Turkey objects US plan on resettlement of Afghans
Turkey will not accept the “irresponsible” decision taken by the United States regarding the resettlement of Afghan refugees, because the plan addresses Turkey as the target country for application of the migration procedures, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç said on Aug. 3.
In a written statement, the spokesperson recalled that the U.S. Department of State announced on Aug. 2, that Afghan nationals and their families, who have worked for the U.S. Government, U.S.-based NGO’s and press corps, will be allowed to apply within the framework of the Refugee Admissions Program Priority 2, Afghan nationals Program from third countries via respective agencies they have been employed in.
Turkey has also been suggested as a possible application spot, he added.
“This announcement will cause a major refugee crisis in our region and increase the misery of Afghans on the migration routes. Instead of looking for a solution among countries within the region, seeking a solution in Turkey without our consent is unacceptable,” the spokesperson said.
Hosting the highest number of refugees for the last seven years, Turkey does not have the capacity to bear another refugee crisis for another country, he said, adding that Ankara does not accept the US’ “irresponsible decision taken without prior consultation.”
The U.S. may directly transport these people by plane, he said.
“Turkey will not take over the international responsibilities of third countries and will not tolerate abuse of our laws by third countries for their own purposes under any circumstances. The Turkish nation cannot bear the burden of refugee crises resulting from the decisions undertaken by third countries,” Bilgiç said.
CHP leader rejects US plan
Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu objected to the U.S. decision for Afghan migrants, saying that Washington pointed to Turkey as a target country via Iran for more than a million of their supporters. He also noted that these were young people who are escaping from the Taliban.
In a Twitter post on Aug. 3, the CHP leader recalled that U.S. authorities decided to accept 19,000 Afghans together with their families (a total of 53,000 people), who had worked for them but who are perceived as enemies by the Taliban, as refugees in their own country.
The CHP leader also suggested that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has agreed in his last meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, to accept these Afghans as refugees into Turkey.
“It is also evident why a young interpreter from the Kavakçı family is allowed to take part in the meeting instead of an official interpreter. Erdoğan behaved so in order to conceal his decision,” he said, referring to the meeting on the sidelines of NATO Summit in June where Fatima Gülham Abushanab, the daughter of former lawmaker serving as Turkey’s ambassador to Kuala Lumpur Merve Kavakçı, attended the meeting as interpreter.
“I call on to the U.S. As a member of the alliance that will govern Turkey in the future, we do not accept those deals that you made with Erdoğan. Whatever you have said or relayed to Erdoğan are binding only for him, not for the Republic of Turkey,” Kılıçdaroğlu stated.
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also expressed worry over the U.S. plan. “We are concerned about the call of the United States to Afghan citizens,” he said in a statement noting that Turkey is not and will not be anyone’s “waiting room.”