Turkish forces detain 133 migrants from Afghanistan in Van

Within a few days, Turkish security forces have arrested 133 migrants from Afghanistan on the border between northern and eastern Kurdistan. They now face deportation back to the escalating Afghan civil war.

According to official reports, 133 migrants from Afghanistan were detained by Turkish security forces on Saturday and Sunday at the border with Eastern Kurdistan/Iran in the Kurdish province of Van. Mahmut Kaçan of the Van Bar Association told Infomigrants that the migrants will now most likely be taken to deportation centers and deported back to Kabul from there. In Turkey, there is no de facto right to asylum, as the Turkish government has ratified the Geneva Convention only with a regional reservation. This means that only migrants from Europe have the possibility to apply for asylum in Turkey. While migrants from Syria receive temporary residence permits, migrants from Afghanistan are usually deported immediately after being detained.

Deadly border built with the help of the EU

With the help of the EU, Turkey has already sealed off most of its eastern border with walls, military fortifications, floodlights and sensors. As a result, those migrants must take increasingly dangerous routes. Earlier this month, at least 12 migrants died when a minibus in which they were trying to cross from Iran into Van province overturned and caught fire. Time and again, migrants also drown in Lake Van while trying to cross the inland body of water in small boats to avoid controls in the highly militarized Kurdish province.