Financial Times article falsely claims that Turkey’s southern borders have been closed to the Syrian refugees since 2015
On 5 March 2018, The Financial Times published an article about growing negative public opinion against Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. However, the article includes a factual mistake in that it alleges that Turkey closed its southern borders to Syrian refugees and forces them to return back to Syria.
“Turkey’s border has also been closed since 2015 to the majority of Syrians. In both countries, human rights groups warn of growing forced deportations,” read the article.
However, the data of refugees admitted to Turkey shows that the claim is not entirely correct. Turkey has maintained an open-door policy towards Syrian refugees who are fleeing from the violence of the Assad regime and atrocities of terror groups such as the YPG and DAESH.
There are 3,540,548 registered Syrian refugees in Turkey as of 2018 according to the data of Turkey’s Directorate General of Migration Management, making Turkey the largest refugee hosting country in the world.
Since 2015, the alleged date of the “closing of Turkish border to Syrian refugees,” more than one million Syrian refugees have entered Turkey. In contrast, the total number of Syrian refugees that all 37 European countries received since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 is around one million, equal to the number of Syrian refugees accepted by Turkey within the last three years.
Alongside the open-door policy applied for the small groups taking refuge in Turkey, Turkey continues to provide shelter for the Syrian people who had to leave their homes in masses. When Aleppo fell to the Assad regime in 2016 after intense clashes between the rebels and the regime supported by Russian airstrikes, Turkey prepared camps and welcomed more than 70,000 people displaced from Aleppo.
Furthermore, while the Western countries receive Syrian refugees after extensive background checks, Turkey accepted thousands without their identity cards and issued them temporary identity cards based on their declarations, so they would not face difficulties in their daily life and when dealing with the bureaucratic procedures.