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Surge in Afghan refugees arriving in Turkey

Surge in Afghan refugees arriving in Turkey
By Robert Hackwill
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Ankara warns well on course to more than double last year's 50,000 total from war-torn country.


Turkey says it is facing a new wave of refugees with the arrival in the country of 30,000 Afghans in the last three months.

Some 7000 have been forced to return home, an act criticised by some human rights groups, but Turkey says if the trend continues there could be the double of last year's nearly 50,000 Afghans needing aid and shelter.

"I will go to Sivas and work there if there is a job. I have to care about our house back home, I have to look after my parents There is a war in Afghanistan, and fighting, but there are no jobs, okay?" said one young man.

Men and even women are making the dangerous journey to emigrate as the choice of staying and toughing it out in Afghanistan becomes ever-more unrealistic.

"I am ready to do all kinds of labour for my child to get better. We fled because of the suicide bombings and explosions. When leaving the house, one did not know if you would come back home alive or not," said a young mother.

Turkey's attraction as a gateway to Europe remains strong despite the government announcing what critics brand as an "inhumane and draconian" deportation policy. It is rarely a destination, but many refugees find they can go no further.

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