Caught in Iran crisis, Afghan refugees go to Turkey

Source:Seattle Times Date:24Jan2020

Turkey has not ONE, but many refugee crisis


Afghans make up the largest group of people crossing the border illegally into Turkey, according to Interior Ministry data. The government says more than 184,000 undocumented Afghans crossed last year — up from about 100,000 in all of 2018. The government does not distinguish between Afghans who lived in Iran before crossing into Turkey and those who simply transited through Iran.

Many more Afghans have slipped over the border undetected, local refugee aid organizations say, the majority of them fleeing hardship in Iran.

Refugees who have made the journey describe harrowing treks over rugged terrain littered with the corpses of those who perished along the way. Some collapsed from exhaustion or were separated from their families amid the chaos and wandered off in the dark. Others say they were shot at by Turkish or Iranian security forces or abandoned by smugglers charging the equivalent of thousands of dollars to hustle them across.