New refugee policy in Turkey

Pressure on Syrian refugees in Turkey is growing: those registered in other regions must leave Istanbul by 20 August. Deportations to the still fiercely contested region of Idlib reportedly began last week. Such measures violate international law, human rights activists criticise. But commentators show understanding for the new policy.

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Daily Sabah (TR) /

Ankara was left to its own devices

The world must show understanding for Ankara, the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah writes:

“The current government has taken on great responsibilities, but since widespread propaganda is becoming more effective, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) supporters are also starting to complain about the immigrants, which leaves the AK party government in a difficult situation. ... That is why the world, especially the EU, should understand the difficult situation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish government. The EU never gave enough financial support; Turkey did not receive the amounts promised, and it tried to carry the burden on its own shoulders, but it is too much.”

Handelsblatt (DE) /

Recognise what Turkey has done for refugees

Handelsblatt's Turkey correspondent Ozan Demircan stresses just how much Turkey has accomplished:

“While Germany has been caught up since 2015 in never-ending and at times sordid debates between those who are willing to help and those who only think of themselves, Turkey has taken in four million people. ... While in Germany bureaucracy has condemned the new arrivals to boredom, the Turkish state has allowed the Syrian refugees to work as they please and receive free medical care. While Germany experienced a minor economic miracle and could have used help from every Syrian hand, Turkey was dogged by an attempted coup and had enough to deal with on its own. ... It's not bowing down to Erdoğan to simply acknowledge respectfully how much Turkey has accomplished by taking in these refugees.”

T24 (TR) /

Refugees changing the demographics in the cities

The arrival of the Syrian refugees has changed the face of many Turkish cities, observes columnist Mehmet Y. Yılmaz in T24:

“In Istanbul there are currently more than 550,000 registered Syrian asylum seekers. ... In Gaziantep und Şanlıurfa one in five residents is Syrian. In Hatay it's even one in four! ... And Kilis! In this city only two out of ten people have a Turkish ID, eight out of ten are Syrians! ... 1,685,000 Syrian refugees are under 18 and have no access to education! What would you say Turkey will face in the near future? I'll answer that question: desperate people without any hope or expectations!”