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In a statement released today (July 16), the Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated, "Turkish authorities in Istanbul and nine provinces on or near the Syrian border have stopped registering all but a handful of recently arrived Syrian asylum seekers."
According to the HRW, this situation "is leading to unlawful deportations, coerced returns to Syria, and the denial of health care and education."
In the statement, it was emphasized that as part of the migration deal signed by Turkey and the European Union (EU) in March 2016, the European Commission will give Turkey an additional 3 billion Euro in support of the refugees in Turkey.
Simpson: "EU is turning a blind eye"
According to the HRW, "the European Union institutions and governments have stayed publicly silent on the suspension and other refugee abuses committed by Turkey, suggesting their primary concern is to halt the movement of asylum seekers and migrants from Turkey to the EU."
Regarding the stance of the EU and Turkey, the associate refugee program director at the HRW Gerry Simpson also stated,
"While the EU supports Turkey to deter asylum seekers from reaching Europe, it's turning a blind eye to Turkey's latest steps to block and discourage people fleeing Syria.
"But forcing Syrians who manage to get past Turkey's border guards to live in legal limbo only risks driving them underground and onward to the EU."
The HRW commented that the suspension of registration by Turkey is its "latest effort to deny asylum seekers protection."
"Over the past three years, Turkey has sealed off its border with Syria, while Turkish border guards continue to carry out mass summary pushbacks and to kill and injure Syrians as they try to cross."
"Turkey's generosity does not absolve it of the duty to help newly arrived asylum seekers"
The figures shared by the HRW show that between the early 2011 and the end of May 2018, Turkey registered almost 3.6 million people from Syria, "making it the world's largest refugee hosting country."
The HRW also added, "That generosity does not absolve it, or its international partners, of the duty to help newly arrived asylum seekers." (HK/SD)