At the same time as desperate Afghans are trying to leave their homeland, Turkey is building a three-meter-high concrete wall on the border with Iran. The goal is to prevent Afghan refugees from entering the country.
There are many ways to hope for security for the thousands of people who try to flee Afghanistan afterwards The Taliban seized power in the country.
Daily since the fall of Kabul last Sunday, one has been able to read about it Chaos at Kabul airport. But this is not the only way out. Many are trying to cross the border into neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Iran.
Among those who chose the latter option, many continue across the country in the hope of moving to Turkey.
1 of 4Photo: Murat Sezer/Reuters
Whether that is the end goal, or whether they want to go from there again to different European countries, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get into the country. The Turks are building a three-meter-high wall on the border with Iran.
“Our borders are impossible to cross,” Turkish provincial governor Mehmet Emin Bilmes told Reuters.
To date, the wall, which began in 2017, covers 155 kilometers of the 540-kilometer border. But work to extend it is in full swing. Even before the end of the year, 64 new kilometers of concrete will be ready to block refugees who want to enter Turkey, according to Reuters.
However, this does not mean that they are rented freely along large parts of the border. Barbed wire, trenches and of course armed soldiers guards do their part to keep people away from the part where a wall hasn’t been built yet.
Many soldiers were sent after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, and thousands of people are living in fear for their lives.
– Our biggest wish is that this not be an immigration route from Afghanistan, says Bilmes.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said: “Turkey has no duty or responsibility to become a refugee camp in Europe.”
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Not considering that there will be a wave of immigrants
Turkish authorities say they have arrested about 35,000 Afghans who crossed the border illegally so far this year. Lots are returned.
The country also states that it has registered more than 180,000 Afghan refugees in the country and that there are about 120,000 unregistered.
UNHCR estimates that 90 percent of the 2.6 million Afghans who have fled abroad live in Iran and Pakistan. By comparison, about 630,000 Afghans have applied for asylum in EU countries in the past 10 years.
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Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told NTB that it was not taken for granted that the Taliban’s takeover of power would lead to a new wave of refugees. He believes that much depends on whether the Taliban will allow development work in countries to continue, and that donor countries will continue to fund it.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 550,000 Afghans have left their homes due to hostilities in the country so far this year. Most of these are still in Afghanistan.
Turkey also hosts about 3.6 million Syrian refugees.
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