Turkey Closes Chechen Refugee Camps
Waynakh Online has received information from Chechen asylum seekers living in unofficial Chechen refugee camps that the Turkish government has decided to close the camps.
As it is well known, about 2,000 Chechen asylum seekers have lived in substandard conditions in three unofficial refugee camps in the Fenerbahce, Beykoz and Umraniye districts of Istanbul and some apartments in the city since 1999. The Turkish government has recently decided to close these camps and relocate 113 Chechen families (around 500 people) who live in these camps, to Ilimtepe Residentals in the town of Korfez, which is within the city of Kocaeli. The apartments were originally built for the victims of a 1999 earthquake in Turkey’s Marmara district. So far, residents of the Fenerbahce and Umraniye Chechen refugee camps have already finished their relocations. It’s expected that the residents of the Beykoz refugee camp will finish their move between July 17th and 18th.
According to reports, the one year rentals will be paid by the Turkish government to the administration of Ilimtepe Residentals. Each Chechen family will also receive 700TL (around 320 Euro) each month to pay their electricity, water and natural gas bills.
There is no doubt that this action will improve the living situations of some Chechen asylum seekers in Turkey, but there are still a lot of questions because it is unknown what the fate of these families will be after the year is up. On the other hand, it is not known how these families will continue their lives if the Turkish government does not provide “working permits”.
Recall that earlier the unofficial Yalova Chechen Refugee Camp was also closed and its residents were relocated to apartments in the city.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco