Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

In Turkey's borderlands, fleeing Afghans get frosty welcome

WorldAug 26, 2021 10:23AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
5/5 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Merchants wait for customers at a bazaar in the border city of Van, Turkey August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Murad Sezer 2/5

By Ali Kucukgocmen

VAN, Turkey (Reuters) - Ramazan Baran waits outside a teahouse in Turkey's eastern province of Van from early morning to nightfall to find work in construction but says he has been losing out to Afghan migrants willing to work for less money.

"We sit at this teahouse all day. We come here from 6 until 8 and can't find a job," 63-year-old Baran said.

Around 15 other men sitting with him faced the same difficulty, he said. "Migrants haven't left a job for us. We cannot get by. Our people are hungry."

As Turkey braces for a possible influx of refugees fleeing Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover, concern over the potential impact is growing - fuelled by festering resentment over refugees already sheltering in the country.

Turkey hosts 3.7 million Syrians, the world's largest refugee population, and the mood has soured in recent weeks as social media videos allegedly showing Afghans entering by the hundreds unhindered sparked outrage.

Officials say around 300,000 Afghans are also currently in Turkey - some have been there for several years. They include an estimated 120,000 unregistered people, although the opposition say the number is far higher. Gravestones for those who have died after crossing the border scatter a cemetery in the city.

While President Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party have defended accepting millions of Syrians who fled conflict in their country, they have said a new wave would not be welcome.

"Turkey ... cannot handle another burden of migration stemming from Syria or Afghanistan," Erdogan said on Wednesday. He has also warned EU leaders that Turkey will not be a "migrant storage unit" for Afghans trying to reach Europe.

More Afghans are already arriving. Officials have not given details of how many a day, but say they have not yet seen signs of a major surge since the Taliban's victory - although the long distances through Iran mean migrants could take weeks to arrive.

Baran was one of around 20 people in Van who said that Turkey should stop accepting migrants and send back people already in the country.

In the capital Ankara this month a crowd of Turks attacked shops and homes belonging to Syrians in the wake of a fight that led to a Turkish youth being fatally stabbed.

Most of those who spoke to Reuters in Van said migrants were damaging the economy, while locals have to cope with inflation and unemployment in double figures.

"GO ELSEWHERE"

Authorities have reinforced the border with Iran to keep Afghan migrants out, but some still slip through. Police have also detained thousands of Afghan migrants already in the country in recent weeks.

They are taken to repatriation centres but they are currently not being sent back due to the turmoil in Afghanistan.

"If the government took necessary measures, there wouldn't be migration," said 54-year-old Mehmet Serif Karatas, speaking outside a textile shop in Van, a transit point for most Afghans crossing into Turkey.

Opposition parties have also criticised Erdogan's administration for not securing the frontier. Last week, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) put up giant banners on its buildings, reading "Border is honour".

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said that the West may try to make a new deal with Turkey in return for money, similar to Turkey's 2016 agreement with the European Union to stem the flow of migrants to Europe in return for billions of euros for refugee projects.

"How did ... thousands of Afghans cross the border and come to Turkey, and who allowed it? We have to blame the ones who allow it," Kilicdaroglu said on Wednesday. "They are doing this for money."

Selami Kiye, a 48-year-old shopkeeper in Van's Russian Bazaar, said Europe or other countries should take in the migrants. "Let them go elsewhere. We don't care about them," Kiye said.

In Turkey's borderlands, fleeing Afghans get frosty welcome
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email