New influx of Afghans seeks refuge in Turkey

6 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

ANKARA: Turkey already hosts the world’s largest refugee population, including three million Syrians, but over the last year there has been an influx of Afghans seeking a safe haven—and not just from Afghanistan itself, but from Iran, reports AFP.

For decades Iran, to Turkey’s east, has been home to some three million Afghans who have fled the endless war pitting the Taliban and other rebels against the western-backed government in Kabul.

Many live in miserable conditions and their prospects have become even more precarious due to the Islamic Republic’s increasingly troubled economy.

Turkey is home to 145,000 Afghans, according to Amnesty International figures in April, but the influx has really taken off this year.

Up to mid-August, 61,819 Afghan migrants had arrived in Turkey in 2018 compared to 45,259 in 2017, according to Turkish interior ministry figures.

Javad Saadatnejad was a refugee in Iran for 34 years before arriving in Turkey last month.

“Iran didn’t do anything for me,” he said.