ANKARA - One image that will undoubtedly mark 2021 is that of the tens of thousands of desperate Afghans drumming outside the closed gates of Kabul airport to get away. The borders were sealed tight, yet hundreds of thousands of Afghans managed to flee. A number of them reached Turkey in the hope of being able to ask for international protection there. An illusion, as it turns out. After the fall of Kabul, Turkey, with the help of Europe, also sealed its borders and stopped registering Afghan asylum seekers. And the waiting lists for resettlement to Europe are endless, so there is little relief to be expected there either.

Tine Danckaers travelled to Turkey in November 2021, visited the border region with Iran and also went to Istanbul and Ankara to meet Afghans who are stuck. In Zeytinburnu, a district in Istanbul, young Afghan men hope for a way out of illegality and miserable jobs in sewing workshops. Afghan graduates in Turkey watch the clock ticking: their tourist visas will soon expire. A report about the Afghan refugees who nobody wants.

Photo: © Moe Zoyari.

Team members

Tine Danckaers

Tine Danckaers is a Belgian journalist. 

€ 2.100 allocated on 13/10/2021.

ONLINE (in Dutch)

Wie wil Afghaanse vluchtelingen? Turkije al zeker niet, MO.be, 20/12/2021.

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