Turkish PM vows action against Afghan migrant inflow
“Our brothers who have come to Turkey through legal ways are more than welcome here. But those who come via illegal ways are causing trouble. The [Turkish] Interior Ministry is conducting very efficient works. The process of voluntarily sending them back is also continuing. I would also like to thank you [Afghan authorities] for this business partnership,” Yıldırım said at a joint conference with Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah.
Yıldırım arrived in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on April 8 for a day-long visit.
Nearly 20,000 undocumented Afghan migrants have arrived in Turkey over the past three months, an unprecedented number according to the latest figures from the General Directorate of Security.
A total of 17,847 undocumented Afghan migrants have been captured by security forces from the beginning of 2018 until March 29.
On April 8, 227 Afghan migrants were deported with charter flights to Kabul from the eastern province of Erzurum after completing their deportation procedures.
Turkish authorities will deport nearly 600 Afghan migrants in eastern Turkey back to Kabul this weekend, the Interior Ministry said on April 7.
The Afghan migrants had crossed into Turkey through Iran due to “ongoing terrorist activities and economic troubles” in Afghanistan, the ministry said, and security forces had handed the migrants over to provincial immigration authorities.
It said deportation procedures had been completed for 591 migrants in Erzurum and that charter flights to Kabul would be arranged on April 7 and 8 to send the migrants back.
“Following the completion of deportation procedures for illegal migrants in our other provinces, deportations will speed up and continue in the coming days,” the ministry said in a statement.
Turkey urges Taliban to join Afghan peace process
Yıldırım urged the Taliban in Afghanistan to enter peace talks with the Kabul government, calling Kabul’s offer of peace talks to the Taliban a “very brave step.”
“The peace process, which Afghanistan has recently put forward to completely resolve the terror issue in the country, is a very brave and a meaningful step,” Yıldırım said.
“Mostly, we expect Taliban to benefit from this historic opportunity. Now, it is time to move from the past and build the future,” he added.
He also underlined the importance of Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s recent trip to Kabul.
He assured that Ankara would continue to support Afghanistan in fighting terrorism and would also enhance bilateral ties in other fields including trade and defense.
Abdullah thanked Turkey for its role in ensuring peace and development in Afghanistan, adding that Yıldırım’s visit to Kabul will further strengthen ties between the two countries.
The Turkish premier was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu, Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan, Turkey-Mongolia inter-parliamentary friendship group head Mehmet Erdoğan, Turkey-Afghanistan inter-parliamentary friendship group head Hüseyin Kocabıyık and member of parliament Aydın Nal.