Ankara denies claim on plan to establish migrant center
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Aug. 22 denied claims made by British media concerning the establishment of an asylum processing center in Turkey for Afghan asylum-seekers.
“The news in the U.K. press saying there are plans to establish an asylum processing center for Afghan asylum-seekers in Turkey does not reflect the truth,” the ministry said in a written statement.
The ministry’s statement concerned a reference made to Turkey in the U.K. press in the context of asylum processing centers to be established in third countries for Afghan asylum-seekers.
“No official request has been conveyed to us from any country up until today. Should there be such a request, we would not accept it anyway,” it added.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace wrote an article in the Mail, saying: “A series of ‘processing hubs’ will be set up in countries neighboring Afghanistan for refugees who manage to escape. If they can establish their right to come to the U.K., they will be flown to Britain.”
Although the country’s name was not mentioned in the article, the Mail referred to Turkey and Pakistan in it. Some media outlets also made reference to the article in question.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said the British secretary’s article was distorted by “some foreign media outlets that are well-known against Turkey.”
“This deliberate distortion was soon taken over by the opposition in Turkey. Without reading a single word of the article, they embraced this lie and started attacking our government. They tried hard to spread this slander without looking at the truth of the event,” Altun said on Twitter.
Altun said there is no such request of establishing an asylum processing center in Turkey, and that even if there is such a request, it will never be accepted by Turkish authorities.