The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Immigration and Refugees Commission Spokesperson Gülsüm Ağaoğlu spoke to Jin News regarding the deportation decision against four Iranian refugees. ”They faced deportation because they participated in the protests supporting the Istanbul Convention. It would be murder to deport them to Iran because they have no safety there.” she said.
The four Iranian refugees – Esmaeil Fattahi, Leili Faraji, Zeinab Sahafi and Mohammad Pourakbari Kermani – were detained on 5 April in Denizli accused of participating in a protest on March 20 against the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention. After being detained, the 4 refugees were kept in Denizli Foreigners Branch and continue to be held in Aydın Deportation Centre awaiting deportation to Iran.
Stating that Turkey should release the refugees in accordance with international conventions, HDP Immigration and Refugee Commission spokesperson Gülsüm Ağaoğlu noted that they are following the deportation process and supporting the rights of these refugees. HDP have brought the issue to the parliament. ”Being a refugee is a human right. Refugees want to live under constitutional guarantees based upon the principle of equal citizenship.
On the 5th of April, we, the HDP, announced the Women’s Poverty Campaign. One of the issues in the campaign is support for refugee women. “We made a program to address the problems of refugees,” she said.
”Refugees are a subject of bargaining”
The refugee issue is the key subject of bargaining between the EU and Turkey, Gülsüm said “because rather than impose sanctions against Turkey, the European Union (EU) weakened its position against Turkey because of the threat of refugees. We will continue our struggle to support refugees through the process of reaching temporary protection status, refugee status and then citizenship,” she said.
”Necessity to struggle for refugees, women and LGBTI+”
Gülsüm said that refugees have specific problems, such as ”forced prostitution, multiple marriages, forced marriage of girls, women’s health, exploitation of women’s labor,” she said and added ”LGBTI + people were also subjected to hate crimes. They were subject to strip searches and to the threat of rape,” she said.
Expressing that refugee status is a human right, Gülsüm noted that ”It is not refugees, but the situations that create refugees that is the problem, while such bad conditions in Iran continues forcing Iranian refugees to return would be committing murder in the simplest sense,” she added “according to international agreements to which Turkey is a party to they can not send people back to countries where their lives would be at risk. In this sense, we urge the Turkish authorities to give up on this practice. “Let’s create the conditions for a peaceful life together on the basis of an equal citizenship,” she said.