Afghan refugees will reach Turkey despite border measures - analyst

Turkey is trying to do everything to stop Afghan refugees reaching the country, such as fortifying its border with Iran, but such steps will not halt the tide, said Fadi Hakura, project manager for Turkey at London-based think tank Chatham House.

“Turkey is doing its utmost to close the pathways via Iran but I highly doubt it would work, because ultimately refugees would find a way into the country, given the worsening situation in Afghanistan,“ Hakura told the British television station Channel 4 on Sunday.

Turkey is building a wall along its border with Iran designed to stop the arrival of migrants.

Turkish President Erdoğan is under political pressure from the opposition to halt any further influx of refugees. The country hosts almost 4 million Syrian migrants who fled the civil war there.

Turkey does not want to let in the Afghan refugees because at the moment the economy is faltering and any additional inflow will further damage Erdoğan’s popularity in the country, Hakura said.

“Erdoğan is under intense political pressure,” he said.

“In 2015 when he allowed in over one million migrants from Syria, the Turkish economy was still reasonably positive, but today the economy is faltering, unemployment is very high, the incomes are down and therefore the environment has completely changed, compared to five or six years ago,” Hakura said.

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