Turkey Considers Use of “Safe Havens” Within Syrian Territory If Faced With Massive Influx of Asylum Seekers

Turkey is reportedly preparing contingency plans for a possible worsening of conditions within Syria and an influx of Syrian refugees.  According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey wants to avoid a repeat of the situation it faced when hundreds of thousands of Iraqis fled Iraq for Turkey in the 1990s.  250 Syrians crossed into Turkey last Friday and are seeking asylum.

“Turkey is considering establishing safe havens on the Syrian side of the border to cope with a potential massive influx of refugees from the unrest-hit neighboring country, the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review has learned. … This plan envisions the establishment of some safe havens on the Syrian side of the border whose security and humanitarian needs would be provided by Turkey. This would keep Turkey from permanently hosting tens of thousands of people who could return to their homes after the tension in Syria is defused. … As a sovereign state, Syria would likely oppose the idea of forming such safe havens, which would be protected by Turkish troops, within its territory. ‘Unless the United Nations Security Council demands such interventions, this move could be interpreted as an attempt at occupation,’ an expert on international migration told the Daily News on Sunday….”

(HT to UNHCR @refugees)

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