Turkey Forcibly Returning Syrians to War Zone: Amnesty

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 4:00 AM

It said this practice exposes "lethal flaws" in an agreement between Turk and the European Union. The organization says its research on the Turkish-Syrian border suggests that around one hundred Syrians &#eight thousand two hundred twelve;&#eight thousand two hundred twelve; who often haven't registered in Turkey—— are expelled from Turkey each day.

Amnesty International says Turkey has forcibly returned hundreds of Syrian refugees to their homeland since mid-January. It said this practice exposes "lethal flaws" in an agreement between Turk and the European Union.

The organization says its research on the Turkish-Syrian border suggests that around one hundred Syrians &#eight thousand two hundred twelve;&#eight thousand two hundred twelve; who often haven't registered in Turkey—— are expelled from Turkey each day.

Advocacy groups are concerned that the deal, which aims to stem the flow of illegal migrants and goes into effect April four, threatens the rights of asylum seekers, and they question whether Turkey is a secure country for them.

The EU-Turkey deal stipulates the return to Turkey of any Syrian refugee arriving on the Greek islands, to be offset by resettling a Turkey-based Syrian in the EU.

"Distant from pressuring Turkey to make better the protection it offers Syrian refugees, the EU is in fact incentivizing the opposite," said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International'south director for Europe and Central Asia.

"Having witnessed the creation of Fortress Europe, we're presently seeing the copycat construction of Fortress Turkey.

In earlier stages of the conflict, Syrians who held passports were able to cross at regular border gates and even those who entered illegally could register with the authorities. Presently only those needing urgent medical care are allowed to enter and there are an estimated 200.000 displaced Syrians within twenty kilometers (12.4 miles) of Turkey's border.

Tightened border restrictions and new visa requirements for Syrians, the organization said, have also pushed Syrians into the arms of smugglers who charge an average of $1.000 per crossing.

Amnesty also says Turkish of authorities have scaled back the registration of Syrian refugees in the southern provinces which makes it impossible for them to access basic services.

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