Claim: Turkey forcibly expels Syrian refugees back to Syria

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Claim: Turkey forcibly expels Syrian refugees back to Syria

2016-03-15 08:27 GMT
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Belgian politician Guy Verhofstadt claims in the Guardian that Turkey forcibly expels Syrian refugees back into Syria

Guy Verhofstadt was 47th Prime Minister of Belgium and is now the Leader of ALDE Group in European Parliament

On 10 March 2016, Guy Verhofstadt published an article in The Guardian about a deal between the EU and Turkey on refugees.1 In the article, he claimed that the asylum system for Syrian refugees in Turkey is not functioning, human rights in Turkey is appalling, and Turkey expels Syrian refugees back to Syria. He wrote: 
We know Turkey has an appalling human rights record and a non-functioning asylum system. There is even evidence that Turkey has been forcibly expelling Syrian refugees back into Syria. 
However, Turkey has maintained an open-door policy since 2011 and accepted all Syrians fleeing the war including the refugees with no passports.2 For more information please click here.
Turkey gave all of the refugees temporary protection status that provides the refugees with non-refoulement:
"No one within the scope of this Regulation shall be returned to a place where he or she may be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment or, where his/her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion."3 
The temporary protection regulation also guarantees all Syrian refugees rights to education, healthcare, security and other social rights. On 11 January 2016, by the decision of the Council of Ministers, work permits were also granted for Syrian refugees.4
Currently, Turkey hosts 2.7 million Syrian refugees which corresponds to more than half of the total number of the Syrian refugees (4.8 million) given in the regional overview by the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency).5 Turkey has spent nearly $9 billion on Syrian refugees, an amount 20 times more than what international aid agencies including the UN have spent.6