Turkish Ministry of Defense Says Over A Million Syrians Have Returned to Syria

According to a statement by the Turkish Ministry of Defense (MOD) more than a million Syrians have voluntarily returned to Syria. Nearly half of those, 470,000, says the ministry, have resettled in northern Syria’s Idlib province, under the management of the Syria Salvation Government (SSG).

While the MOD claims all of the returns have been voluntary both Turkish and international human rights organizations have raised concerns that there may have been some cases of refoulment, citing cases of arrest and the use of physical and psychological duress by Turkish authorities to coerce Syrians to sign papers to “voluntarily” return to Syria.

Such groups have stressed that Syria is not safe for return, and Syrians remain at risk if returned, urging Turkish authorities to, “end the arbitrary arrest, detention, and deportation of Syrian refugees to northern Syria, and to ensure that security forces and immigration officials do not use violence against Syrians or other detained foreign nationals, and to hold any official who uses violence accountable.”


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