border back to Syria.
Thousands of Syrian refugees return home from Turkey
Via Ahval –Thousands of Syrians have left Turkey over the past fortnight to return to their hometowns liberated from militants in northwestern Syria, Hürriyet Daily News reported.
ERBIL – Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration on Thursday stated that they had brought back hundreds of Iraqi nationals who had fled to neighboring Turkey over the past few years as refugees because of Islamic State (IS) threats.
Following the emergence of IS in 2014 and its violent spread over the province of Nineveh, hundreds of thousands of people fled to the Kurdistan Region, Syria, and Turkey. The number considerably increased in the years after as the fight against the jihadist group intensified.
Since the defeat of IS last year, the Iraqi federal government has been working on helping refugees outside of Iraq voluntarily return to liberated areas.
The Director-General of the Ministry of Displacement and Migration, Star Nawrouz, said in a statement that his ministry, in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and the Center for the management of joint crises, had returned 327 Iraqi refugees to the Kurdistan Region from Turkey through the international border crossing of Ibrahim Khalil.
Almost all the refugees are from inside and surrounding areas of Mosul. Iraqi authorities would soon provide buses to transport them to their homes in the eastern and western suburbs of Iraq’s second largest city, the statement added.
The return of Iraqis to their homes from neighboring countries is part of the “free voluntary return” program, Nawrouz explained.
He noted his ministry, working with the UNHCR, provided food and drinking water to those making their way back to Iraq.
In August, Iraq brought back more than 100 of its citizens who were in Turkey, whether fleeing the violence or who had been seeking refuge for some time.
Over the past few years, the Kurdistan Region has been home for some two million Iraqi displaced people and Syrian refugees.
The Kurdish semi-autonomous region continues to host 1.4 million displaced individuals as many of them refuse to return to their liberated areas due to a lack of security and basic services.
Here we are posting an interview with the mayor of Esenyurt municipality of Istanbul, Turkey. Esenyurt is a lower-class peripheral district with one of the highest number of Syrians in Istanbul. The information was spread already a while ago that the municipality is organizing busses to drive Syrians back home, creating fear within the Syrian community that they will be picked from their houses and streets and forced for return. Below, the mayor’s statements quoted just as they were broadcasted by Sputniknews apparently demonstrate the perspective of the Turkish regime pretty well.
Elif Sudagezer from Sputnik News reported that Esenyurt Municipality of Istanbul, Turkey repatriated 100 Syrians to Jarabulus and Afrin. By the interview he gave to Sputnik, Ali Murat Alatepe stated that 3500 Syrians were returned up until now and they are planning to return 20 thousand more until the end of the next year.
Last weekend, a summit titled “Migration, Refugees and Humanity” took place in Kartepe, Turkey, bringing together state figures from Turkey and other countries, as well as INGOs and academicians. The tremendous gathering served to spread diplomatic messages on how the Turkish state is managing the so-called refugee crises, including the increasing efforts on refugee-returns, and the ever-existing expectancy of closer collaboration and financial support from the EU. The only cover in english we could find on the event is through the state-allegiant Daily Sabah, therefore it does not present a critical perspective on the content, but still is interesting to see a snapshot on key persons’ interactions.
” [Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu] said that in order to continue to do the best it can, Turkey must evaluate the successes and failures of its refugee integration policies, alluding to the fact that just as in Europe, many Turks are fearful of terror and the flooding of the job market by refugees. He said that in order to fix terror at home, one must deal with terror abroad first.”
Syria and Washington were both absent from the talks aimed at ending a war in its eighth year.
A “complete cease-fire,” an “inclusive Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process” and “safe and voluntary return of refugees” were some of the phrases uttered by Turkish and European leaders at a summit in Istanbul on Saturday, aimed at laying the groundwork for a peace process in the devastating civil war in Syria, now in its eighth year. Continue reading Istanbul Syria peace offers few solutions to the conflict→
Via The Guardian [16.10.2018] – With tension mounting in Idlib, people trying to flee across the border are being given the choice of detention or waiving their right to asylum
Tareq* can recall in detail each of the 22 times he climbed over the concrete border wall, dodged a flurry of bullets, and sprinted as fast as he could – until Turkish border guards caught him and turned him back.
On his 23rd attempt, the soldiers drove the 26-year-old Syrian to a police station called Branch 500 in Hatay. There they presented him with a choice: either stay in prison – for how long, they wouldn’t say – or sign a paper and walk free.
“It’s not like they’re physically putting a gun to your head, but you have no other option,” Tareq says. He signed and the next day he was driven across the border and dropped back where he had started, in Idlib.
The EU-Turkey Statement and the Greek Hotspots – A Failed European Pilot Project in Refugee Policy
The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament recently published a study focusing on the detrimental impact that the EU-Turkey Statement and the implementation of the “hotspot approach” in Greece is having on the rights of refugees and migrants arriving. The study finds that the current procedures and practices for processing asylum applications on the Greek islands under the EU-Turkey statement violate the applicants’ right to asylum and due process.
Via Greek Reporter – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency, is reporting that more than 10,000 migrants left voluntarily from Greece between June 2016 and April this year.
Among the returnees, almost 8,380 were men and 2,125 were women. The IOM says special assistance was provided to 77 unaccompanied migrant children, helping them to reunite with their families.
The voluntary returns saw people go back to their homes in 84 countries and territories over a 20-month period through a program funded by the EU and Greece.
Via Deutsche Welle – Syrians granted limited asylum but denied the right to fetch relatives are departing Germany for Turkey by using smugglers, say German media. The cases, if confirmed, bizarrely reverse the “Balkan route” drama of 2015.