No: 83, 3 April 2016, Press Release Regarding the Allegations that Turkey Has Sent Some Syrians Back to Their Countries by Force

In recent days it is observed that some media organs have given place to the allegations released by Amnesty International that Turkey has sent some Syrians back to their countries by force. Allegations in question, also expressed in various television channels by the spokesmen of aforementioned organisation, do not reflect the reality under any circumstances.

Turkey, for over five years, has been implementing the "open door policy" to the Syrians who fled from the war environment in their country and within the frame of its international obligations, abide by the principle of “non-refoulement" meticulously. There is not any change in this attitude.

As a result of this policy, our country hosts more than 2.7 million Syrians today. 270 thousand Syrians, hosted by Turkey in 26 temporary protection centres in 10 provinces, are being provided with food, medical and educational services and being offered the opportunities of psychological support, vocational training and social activities. Also, the Syrians living outside the protection centres are in temporary protective status and benefit from free health care and education services.

All necessary steps to improve the living conditions of Syrians are being taken. In this context, as of 15 January 2016, Syrians are given work permits.

Turkey is the largest refugee-hosting country in the world. This is a clear indication that the principle of non-refoulement is scrupulously obeyed by Turkey. It is out of the question that the Syrians are encouraged to return to their countries voluntarily or forcibly.

Turkey is bound by its obligations under international law and is determined to continue providing protection to the Syrians who have fled from violence and instability in their country.

While Turkey uses every available means for the Syrians, we regret that some countries which have closed their borders with barbed wire fences in order not to allow migrants, intensively release such news to their public.