Syrians returning to Turkey with smugglers’ help – report


Syrian refugees are returning to Turkey from Germany after conservative politicians proposed tightening rules allowing relatives to join them, the Local reported.

Some refugees are employing smugglers to help them make the final crossing across a river on the Greek border with Turkey. The German residence permits they hold allow them to travel to Greece but not into Turkey, the online English language newspaper said.

The cost of the crossing over the Evros, the river that divides Greece and Turkey, is about 200 euros.

About 4,000 Syrian refugees have gone missing, according to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Those could include people travelling into Turkey. The total could be much higher as recordings are not made when people travel to a fellow European Union country such as Greece, the Local said.

More than a million Syrians have sought refuge in Germany since an uprising against President Bashar Assad in 2011 sparked a civil war. Refugees receive monthly payments, accommodation and help with language and culture classes to help them integrate into society. However, public dissatisfaction with the government’s refugee policies meant the German far-right Alternative for Germany party increased its share of the vote in a general election last September to 12.6 percent from 4.7 percent.

The draft law would allow only unmarried minor children, spouses and parents of minors already in Germany to enter the country. A more controversial article states that family reunifications could be denied for people who are dependent on welfare payments.

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