The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Illegal deportation of Syrian refugees | Ankara continues its efforts to change demography of north Syria region

SOHR condemns “shameful” silence and inaction by the international community

Turkish authorities continue their efforts to change the demography of areas under their control in north Syria through forcible and illegal deportation of Syrian refugees from Turkey to “Olive Branch,” “Peace Spring” and “Euphrates Shield” areas.

 

Ankara seeks to entrench its presence by forcing indigenous inhabitants from areas they took control during military operations and resettling displaced people from other Syrian areas, which serves its interests and influence.

 

Syrian refugees are deported in a daily basis through border crossings between Syria and Turkey, after having been arrested from streets, and houses and workplaces in Turkish cities, where they are forced to sign voluntarily-return documents and the “Syrian Interim Government” host those forcibly deported Syrian in areas under their control in north Syria to satisfy Turkish authorities.

 

On the other hand, the international community continues its inaction regarding the violations committed against Syrian refugees who are forced to be sent to unsafe region experiencing tragic security situation and deteriorating living conditions, amid ineffective role by humanitarian organisations.

 

As the Syrian Observatory has been monitoring and tracking all developments regarding the forcibly deportation of Syrian refugees from Turkey, we documented the forcible deportation of 644 Syrian refugees, mostly carrying the temporary protection card ”Kimlik,” in batches since early 2024.

 

Here is a monthly breakdown of cases of forcible deportation of refugees by Turkish authorities in 2024:

 

  • January: Turkish authorities forcibly deported 117 Syrian refugees, six of whom were arrested by Turkish-backed factions, after having been deported to Syria.

 

  • February: 300 Syrian refugees.

 

  • April: 50 Syrian refugees.

 

  • June: 177 Syrian refugees.

 

We, at SOHR, condemn the inhumane treatment by Turkish authorities towards Syrian refugees who have been forcibly and illegally deported to Syria, and we call upon the international community to assign responsibility for protecting Syrian refugees and preventing Ankara from forcing them to return to the so-called “safe zone.”