Turkey’s migration policy entirely based on human rights: Minister Soylu

A refugee camp in Turkey

Turkey’s interior minister Suleyman Soylu has stated that there are 3,551,078 refugees in Turkey. Speaking in the Immigration Policy Council’s meeting, Soylu said Turkey needs to found a well-organised immigration policy for a huge refugee wave coming from Iraq and Syria.

Soylu criticised European authorities for their immigration policies saying, “Unlike Europe, Turkey was well aware of the refugee crisis way before baby Aylan’s dead body was washed ashore.”

“Some European countries have declared that they will build higher walls and barbed wire barriers to their borders against the refugee flow. It has been recorded that 89.2% of refugees have been exposed to police violence in a European country. Refugees were forced to bath in barrels under -10°C,” Soylu added.

Turkey’s Dogan News Agency (DHA) reported on Wednesday that Minister Soylu also claimed Turkey runs an immigration policy entirely based on human rights in accordance with international standards. “The number of refugees accepted by Turkey is three times more than the whole of the European Union,” the minister said.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), on the other hand, has stated before that Turkey hosts 2.2 million Syrian refugees, many of whom face obstacles accessing education and employment, and is the main transit route for asylum seekers trying to reach the European Union. Border restrictions and visa requirements impede the ability of Syrians to seek protection in Turkey.

Separately, Amnesty International had criticised the deal between the European Union and Turkey aimed at returning asylum-seekers back to Turkey on the premise that Turkey is safe for them. “It is disingenuous in the extreme that European leaders are touting the EU-Turkey deal as a success, while closing their eyes to the unbearably high cost to those suffering the consequences,” Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe, had said at the time.