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HRW Says Turkey Stopped Registering Syrian Asylum Seekers

The Turkish authorities have stopped registering Syrian asylum seekers who recently arrived in Turkey, escaping the recent flare-up in clashes between the government troops and rebel forces in Idlib region.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the Turkish officials in Istanbul and nine provinces near the Syrian border do no longer register the new arrivals. The HRW says the suspension is leading to unlawful deportations, coerced returns to Syria, and the denial of health care and education.

“While the EU supports Turkey to deter asylum seekers from reaching Europe, it’s turning a blind eye to Turkey’s latest steps to block and discourage people fleeing Syria,” said Gerry Simpson, associate refugee program director at Human Rights Watch. “But forcing Syrians who manage to get past Turkey’s border guards to live in legal limbo only risks driving them underground and onward to the EU.”

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