Turkey will not be setting up hub for fleeing Afghans
Turkey on Sunday said it was not establishing an asylum processing facility for Afghan asylum-seekers as operations to bring to safety those fleeing a new Taliban rule continued in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
In an article for the Mail on Sunday British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace wrote: "A series of 'processing hubs' will be set up in countries neighbouring Afghanistan for refugees who manage to escape."
Wallace added that those who have a right to enter the UK would then be flown to the country.
The Turkish foreign ministry was quick to say that Turkey would not be making arrangements to host Afghans fleeing Taliban rule.
"The news in the UK press saying there are plans to establish an asylum processing centre for Afghan asylum-seekers in Turkey does not reflect the truth," the ministry said in a written statement, according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.
"No official request has been conveyed to us from any country up until today. Should there be such a request, we would not accept it anyway."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed on multiple occasions his unwillingness to host more refugees alongside over 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees.
On Sunday, Erdogan blasted European countries for their expectations of Turkey, saying: "The member states do not open their doors even to a tiny portion of the people who served them and who are in difficulty."
"You cannot expect Turkey to take on the responsibility of third countries," he said.
The remarks came a day after he announced that Turkey would not be able to cope with an "additional burden of migrants" arriving from Afghanistan.
"A new wave of migration is inevitable if the necessary measures are not taken in Afghanistan and in Iran," Erdogan said during a telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"Turkey, which already has five million refugees, cannot take an additional burden of migrants."