Sunday 25 February 2018

Turkey restricts movement of refugees to protect image

Refugees walk towards Edirne, near the Turkish-Greek border
Refugees walk towards Edirne, near the Turkish-Greek border

Peter Johnson

Turkey has begun enforcing long-dormant rules on Syrians' travel within the country, in part over concerns about how the flow is affecting the country's image.

According to a government document and interviews with officials and migrants, the moves so far appear to be ad hoc and aimed only at preventing migrants from reaching the Turkish frontier city of Edirne, where hundreds are staging a sit-in near the Greek border.

Ahmet Icduygu, who directs the Migration Research Centre at Istanbul's Koc University, says it is a sign of a more determined effort by Turkey to get a handle on the country's massive refugee population.

Meanwhile Poland says it will accept some 7,000 refugees from Syria and Eritrea from 2016-2017.

The Interior Ministry says Poland is to take in some 5,000 people within the EU plan of relocation of asylum seekers that was agreed on Tuesday.

In addition, Poland will accommodate some 2,000 refugees that Warsaw had committed to take in July.

Irish Independent

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