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Far-right Turkish leader likens Syrian refugees to garbage, vows expulsion

Ultranationalist Meral Aksener's plans include “isolating” migrants in “concentration camps” and forcing them to return to their countries of origin against their will under a formal policy of refoulement.
ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images

A top right-wing opposition leader in Turkey has vowed to kick out all Syrian refugees by 2026, saying Turkey has become an “immigrant warehouse” and a “near garbage dump” for Europe, which doesn’t want them. Meral Aksener, the leader of the far-right Iyi or Good party, says she is ready to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria to fix the problem.

Aksener blamed the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party today as she introduced her party’s “Immigration Doctrine and Strategic Action Plan” under which an estimated 3.7 million Syrians would be repatriated and Turkey’s “demographic composition and Turkish identity” would be protected. Aksener asserted that there were at least 8 million refugees currently in Turkey, the largest refugee population in the world.

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