Five Afghan nationals have been found stabbed to death in a house in the Turkish capital of Ankara, local media reported on Thursday.
A medical team arrived at the house on Thursday to find the victims’ dead bodies after their friends, who had been unable to reach them, notified the authorities. They determined that the five Afghan nationals were stabbed to death a week ago.
An investigation has been launched into the incident.
Turkey’s Green Left Party (YSP) made a statement on the murders on social media, saying there was no end to racism and violence against refugees in the country.
“The Green Left Party calls on the Democracy Forces to [stand in] solidarity with the refugees!” they added, referring to the Labor and Democracy Forces, comprising 21 entities including political parties, trade unions and nongovernmental organizations.
Ankara Altındağ’da 5 Afganlı mülteci katledildi. Mültecilere karşı yürütülen ırkçılığın ve şiddetin sonu gelmiyor. Yeşil Sol Parti Demokrasi Güçlerini mültecilerle dayanışmaya çağırıyor! pic.twitter.com/SqLokuJxwz
— Yeşil Sol Parti (@YesillerSol) November 10, 2022
Turkey hosts the world’s largest number of refugees, with 3.7 million from Syria granted temporary protection status, and over 400,000 refugees and migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.
Hundreds of thousands fled Afghanistan in August 2021 after the US left the country in a chaotic military pullout, allowing the hardline Taliban Islamists to retake control.
But while many who assisted US forces in particular were airlifted out, the vast majority have had to flee by land, in particular towards Iran and eventually Turkey.
Hate crimes against refugees and migrants, who are blamed for many of Turkey’s social and economic ills, have been escalating in the country in recent years.
Turkish media including pro-government and opposition outlets fuel and exploit the flames of hatred against people who fled their countries and sought refuge in Turkey.
An Amnesty International report said in late August that Iran and Turkey were preventing entry of Afghan refugees or forcibly returning them to face life-threatening risks under the Taliban regime, in violation of international law.
Saying that its findings are based on interviews with dozens of Afghans, including 74 who were forcibly returned, sometimes with children or other family members, Amnesty cited numerous cases of “unlawful killings, pushbacks by shooting and other unlawful returns, arbitrary detention, and torture and other ill-treatment of Afghans at the hands of both Iranian and Turkish officials.”
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