Turkey arrests 6,000 refugees in Istanbul

Turkey arrests 6,000 refugees in Istanbul

PanARMENIAN.Net - A crackdown on unregistered refugees and migrants in Istanbul has seen more than 6,000 arrests, including that of Syrians, in the past two weeks, Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has said, according to Al Jazeera.

There has been a concern in recent days over reports that hundreds of Syrian refugees have been sent back to Syria, after being forced to sign consent forms in Turkish that they could not understand.

"We have been carrying out an operation since July 12 ... We have caught 6,122 people in Istanbul, including 2,600 Afghans and around 1,000 Syrians," Soylu told TV station NTV on Wednesday.

"When we catch Syrians who are not registered, we send them to refugee camps," he said, citing a camp in the Turkish border province of Hatay and denying the claims of deportation.

However, he said some Syrians were "voluntarily" choosing to go back to areas in Syria where fighting has abated.

Turkey is home to more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees - the highest number in the world.

Most have "temporary protection" permits but these restrict them to the province in which they first registered.

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