Circular tells Turkish officials not to treat refugees from Kobane, Sinjar: Reports
Syrian Kurdish children stand in a factory used as a refugee camp in the town of Suruç, Şanlıurfa province. AFP Photo / Aris MessinisClose to 230,000 refugees from Kobane and Sinjar that have fled to Turkey due to jihadist attacks on their homes will not be given anything but emergency healthcare in Turkey, according to a circular by an official prime ministerial agency, several media outlets have reported.
The refugees are not being accorded “temporary protected status,” meaning they will not be able to receive any healthcare benefits in Turkey apart from emergency care, according to a Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) circular sent on Dec. 11 to branches of the organization in all 81 Turkish provinces, the Dicle News Agency (DİHA) has reported.
Other refugees who have fled Syria’s civil war can make use of Turkish healthcare with their temporary protected status, but refugees from Kobane and Sinjar who have fled the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have instead been given “temporary visitor permits,” excluding them from any out-patient care.
The circular, which carried the signature of AFAD Director Fuat Oktay, notably also described the attacks by ISIL, who are famous for beheadings, crucifixions and large massacres, as “internal unrest.”
“Along with the status, no healthcare services are being offered. It is clear that there is a double standard toward Kurds,” said Democratic Regions Party (DBP) official Hüseyin Yılmaz.
Yılmaz demanded that Turkey accord full healthcare rights to the Kurdish refugees, while adding that its stance on the issue showed that it was allied to the jihadists attacking Kobane and Sinjar.