Ankara angered U.S. Afghan refugee program

Last week, the U.S. provided more details for its plan to admit Afghans who worked with the U.S. and now face threats from the Taliban. People who apply for the emergency visas can expect to wait 12-14 months in a third country. The U.S. will also accept applications from Afghan refugees who arrive Turkey illegally.

The mention of Turkey has caused some consternation in Ankara. “We don’t accept the irresponsible decision taken by the U.S. without consulting our country,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “First, the U.S. statement will cause another migration crisis in our region and increase Afghan people’s suffering on migration routes. It’s unacceptable to use our country without consent instead of finding a solution with the regional countries.” He also emphasized that Turkey doesn’t have the capacity to take on a new migration crisis and that Turkey already hosts a high number of refugees.

“If the U.S. wants to take these people, it’s possible to directly transfer them by planes,” a foreign ministry statement read. “Our country will not take over the international responsibilities of third countries and will not allow its laws to be abused by third countries for their own purposes. No one should expect the Turkish nation to bear the burden of the migration crises sparked by the decisions of third countries in our region.”


The Republican People’s Party leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, warned the U.S. that his party does not accept the deals it made with Erdogan. “Whatever you said, whatever you told Erdogan concerns him, not the Republic of Turkey,” said Kilicdaroglu, stressing that Afghan migration is an issue of survival. “The U.S. decided to accept 19,000 Afghans and their family members (53,000 people in total) are considered enemies by the Taliban. It also pointed to Turkey as a target country through Iran for nearly of million of its supporters. These are young people escaping from the Taliban. First, it’s obvious that Erdogan accepted these Afghan refugees into our country in the last meeting with the U.S.”

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