Unregistered Syrians sent back to camps in Turkey: Interior minister

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Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has said that authorities have been sending unregistered Syrians in the country to refugee camps.

“There are Syrians who come [to Turkey] via illegal means. We’ve taken them in and sent them to camps, saying that we have not given [you] a residence permit. No one under temporary protection can be deported,” Soylu told NTV TV station on July 24, adding that all Syrians in Turkey are under temporary protection.

“What are doing with them? When we catch unregistered Syrians, we send them to camps. There are currently 100,000 people in the camps,” he said.

Soylu also touched upon the Istanbul Governor’s Office’s order that set an Aug. 20 deadline for Syrian refugees to return to the Turkish province in which are registered.

“Our problem is with refugees who live in Istanbul but are registered in other provinces. Since July 12, we have caught 6,122 people, 1,000 of whom are Syrians. Of them, 2,600 are Afghans. We catch all of them. And except for the Syrians, we transfer them to repatriation centers. Syrians are under temporary protection,” he said.

Soylu said that about 100 police teams in Istanbul will visit various businesses that are suspected to have hired unregistered migrants. Initially, these business places will not be fined, but they will be revisited by the teams one month later and “will face big amounts of fines” in case they continue to employ unregistered migrants, Soylu said.

The Istanbul Governor’s Office said on July 22 that there are a total of 1,069,860 registered foreigners in the province, 522,381 whom are foreign nationals with a residence permit and 547,479 Syrian guests under temporary protection.

Turkey has more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees — the highest number in the world.

Hurriyet Daily News

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