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23.11.2019 International

Refugee Policy: The Boss Of The German Federal Office For Migration And Refugees (Bamf) Praises Cooperation With Turkey

Bamf boss Hans-Eckhard Sommer (left) with Interior Minister Horst Seehofer
Bamf boss Hans-Eckhard Sommer (left) with Interior Minister Horst Seehofer

In refugee policy, Turkey and the EU are repeatedly at odds. But now Bamf boss Sommer has explicitly praised the country and reminded Turkey of its own efforts.

The boss of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf), Hans-Eckhard Sommer, has praised the cooperation with Turkey in refugee policy. "Turkey is a reliable partner in migration policy," Sommer told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group (Saturday edition). After all, the country has welcomed more than three million war refugees from Syria. "This is an achievement that we must acknowledge," said Sommer.

According to Sommer, he does not see any change in Ankara's refugee policy. Turkey is still willing to accept refugees from Syria. "We have no knowledge that Turkey is sending Syrians back to Syria against their will," said the Bamf boss, Hans-Eckhard Sommer.

Arrest of a lawyer causes a stir
This week it had become known that a Turkish lawyer had been arrested in Turkey in September, who worked as a so-called cooperation lawyer for the German embassy. According to media reports, he checked information from Turkish asylum seekers on their reasons for persecution for the Bamf.

It is feared that the files of 200 asylum seekers have fallen into the hands of the Turkish authorities as a result of his arrest. The Bamf announced that the asylum seekers concerned would be informed.

Bamf boss Sommer expressed his reservations about the case in the radio media. "The fact that the lawyer has now been arrested is already a problem," he said. "It touches us, it also touches the courts", Sommer said. But he sees "no reason to pour oil on the fire". Now it is first of all "the task of the Foreign Office to deal with this case".

Maas protests to Turkish Foreign Minister
Meanwhile, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has protested against the arrest at the meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Nagoya, Japan, with his Turkish colleague Mevlüt Cavusoglu.

"I told him once again that we don't really understand it," the SPD politician said on Saturday after a meeting with Cavusoglu on the fringes of the summit in Nagoya. It was a case which, like many other detentions, was "incomprehensible". Cavusoglu had told him that the case was being examined by the Turkish judiciary. One wanted to remain in dialogue about it.

In recent years, arrests of German citizens in Turkey, for example on suspicion of terrorism, have repeatedly caused a stir. At present, 60 Germans are in Turkish prisons, 55 of whom are unable to leave the country due to entry restrictions. However, the Foreign Ministry no longer says how many of these cases have a political background.

Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)

Francis Tawiah
Francis Tawiah, © 2019

The author has 661 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: FrancisTawiah

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