Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population
Ad Hoc Sub-Committee on the Large-scale Arrival of Irregular Migrants, Asylumseekers
and Refugees on Europe’s Southern Shores
Syrian refugees on the Turkish borderReport on the visit to Antakya (Turkey)
(26 July 2011)
1. Since 15 March 2011 a wave of protest has broken out against the current government in Syria.
Although little information is coming out of the country, which is closed to foreign media, there is no doubt that the crackdown has been deadly. According to the United Nations, it has already cost the lives of over 4500 people.
2. From late April 2011, when the instability reached the border areas between Syria and Turkey, thousands of Syrians began fleeing their country to seek refuge in the Turkish province of Hatay.
3. At the invitation of the Turkish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly, the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population1 decided to visit the area to observe the situation, since it is the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee’s purpose to establish constructive dialogue and a relationship of trust with the authorities of Council of Europe member states in southern Europe faced with mixed migration flows at their borders.
4. The members of the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee would like to thank the Turkish authorities for their assistance and cooperation in organising the visit. They had an opportunity to meet the persons involved in managing arrivals of Syrians in the Hatay area and talk at length with a number of refugees acommodated in the Altınözü Boynuyogun and Yayladagı camps. However, the members of the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee regret that their visit to the refugee camps was confined to the outskirts, since the Turkish authorities refused the delegation permission to enter the camps, citing the safety and privacy of the camps’ residents.
To read the full report in pdf format, please click; http://www.assembly.coe.int/CommitteeDocs/2011/amahlarg042011.pdf