150 Iraqi migrants, mostly Kurds, detained in Turkish jails: Summit Foundation

Migrants gather outside a Lesbos refugee camp after a fire forced them to flee MANOLIS LAGOUTARIS / REUTERS

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SULAIMANI – Head of the Summit Foundation for Refugees and Displaced Affairs Ari Jalal said on Wednesday (June 26) that 150 Iraqi migrants have been detained in the jails in Turkey and that most of them are Kurds.

Jalal told NRT Digital Media that the foundation's representatives are working to secure their release and return to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq in coming days.

“The Iraqi consulate general in Istanbul has been negligent regarding the release of these Iraqi migrants, who are mostly are Kurdish residents of the provinces of Sulaimani and Erbil and Ranya district,” Jalal said.

“Most of those migrants cannot return to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq [on their own] because their passports have been confiscated by smugglers, but they can return to their cities using temporary passports.”

Turkey is a major transit point for migrants fleeing violence and economic deprivation in the Middle East and Central Asia.

According to the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, 274 Iraqi and Kurdish migrants have died attempting to reach Western Europe, with 144 of those still missing.

(NRT Digital Media)