Claim: AK Party government houses refugees in opposition towns

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Claim: AK Party government houses refugees in opposition towns

2016-04-06 01:27 BST
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Alev Scott in Politico claims Turkey's ruling AK Party houses refugees in opposition towns as punishment to residents

Kilis, a refugee camp in Turkey near the Syrian border

On 6 March 2016, Alev Scott had an article published in Politico in which she claimed that Turkey's ruling AK Party is “housing refugees in towns that vote for its rivals”. It is also implied that refugees are not housed in conservative towns in Anatolia with strong support for the ruling party.1

“In Dikili, residents are convinced that the AKP government’s rumored plan to send them migrants from Europe was punishment for always voting for the opposition…”

However, the actual distribution of refugees does not substantiate the claim. According to the numbers received from the Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), 272,439 Syrian refugees have been placed in camps in 10 cities so far. In 9 cities where refugees have been housed, the AK Party won the majority in the elections held on 1 November 20152.

In the article, it is also stated that a camp for 27,000 Syrian refugees will be built in the town of Maras, which is inaccurately presented as “an opposition stronghold in southeastern Turkey”. According to November's election results, the AK Party won the majority in Maras by 71.8 percent, the second party being the MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) with 12,9 of the votes3.