NGO warns of threat to Turkey posed by jihadists in Syria

NGO warns of threat to Turkey posed by jihadists in Syria

A leading human rights group in Turkey has urged the government to improve new policies since there is “a clear and present danger” posed by jihadists groups capturing cities in the neighboring country Syria, devastated by civil war.

The Human Rights Association (İHD), in a report released on Oct. 11, called for immediate action by both the police department and the intelligence authorities against those who facilitate recruitment for al-Qaeda-based groups in Syria from Turkey. Public prosecutors should launch effective investigations about this situation, said the report, drafted by a seven-member İHD delegation upon their examinations at the Turkish border gates near the border with Syria on Oct. 5-6-7.

“The clear and present danger directed against the people of Turkey with the capture of cities in Syria by jihadist organizations such as al-Qaeda and al-Nusra should be taken into consideration and a new policy should be developed on this issue,” the report said.

The report also proposed a humanitarian aid corridor be opened in order to send urgent humanitarian assistance to Afrin and that the wall being built in Nasaybin should immediately be demolished while sending either windmills or other materials to make flour for the region.

“There is a camp problem for those different ethnic and religious groups attempting to find refuge in Turkey. For example; there are no camps for Kurds or Arab Alawites. There have been serious allegations of mistreatment and torture for those who simply walk across the border looking for refuge and nothing has been done about that. There have been reports of acts of prejudice and impropriety against women who have attempted to seek sanctuary in Turkey. All directives for the refugees and their camps released by the Prime Ministry and other ministries have been kept secret. No human rights groups are allowed into the camps. This shows that the government has not been transparent in their dealings during this period.”

The proposal section of the report includes institution of a “zero point policy” for the relatively safe border crossings of Şenyurt and Ceylanpınar, noting that these two crossings should be kept open for trade and humanitarian aid.

“Turkey should, in the interest of not being discriminatory and in keeping with international law, institute an open door policy and turn no-one back from the border,” it said.