Two Palestinians were killed as a result of the Israeli attack on the Jenin region

ANKARA: Turkey’s far-right Zafar Party (Zafar) has launched a fundraising campaign, promising that the money raised will be used to pay for one-way bus tickets to send all Syrian refugees home.
In the video, the party asks its supporters to provide the names of those who will be sent back to Syria, and also offers to buy tickets for those who support the rights of refugees in Turkey.
Party founder Ümit Özdag, in a message he shared on Twitter, asked his supporters to respond by giving the names of the Syrians they wanted to give “advances”, and said, “Zafer Turizm’s one-way ticket sales to Damascus have just started.” reservations”.
The Victory Party had previously promised to deport all Syrian refugees within a year if it won power. But with his latest campaign, Özdag targets Turkish citizens who take a pro-refugee position, including journalist Nagehan Alcı, by adding their names to the “persona non grata” list.
Ahmet Hamo, a Turkish journalist of Syrian origin, was also the target of the campaign, which presented a bus ticket in his name. Özdag had previously promised to strip Hamo of his citizenship if Zafer came to power.
According to the United Nations, Turkey is home to 3.6 million Syrians who have been displaced by their country’s protracted civil war. Zafar Party is built primarily on a platform of fighting refugees, and Özdag often visits Syrian-run businesses and asks them to leave the country as soon as possible. He recently posted a video on YouTube called “Silent Invasion,” warning people about a dystopian future in Turkey where there are more Arabs than Turks.
According to Ruhat Sena Akşener, Acting Turkey Director of Amnesty International, many refugees and asylum seekers in Turkish camps live in constant fear of being sent back to the war-torn country they fled.
“Such discriminatory statements made in public increase the fear that they will be fired, discriminated against and subjected to racist threats and actions,” he told Arab News.
“The rise of anti-refugee rhetoric and the rise of physical attacks against refugees and immigrants is the clearest indication of this,” he added.
With presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for May in Turkey, all political parties are taking a position on the refugee issue. According to the latest “Turkey Trends 2022” survey conducted by the Global Academy, this is the third most important issue for Turkish citizens after the economy and terrorism.
Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has also promised to send refugees back to Syria if it comes to power. CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that this will be done voluntarily and with dignity, as required by the principles of international law, and security guarantees will be requested from the Syrian regime regarding the safety of the returnees.
The ruling Justice and Development Party also supports the return of Syrian refugees to the areas controlled by Turkey in northern Syria as part of the political normalization process with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and the Turkish authorities have already expelled thousands of refugees from the country. . The Ministry of Defense has recently stated that the return of the refugees will be in accordance with the UN principles of safe repatriation.
According to researcher Begum Basdas, the forced return of refugees to Syria violates the international law principle of non-refoulement codified in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Turkey has no right to deport a person to a country that may violate their fundamental rights.
“In addition, there are articles prohibiting the return to Turkey’s legal framework regarding the temporary protection of Syrians,” he told Arab News.
“It said that in recent years most political leaders have chosen to ignore the rule of law in order to gain an upper hand in the upcoming elections.”
According to Ruhat Sena Akşener, “according to the principle of non-refoulement, it is prohibited to send asylum seekers to countries where there is a risk of persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, belonging to a certain social group or political opinion.
Therefore, any political campaign that promises or promotes such a plan violates international law, he added.
“Such actions should be considered as attempts to discriminate against refugees by strengthening racism and xenophobia and should be considered as actions against human rights. This is unacceptable,” Aksener insisted.
Özdag, the founder of Zafar Party, recently claimed that there are currently 13 million refugees in Turkey without providing any corroborating information. According to the UN, this number is more like 3.6 million. Bashdash claimed that this figure of Özdag is deliberately unrealistic and is only intended to create xenophobia and fear among the Turkish population.
“This latest campaign by the Victory Party is against international law and it also aims to target individuals and normalize any acts of violence against them,” he warned.
“The racism and discrimination that the Victory Party calls “patriotism” is actually a recipe for a future shaped by hatred, mistrust and violence not only against migrants, but also against all citizens who defend human rights and the rule of law. Law in a country in permanent democratic decline.
According to Basdas, in recent years putting people’s lives at risk has become a political tool used to win elections by distracting voters from real issues elsewhere. The few who oppose this tactic are targeted to silence them. He also criticized the European countries that did not fulfill their obligations in this field.
“Europe does not address the lack of access to asylum, violations of the principle of discrimination against refugees and discrimination attacks against refugees, as well as turning back at the borders by designating Turkey as a safe third country. That has to change now,” he said.
Western countries often praise Turkey’s remarkable efforts to welcome Syrian refugees. However, experts stressed that the West should bear more responsibility in this area.
“States must fulfill their obligations to protect people in need of international protection, respect their human rights and ensure that they remain in favorable conditions on their territory until a permanent solution is found. “Politicians should defend the end of retreats at the borders,” said Akşener.
Bashdash suggests: “The international community should step up its commitment to the resettlement of Syrian Syrians in Turkey and offer sustainable solutions to help welcome this important population safely.”
223,881 Syrians have received Turkish citizenship, and 126,786 of them will be able to vote in the next elections.
This text is a translation of an article published on

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