syrian boy refugee

Turkey: Border Guards Kill and Injure Asylum Seekers//Des gardes-frontières turcs abattent des réfugiés syriens fuyant la guerre, selon Human Rights Watch

Original Source: Human Rights Watch/  Turkey: Border Guards Kill and Injure Asylum Seekers © 2016 by Human Rights Watch.

Citing witnesses, HRW mentioned six incidents of abuse which reportedly took place near the Khurbat al Juz-Güveççi border crossing, around 50km (30 miles) south of the Turkish city of Antakya. HRW has published a video of witness accounts online.

For HRW Turkish border guards are shooting and beating Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach Turkey, resulting in deaths and serious injuries, Human Rights Watch said today. The Turkish authorities should stop pushing Syrian asylum seekers back at the border and should investigate all use of excessive force by border guards.


Français:Des gardes-frontières turcs ont abattu plusieurs réfugiés syriens fuyant la guerre pendant les mois de mars et avril 2016, affirme Human Rights Watch. Au total d’après l’ONG, cinq personnes ont été tuées, huit blessées par balles – dont trois enfants – et six autres personnes ont été "sérieusement agressées" par les forces de sécurité turques. Des allégations qui contrastent fortement avec le discours officiel de bienvenue des autorités turques.

During March and April 2016, Turkish border guards used violence against Syrian asylum seekers and smugglers, killing five people, including a child, and seriously injuring 14 others, according to victims, witnesses, and Syrian locals interviewed by Human Rights Watch. Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Ministry maintains the country has an “open-door policy” for Syrian refugees, despite building a new border wall.

“While senior Turkish officials claim they are welcoming Syrian refugees with open borders and open arms, their border guards are killing and beating them,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Firing at traumatized men, women, and children fleeing fighting and indiscriminate warfare is truly appalling.”

Since at least mid-August 2015, Turkish border guards have pushed back Syrians trying to reach Turkey. In April 2016, Human Rights Watch reported that Turkish border guards enforcing Turkey’s one-year-old border closure had shot at Syrians escaping advances by the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS), northeast of Aleppo. Human Rights Watch also revealed how Turkish border guards blocked thousands of fleeing displaced persons after their camps near the border had been hit by artillery fire on April 13 and 15.

Turkey is entitled to secure its border with Syria, but is obliged to respect the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits rejecting asylum seekers at borders when that would expose them to the threat of persecution, torture, and threats to life and freedom. Turkey is also obliged to respect international norms on use of lethal force as well as the rights to life and bodily integrity, including the absolute prohibition on subjecting anyone to inhuman and degrading treatment.

The violence against Syrian refugees, and Turkey’s refusal to allow them to cross the border, comes as the European Union has shut its own borders to asylum seekers. In March, the EU concluded a controversial migration deal with Ankara to curb refugee and migration flows to Europe, committing €6 billion in aid to assist Syrians in Turkey, reinvigorating Turkey’s EU membership negotiations, and offering the prospect of visa-free travel for Turkish citizens. The deal provides for Europe to return migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees, including Syrians, who reach Greece by boat, on the grounds that Turkey is a safe country for them. The deal also commits the EU to work with Turkey to create areas inside Syria that will be “more safe.”

“The EU shouldn’t just stand by and watch as Turkey uses live ammunition and rifle butts to stem the refugee flow,” said Simpson. “EU officials should recognize that their red light for refugees to enter the EU gives Turkey a green light to close its border, exacting a heavy price on war-ravaged asylum seekers with nowhere else to go.”

Turkish border guard violence against Syrian refugees
In mid-April 2016, Human Rights Watch interviewed four victims, five witnesses, and six local Syrian residents who described seven occasions in March and April in which Turkish border guards shot or assaulted 17 Syrian asylum seekers and two smugglers. During the incidents, Turkish border guards killed five people (shot to death three asylum seekers and a smuggler and beat to death one smuggler); shot and injured eight asylum seekers, including three young children; and severely assaulted six asylum seekers.

Six of the incidents occurred near the Khurbat al-Juz-Güveççi border crossing, near the Turkish town of Antakya, and one near the Syrian border town of al-Duriya.

Human Rights Watch also interviewed six Syrians from Khurbat al-Juz who helped some of the survivors and retrieved the bodies of those killed, in some cases coming under fire by Turkish border guards as they approached the bodies. One of the men, a security guard working in one of the local displaced persons camps, filmed a number of the victims and bodies.

Read the full story here


C’est la première fois que de telles accusations sont portées par une organisation de défense des droits de l’Homme. Selon Human Rights Watch (HRW), des gardes-frontières turcs ont abattu plusieurs réfugiés syriens fuyant la guerre pendant les mois de mars et avril 2016. Au total d’après l’ONG, cinq personnes ont été tuées, huit blessées par balles – dont trois enfants – et six autres personnes ont été “sérieusement agressées” par les forces de sécurité turques. Des allégations qui contrastent fortement avec le discours officiel de bienvenue des autorités turques.

HRW, qui a interrogé pour les besoins de son enquête plusieurs victimes et témoins d’attaques, a recensé sept “incidents” au cours desquels “des gardes-frontières turcs ont tiré ou attaqué 17 demandeurs d’asile syriens et deux passeurs”. Six de ces incidents ont eu lieu près du point de passage Khurbat al Juz-Güveççi, à quelques kilomètres de la ville turque d’Antakya.


9 thoughts on “Turkey: Border Guards Kill and Injure Asylum Seekers//Des gardes-frontières turcs abattent des réfugiés syriens fuyant la guerre, selon Human Rights Watch”

  1. I’ve never seen during my life time on this planet, these human rights organizations would never talk or report about the suffer of Turkish or Russian who were damaged by the other nations. But always, there are Turks under almost every bad things, after the others follow, but yet not like them.

    I wonder, why these human rights organizations do not explain or report what Syrian refugees make in Turkey?

    Since the first day they came to Turkey, all kinds of theft, extortion, assault and rape attempts, thousands of events such as the stabbing increased %40 rates. These Syrian refugees in the eastern region of Anatolia are acting in complete hostility against the Turks and the Kurds. Even, it has happened that one of refugees killed a person who welcome the guest the refugees.

    Not just at east, I saw with my own eyes at west. They have eat at the restaurant and went without payment. When waiter insisted to payment they broke the tables, and police came. But any of them cannot be locked in jail for these crimes becuase of asylum laws made by EU and Turkey. %90 of them, they do have big shiftiness!

    And who really in suffer into last four years? And in here I am talking about civilians not politicians! Turks and Kurds at the eastern Anatolia are in suffer most!

    Anything is not completly same with the saying of human rights organizations. First, they should be impartial human rights organizations! This world is really cosmic joke; a racist world, propagandist world. Some people are human for them, if there is a case to get work done, of course. And we know that what is this work at the Middle East!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. For heaven’s sake! There are now 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. Why are they leaving their own country? What does HRW have to say about that? The EU complained bitterly for years about Turkey’s “porous” borders, while erecting razor-wire fences with armed soldiers to protect their own. Then offered Turkey a sugar-coated deal to stop refugees from making their way by sea to “Greek” islands a short boat trip from Turkey’s mainland. Now, although Turkey’s government has kept its side of the bargain, the EU has reneged on its reciprocal commitment! And still they are complaining and criticising Turkey! Human Rights Watch seem to be one of those shadowy organisations with a high-sounding title – and a hidden agenda.


    1. Why Greek islands into brackets? I do not accept any comments against Greek sovereignty. The international borders of Greece have been defined in the Treaty of Lausanne and that’s the way it is… internationally recognised. The passion to revive the Ottoman Empire must be stopped. Turkey should remain into its borders!


      1. First of all i respect your opinion. This post dates now a year so i cannot have the same opinion now and last year. Things have changed. I know that Turkey took a big part of this responsability regarding the refugee problem but Europe is not the central bank which has to pay for everything bad is happening to this world. US and UK should give some money to Turkey to offer some assistance regarding this issue. I don’t think HRW has a secret agenda but surely is not 100% objective but if we say that all NGO who provide us with information are sh*t with hidden agenda i think we might be wrong. I didn’t have the opportunity to see in reality what is happening near the turkish borders now and if you have any information you’re more than welcome to share it with me.
        But the most important thing to me is what you think of Greece or Cyprus to see with whom i’m talking to and what he thinks about me and my country. Do you think that Greece must give islands to Turkey in order to revive the Sultan’s dream of a new Empire? Recently, the leader of the extreme right Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli openly threatened Greece that if its army wanted to be thrown into the sea again, the Turkish army was ready. What do you think about this?


  3. Yes, I’m sorry my comment was a little late, and I’m happy to hear you may have moderated your opinion.
    I don’t really want to get into a debate about what happened as the Ottoman Empire was disintegrating (or being disintegrated). I don’t have strong feelings about those islands. What happened, happened – though as I understand it, Italy seized the islands and later gave them to Greece. Whatever the case, their proximity to Turkey’s mainland means it’s not easy to stop determined refugees from zipping across. The EU wants Turkey to stop them, and in return they promised to give money, a better visa deal for Turks, and fast track the EU membership process – most of which hasn’t happened, and probably never will.

    Liked by 1 person

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