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Home arrow In Brief arrow CoE asks Turkey Free Movement + International Access +Protection for Syrian Refugees closed in Camps

CoE asks Turkey Free Movement + International Access +Protection for Syrian Refugees closed in Camps

Автор ACM
Tuesday, 24 January 2012

 

pace_turkish_syrian_borders__camp_400


A CoE Resolution, after a Goup of MEPs' visit on the spot, asked Turkey to "offer" Syrian Refugees,  currently closed in Turkish Camps, "Freedom of Movement", and to open them "Access to International (i.e. UNO, Red Cross/Crescent, etc.) protection", as well as "Information on their Rights", while also "grant(ing) International Organisations and NGOs .... regular Access in Refugee Camps", and "allow(ing) the Media to ...Contact .. the Refugees".


CoE's Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, recently endorsed and declassified the Report of an inter-party CoE Assembly Delegation on its earlier, 2011 visit to Antakya (Turkey) :


------------------------------------------
CoE: Turkish "Camps not ...open to International observers" -----------------------------------------------------


 - "Almost None has been given Permission to Enter" the Turkish Camps, "although a number of National and International Delegations have .. gone Near to the Refugee Camps", including "Representatives of Political Parties and of Diplomatic Missions   , Journalists, a delegation from the World Healh Organisation, representatives of NGO, and (even) MEPs from CoE's competent Committe" : Turkish "Authorities .... Refused all the Delegations' , the Report denounced from the outset.


- MEPs, "Members of the .. (competent).. Committee ...however, would have liked to have been able to go Inside to see for themselves the Refugees' material Living Conditions, as well as to feel the Atmosphere and Speak Freely with a great number of Syrians". Instead of meeting only, Outside of the Camps, just a few Refugees, pre-selected and brought out guarded by the Turkish Authorities, on the contrary, CoE's "Delegation woule have liked to have seen for itself what .. (Turkish) Refugee Camps (for Syrians) looked like", the  Report (drafted by Representatives of all 5 Political Groups) criticizes for these unprecedented incidents.


=> Thus, all "the Members of the (competent, CoE's) Committee are at a loss to understand the (Turkish Authorities') Refusal to let them enter" the Syrian Refugees' Camps at the Turkish borders, they complained.


>>> In conclusion, "the (CoE's inter-Party) Delegation recommends .. the Turkish Authorities to grant Full Access to the Camps to CoE Delegations, in order to do heir Fact-Finding and Monitoring activities, as effective as possible".


------------------------------
Return Mystery
-----------------------------------------
=> In these circumstances, it remains a Mystery why, from some 20.000 Syrian Refugees initially registered in the Turkish Camps, much more than the Half (about 12.000) had already prefered to Return back in Syria, leaving on the spot only about of One Third (some 7.000) :


 - Therefore, "the (CoE's) Committee's Members asked the (Turkish) Authorities ... about the Reasons for, and the Circumstances of these Returns".


- But, "the (Turkish) AUthorities explained .. that they were Ignorant of the Motives for, and the Circumstances of Returns" of Syrian Refugees who massively left the closed Turkish Camps. "The (Turkish) Authorities had (not even) asked the Syrians .. why they are Leaving", as the Turks claimed.


According to  certain reports by Syrian Refugees, "some (among those who left).. had also Disappeared". Others "alleged that thye Syrian Authorities were putting Pressure.. to return", (etc).
                                                                                                                       

At least in one, high-note case, that of former dissident Syrian Colonel Hussein Harmoush, who was last seen at a Refugee Camp in Tukey at the end of August 2011, it was reported, by mainstream Media s (f.ex. "The Guardian", etc), that he was kidnapped by Turkish Services after a meeting with them, and "smuggled" to Syria, in exchange of 6 Kurdish Workers Party members, and because Turkey would intervene inside the Syrian Opposition to diminish Kurds' role, (probably afraid of eventual developments similar to that of Iraq, where Kurds administrate alone an Oil/gas rich region). Additional data from other International Media reported that Syrian dissidents booed Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, during a recent visit to Egypt, asking him what really happened to Harmoush, but without getting any answer from Erdogan..


     (../..)


+ Moreover, in general, "Access to Asylum procedure is a Thorny issue" in Turkey, critically obsereves CoE's Report.


- "Members of the (competent CoE's) Committee had to raise this Question several Times (to the Turkish Authorities), before obtaining any Answers, which were ... Unsatisfactory in any case", it denounces.


- Probably because of the fact that "Turkey is the only CoE's member State to have maintained a GeoGraphical Limitation concerning the application of the 1951 (International) Convention relating to the Status of Refugees", according to which, all "Persons coming from Outside of Europe canNot be recognized as Refugees by Turkey" ! Therefore, even its neighbours, "Syrians, canNot be considered to ve Refugees in Turkey".


=> CoE's "Parliamentary Assembly has frequently called upon Turkey to Lift this Limitation, which Blocks Access to International Protection", the Report reveals.


- Therefore, "Turkey should lift, asap, its geographical Limitation on the 1951 (International) Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, that is preventing Non-Europeans from obtaining this Status", CoE's 2011 Report concludes.


+ Meanwhile, several Photographs from the International Press, have already shown that many Syrian oppenents, who had left their Homes, hesitated to enter Turkish Camps, prefering to stay at a free and open, countryside area, probably given the Lack of due Legal Protection (see supra) and the  fact that Turkish Camps close Refugees, packed in Promiscuity at a narrow area, surrounded by Barbed Wires and/or other blockades, and heavily guarded by Turkish Army patrols, hindering free movement and contacts. (See supra + PHOTOS).


------------------------
=> CoE's Resolution
--------------------------------


For these, and more reasons, CoE's Assembly endorsed and published its Migration, Refugees and Population Committee's delegation's (representing all CoE's political Groups) Resolution on "Syrian Refugees on the Turkish borders", which, inter alia, "calls on the Turkish Authorities", mainly, "to" :


- "grant International Organizations and NGOs .. regular Access in Refugee Camps, in the province of Hatay, in the interests of Transparecy, and (to) allow the Media to have Contact with the Refugees".


- "provide Refugees with adequate Information on their Rights, and guarantee them Access to International Protection and Asylum procedures, .. in close cooperation with the UNHCR".


- "'offer ... Freedom of Movement" to Syrian Refugees "who cannot, or do not wish to, return to Syria".


 - "maintain .... the Borders open", while, on the contrary, it's enough to have a look at a Map of the area in order to see that Turkey apparently has some openings only at a comparatively small area in the West, near the Sea, while apparently still keeping closed, without any Refugee camp, its longer borders separating the Kurdish regions of Syria from the Kurdish population regions in Turkey, at the Eastern side.


(../..)

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate and complete, Final Version may be published asap).

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