Afghan family trapped in Istanbul airport after fleeing Taliban threats | Turkey
Sixteen members of an Afghan family fled Taliban Death threats have caught up at Istanbul airport for the past two weeks, as thousands of refugees make their way overland to seek safety in Turkey, such as the security situation in Afghanistan rapidly deteriorating after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces.
The family, from the city of Herat, decided to leave the country in June after a relative was shot and killed in the street Taliban forces. Many of them work with international aid organizations on issues such as women’s rights, and have continued to face threats.
They decided to bypass the strict visa rules for Afghans in most countries by spending their savings on Euro 2020 Fan passes for football matches being held in the Russian city of St Petersburg, with the hope of seeking asylum upon arrival.
However, the family was turned away from the connecting flight in Istanbul on June 22, and attempts to apply for asylum and international protection in Turkey A family member told the Guardian that he has since been repeatedly rejected.
“We have been stuck in the international transit area for 16 days,” said Farzad, 28, who requested that the family’s last name be withheld for their safety. “Everyone we asked for our help said that this is not their job, we have to be on Turkish soil to apply for refugee status.”
US President Joe Biden announced The end of the American war against the jihadist movement in Afghanistan in April. Since then, the Taliban have made sweeping advances, often taking control of areas without a fight. They now claim to control 85% of the country, raising fears of renewed civil war.
The western province of Herat is The last thing that falls in the fall: The Taliban have taken control of two major border crossings with Iran and Turkmenistan, and much of the countryside outside the city of Herat.
The stranded Herat family could not wash properly and ran out of money to eat properly during their ordeal or sleep on the floor or on the airport seats. An elderly member started to appear Corona Virus They said that the symptoms and a persistent cough, the child began to have problems with the digestive system, and the girl needed antibiotics for infection, but the medical staff only provided painkillers.
After several days, the girl was allowed to visit the hospital, but she was sent with a prescription that the family could not fill. On several occasions they said they were threatened by airline staff and police with forcible deportation to their country بلاده Afghanistan.
Eventually, they were taken to the local transit area for another two days, and on Saturday they were allowed to go to the Turkish Immigration Authority building at the airport, where they were separated into men’s and women’s sections and were able to shower and sleep.
It remains unclear whether their application for international protection has been submitted.
The airport authority, IGA, referred Guardian’s requests for comment to the immigration authority, which in turn said the family’s status was a matter of the Home Office. An Interior Ministry spokesman did not immediately respond.
“[The family] They sold everything they had to get out of, and even since they left, the situation has gotten worse,” said another family member who lives in the United States, trying to help from afar.
“They have nothing to return to. They will go anywhere but Afghanistan, as long as it is safe.”
In recent days there has also been a file The influx of Afghan refugees in Van, a Kurdish province in eastern Turkey, near the border with Iran. Roshen Takva, a journalist who has documented the influx of Afghans, Iranians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis hoping to reach Europe via Turkey over the past decade, said he has seen about 1,700 people – mostly Afghans – crossing over the past two nights.
“The numbers are huge, we’ve never had anything like this in the past. Usually the refugees don’t reveal their names or want to talk much, but what they said this time was that Biden’s decision made the Taliban declare a new war, which is why they’re fleeing now.”
At least 12 people were killed and 26 seriously injured Saturday night after an attack The smuggler’s minibus overturned On the highway in Van County. Another 60 people are missing and presumed to have drowned after a boat carrying refugees and migrants Captured on Lake Van On June 30th. Takva said he believed the majority of victims in both incidents were Afghans.
We have been threatened لل [by the Taliban] “Several times but we never thought of leaving Afghanistan before now,” said Farzad, a family member now stuck in immigration offices at Istanbul Airport.
But now the US and NATO forces are leaving, the situation has gotten worse than we thought. We had no choice but to leave.”