Appeal to the Turkish Prime Minister on Behalf of Chechen Refugees
Ufuk Uras, a member of the Turkish Parliament from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), appealed to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkish Parliament) about the situation pertaining to Chechen refugees in Turkey. He also asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan some questions.
Mr.Uras had accompanied the European delegation’s visit to non-official Chechen refugee camps in Istanbul, Turkey. After his visit, he spoke about the situation in various Turkish media outlets, and on November 25 he appealed to Turkish Parliament in this sense.
He explained the problems facing Chechen refugees in Turkey. He demanded answers from Turkish Prime Minister R.Tayyip Erdogan to the following questions:
1.Status: What is the reason that the Republic of Turkey does not handle Chechen asylum seekers according to the 1951 Geneva Agreement? Is it possible to provide them a right of settlement in Turkey according to the Settling Law number 5543? Do these groups have any legal status at the moment? If they do not, what is the reason and is it possible to grant legal status to them? What attempts has your government made to clear this ambiguity? Do you have any working schedule about this issue?
2.Working Right: Chechen asylum seekers have problems obtaining legal work permits; do you have any plans to solve this problem? What kind of methods are you considering to solve it?
3.Health: Do Chechen asylum seekers have any right to benefit from the health services? If they do, what is the coverage? If they do not have the right, how will this problem be solved?
4.Social Benefits: Chechen asylum seekers cannot make an income, so in this situation does the state provide any social assistance to them? If it does not, then what is the reason? Is the state planning to provide this kind of assistance?
5.Education: Do Chechen children have the right to education? If they do, how will they use their right? How will the current barriers to providing education be overcome? Does your government have any plans on this issue?
6.Shelter: What does your government do to provide more shelter and humanitarian places for them? In this context, do Chechen asylum seekers have any chance to choose their settlement?
7.Adaptation: Chechen asylum seekers have been in our country nearly 10 years and it seems that they will not be able to go back their homeland in the near future. If we take this into consideration, does your government have any plan to adapt them to our country? If you do not have a plan, will you create one?
8.Relations with Russia: Have you ever had any official or non-official discussion with Russia about Chechen asylum seekers in Turkey? Is it a principal factor in Turkey policy to refuse asylum for Chechens, in order to prevent any harm to relations with Russia?
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco