Over 200 Iraqi migrants deported to Iraq through Ibrahim Khalil border
On 7 July, Turkish authorities deported 203 Iraqi migrants back to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq via Ibrahim Khalil border crossing after they tried to enter Europe through Greece. They were arrested on their way from Turkey to Greece and detained by the Turkish authorities in a refugee camp in Edirne city.
After spending time in detention, the migrants were returned by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey, and then released by the Kurdish security forces of Ibrahim al-Khalil Department.
“We crossed to Turkey (from the Iraqi Kurdistan region) then we went to Edirne city and from there to Bulgaria. We were arrested there, they handed us over to Turkey which held us in the Edirne camp, and we spent 25 days there,” Goran Mohammed, one of the deported migrants said in an interview with Rudaw.
Hossam Ali, another deported migrant, said, “They held us for a whole week, they treated us strangely and beat us, they did not allow us to speak, we could not contact our relatives, why do they do this to us?”
All of the irregular migrants were Kurds and each migrant paid USD 2000 to smugglers to take them to Greece. “Those who say the road is very easy to pass the borders are lying, there is no road available. I advise all not to take this path, they [smugglers] are all liars,” another migrant said.
Previously on 13 June, Turkey deported 159 migrants to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for trying to enter Europe illegally.
According to the International Federation of Iraqi refugees, Turkey deports about 10 to 15 irregular migrants every week via the Ibrahim Khalil border crossing as a result of strict measures taken by the Turkish authorities to stop irregular migrants and making the routes more difficult to pass.
According to Kurdistan 24 news agency, there are 350 more migrants from the Kurdistan Region and Iraq in Edirne prison and Turkey is expected to deport more migrants back to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in the coming months.
TMP – 22/07/2018
Photo caption: Migrants waiting for deportation procedures at Ibrahim Khalil border crossing, Rudaw.