Deportations to Turkish-occupied regions of Syria

Further support would strengthen Erdogan and his Islamist allies (Press Release)

Against the background of the renewed debate about a possible deportation of Syrian criminals to their country of birth, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) warns against further support for Turkish ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Erdogan will demand even more financial and military support for providing shelter to the deportees. This would help him carry out his wrongful war and give him even more leverage to blackmail Germany and the EU," stated Dr. Kamal Sido, the STP's Middle East Consultant. "In addition, many of the deported criminals would probably join the Islamist militias, which are to be seen as key element of the expulsion campaign with which Erdogan has been trying to Islamize and Turkicize the region for years. Together with the international community, the German government should try to find a profound political solution. Millions of Syrians have been suffering under the dictatorship for many years – and from war, flight, expulsions, and the arbitrariness of the warlords. "In this situation, the German government must not longer support Erdogan's irresponsible policy, as this would strengthen the Syrian Islamists and play into the hands of dictator Assad. Via Putin and the mullah regime in Iran, the Syrian regime cooperates indirectly with Erdogan and the Turkish Islamist opposition in the country.

Instead of a general ban on deportations to Syria, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer wants to enforce a case-by-case examination for criminals and potential perpetrators. Some of the other interior ministers support his proposal. Thorsten Frei, the deputy leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, called on Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to "draw up a detailed and differentiated picture of the situation in Syria as soon as possible" and to allow the deportation of criminals "to the Turkish-controlled zone in northern Syria". However, Sido is sure that many of them would quickly join armed groups that are responsible for serious human rights violations and war crimes in northern Syria. "In this way, the federal government would aggravate the situation that people have been suffering from for years – and which caused many people to flee," he added.

While the German government, through aid organizations, invests millions of Euros in the Turkish-occupied areas in the north-west of Syria every year, it has stopped all political, diplomatic, and economic support for areas controlled by the Kurdish minority and its Arab allies – out of consideration for Erdogan. "During the war against the so-called Islamic State, the Kurdish, Assyro-Aramaic, Christian, Yazidi, and Arab-Sunni people established autonomous structures in the region, thus guaranteeing a certain degree of minority protection and women's rights. People will only stay in a place where there are bearable living conditions," Sido emphasized.