There has been a sustained news blackout on the international refugee crises & it is not because war reporting has dominated the media. Because of its location & certainly not because of its receptivity to refugees, Turkey is ground zero for refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, & Bangladesh. That’s why in 2016 Angela Merkel, on behalf of the European Union, brokered an unsavory cash deal with Turkey to prevent refugees from entering Turkey & to accept refugees deported back from Europe. The scheme applied to Syrians, Afghans, Pakistanis, & other nationalities deemed not qualified for asylum in Europe. It was a scheme that preempted international law about the rights of war refugees & every standard of human decency, especially because Turkey & European countries are involved up to their military eyeballs in creating the refugee crises.
These Afghan refugees arriving in Turkey are part of an estimated 20,000 refugees who have fled war in Afghanistan just in the past three months. They cross through Iran into Turkey’s eastern borders mostly on foot to the major city of Erzurum. As part of its devil’s pact with the EU, Turkey is on a deportation rampage & has hunted down & sent at least 7,000 Afghan refugees on several chartered flights back to Kabul. The Turkish Interior Ministry said the Afghans crossed into Turkey due to “ongoing terrorist activities & economic troubles” in Afghanistan without mentioning the US occupation & massive bombing. In Kabul, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Refugees & Repatriations, flush with CIA payola & functioning as a ventriloquist dummy for the US Pentagon, insisted the refugees who had just transited 2,947 kilometers (1,831 miles) were coming back home of their own free will. Color him bought.
The most powerful way to stand with Afghan, Syrian, Pakistani, & other war refugees is to demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all foreign military forces from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, & wherever else they are.
Refugee rights are human rights. Open the borders. No human being is alien to us.
(Photo by Erdem Sahin/EPA)