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TSK denies reports of increased influx of Afghan asylum seekers

In this file photo migrants walk along the hardshoulder of a highway as they make their way from the Iranian border the city of Tatvan, around 200km away, in the eastern Lake Van region of Turkey on August 24, 2020. AFP

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has denied recent reports about a rising number of Afghans fleeing potential retribution by the Taliban crossing into Turkish territory, the Demirören news agency reported on Friday.

The TSK claimed the country’s borders are now better protected and monitored thanks to “7/24 surveillance with some 20 battalions, about 20,000 troops including commandos, modular concrete walls, electro-optic towers and drones,” according to the report.

In response to videos showing Afghans easily crossing the Turkish border posted on social media, the TSK said there is currently no increase in the inflow of Afghan asylum seekers, with border troops stepping up measures against irregular migration.

No measure, however, will be sufficient to prevent migration, the TSK said, suggesting that stability should be restored in Afghanistan instead.

Turkish Interior Ministry spokesperson and deputy minister İsmail Çataklı indicated that the videos showing a refugee influx were misleading, referring to several videos posted on social media last weekend, Al-Monitor reported on Tuesday.

In response to the deputy minister’s remarks, journalist Ruşen Takva posted several videos on Twitter on Tuesday showing asylum seekers entering Turkey at its eastern border. Takva said at least 1,500 people were making the crossing each day and that their numbers were increasing, as reported by Al-Monitor.

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