07/20/2021, 16.25
TURKEY
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Turkey detains hundreds of Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban

Sources tell AsiaNews about a “worrying” development that is getting worse. Turkey is on high alert for possible mass arrivals, triggered by the advance of Islamic extremists. Over the past few weeks, at least 500 Afghans have tried to cross the border every day. Erdogan’s reception policy in the name of Islam has failed.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) – Turkish authorities have detained at least 133 undocumented migrants along the country’s border with Iran, most of them Afghans fleeing the advance of the Taleban in their country.

Local sources spoke to AsiaNews, anonymous for security reasons, confirming the detentions, calling it a “worrying” development that is getting worse as the number of refugees trying to cross borders increases.

According to local authorities, 73 Afghans were taken into custody on Saturday in the eastern province of Van, while another 60 migrants, 59 from Afghanistan, were held in Ercis, a district also in Van province.

In recent weeks, Turkey has been on high alert for possible mass arrivals from Afghanistan, triggered by the advance of Islamic extremists who have exploited the withdrawal of NATO and US forces from the country.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates that at least 270,000 Afghans have been displaced internally since January, a figure that brings the number of Afghans displaced by Jihadi violence and war to more than 3.5 million people.

For the past few weeks, at least 500 Afghan migrants have reached the Turkish border every day, a 150 per cent increase over previous summers, which is the best time for crossing the borders.

For several critics, this kind of immigration is bound to further weaken an already precarious Turkish economy.

Others slam President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for welcoming the refugees in the name of Islamic “brotherhood” and signing hosting agreements with the European Union in exchange for substantial funding.

Turkish, Afghan and Iranian foreign ministers met at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) in southern Turkey last month to discuss cooperation on security, energy and migration.

Turkish diplomatic sources said that there is no specific deal between Ankara and Tehran to deal with migration from Afghanistan, despite Turkey being a primary destination.

One of the first measures was to boost security along the borders.

Turkey hosts more than four million refugees, mostly from Syria, the highest number in the world.

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