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Erdoğan rejects Afghan refugees

After the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, the West discussed the admission of refugees. In a telephone conversation with Chancellor Merkel, Turkish President Erdoğan made it clear: his country has no place.

In view of the dramatic situation in Afghanistan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan does not want to accept any further refugees in his own country. Turkey can not support these "additional burden," Erdogan said in an interview with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). According to the government, both had called on Saturday and talked about the situation in Afghanistan.

As the deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer announced, the Chancellor and President Erdoğan agreed "that the evacuation of vulnerable people from Afghanistan continues to have the highest priority". "A new wave of migration is inevitable if the necessary measures are not taken in Afghanistan and Iran," said Erdoğan, according to the Turkish governments. "Turkey, which already has five million refugees, cannot bear any additional burden from migrants."

According to the German government, Merkel and Erdoğan also agreed in the phone call to work closely together to support the work of international organizations, in particular the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries.

Fear-Driven Debate
Turkey has taken in more refugees than any other country in the world. In addition to around 3.6 million people from Syria, hundreds of thousands of other migrants are already living there, including people from Afghanistan. The admission of Syrians arose from a deal between Turkey and the European Union that migration expert Gerald Knaus had devised.

Knaus now warned that the debate about new flows of refugees was driven by fear. "The situation cannot be compared with 2015 at all," he says. The number of refugees from Afghanistan who made it into the EU is still small. Nothing about that will change anytime soon.

In the past few days, Erdoğan has repeatedly warned against massive migration from Afghanistan to Turkey and further into the EU. Due to the expected increase in the number of refugees from Afghanistan, the Turkish government had already pushed ahead with the construction of a border wall with Iran in the past few days.

Source: Der Spiegel
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