Diyarbakır Bar calls on Turkish authorities to halt expulsion of 39 Afghans

Afghan migrants rest while waiting for transport by smugglers after crossing the Iran-Turkish border on August 15, 2021 in Tatvan, on the western shores of Lake Van, eastern Turkey. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)

The Diyarbakır Bar Association has called on Turkish authorities to halt the expulsion of 39 Afghan asylum seekers who were detained on September 19, the Bianet news website reported.

The Afghans, including 15 children, were sent to the eastern province of Van for expulsion on September 25.

Speaking to representatives of the Diyarbakır Bar, the asylum seekers said they will be tortured or killed by the Taliban if they are sent back to Afghanistan.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently said Turkey will no longer be able to afford to welcome any more Afghan refugees. According to Erdoğan, Turkey is home to more than 300,000 Afghans.

Turkey, which hosts some 3.7 million registered Syrian refugees, is currently faced with an increasing number of Afghans attempting to enter the country through Iran since the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital of Kabul. Between 500 and 1,000 Afghans are estimated to have arrived in Turkey each day since early July, according to Turkish media reports.

Speaking in a televised address following a Cabinet meeting, President Erdoğan previously said he was aware of the Turkish public’s “unease” about refugees. He reiterated that the country had reinforced its border with Iran with military, gendarmerie and police and that a wall being erected along the frontier was nearing completion.

According to a survey conducted by Metropoll, 54.4 percent of Turks are against opening the border to Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban and think a possible open-door policy would have a negative effect on their support for the Turkish government. Only 18.8 percent of respondents supported the idea of Turkey accepting new Afghan refugees.

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