Chechen Asylum Seekers in Turkey Worried
After the assassination of three Chechen asylum seekers in Istanbul, others who live in three unofficial refugee camps and rented flats explain that they are worried about their lives.
Some Chechen asylum seekers spoke to Turkish media, and pointed out that “they are open targets in Turkey and they need to be protected by the government”.
“Nobody needs to search us. Our address is known. We are open targets here. We live in fear of death. We don’t have any protection. We came to Turkey to survive. However, even here they follow and kill us,” said a group of Chechen asylum seekers who live in one of the unofficial refugee camps in Istanbul.
“Our village was bombed by the Russian army. I lost my mother, father and brothers during the bombardement. I lost my arm. Seven of my relatives were abducted, and still their fates are unknown. I’ve been in this camp for one month but I can’t sleep during the nights. Anyone may go inside the camp freely. I am afraid that Russians will come and kill me,” said 37 year old Akhmad Z. who arrived in Istanbul, Turkey one month ago from the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria’s capital, Grozny.
“There are massacres in the region. They kidnap the wives and children of Chechen mujahedeen, and then their bodies are found near the river. The pro-Russian regime then creates news that the bodies of terrorists have been found. They rape the children and wives of opponents. I sent my children and wife to Turkey first, and later I came here. However, we are not at peace here. We don’t have safety here,” said another Chechen asylum seeker, whose name is Makhmoud F.
A former Chechen resistance fighter, Abdullah also explained his feelings: “After the latest incident, six of our friends have been executed professionally. But their murderers haven’t been found. I think that Russian spies carried out these actions. Putin had signaled this in recent years, and he had said ‘we will operate in foreign countries’. Kadyrovites visited Istanbul. Their representatives held meetings and visited some people. We heard all of these things. Doesn’t Turkish intelligence hear it? A similar assassination was carried out against a Chechen refugee, Umar Israilov, in Austria. But, they arrested the killers and convicted them. However, such things couldn’t happen in Turkey. Some other former Chechen mujahedeen found refuge in other countries. Russians and Kadyrovites only come to Turkey and they do what they want. If it continues like this, one day they will start to kill our women and children too. Turkey, who we see as our brothers, must protect us. We must feel safe here”.
On the other hand, some sources have indicated that at least 10 former Chechen resistance fighters who currently live in Turkey, are preparing to ask for state protection from the Turkish government.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco