Turkey detains and expels humanitarian relief workers from DanChurchAid
Ten humanitarian relief workers from DanChurchAid, who have been helping the destitute people of Syria, have been detained and interned in Gaziantep in the Southern part of Turkey by Turkish authorities.
Five of the ten aid workers that have been detained in Turkey are now deported and has landed in European airports and are being taking care of by Dan Church Aid. Five other aid workers are still being held in custody by Turkish Police in Gaziantep. Dan Church Aid are trying to get them released. They have been in custody since Tuesday. DanChurchAid have not received an official explanation for the internment and deportations. The reason behind this could well be a slow processing of our permit. We regret the fact that the Turkish authorities have put a stop to our relief effort in Syria. We have tried to comply with their demands and have already back in 2014 handed over all the relevant paperwork to the authorities, General Secretary Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen says. Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen dismisses all the colourful speculations published in Turkish media, mentioning words like ”agents for foreign powers” and “spies” in their coverage of the internment. DanChurchAid provides life-saving relief for some of the thousands of people who have stayed inside Syria and who are living under dreadful conditions. This work will be made more difficult now, but we are trying to find new ways to organize the work, so that our many competent employees inside Syria may continue their crucial efforts there, Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen says. DanChurchAid is right now attempting, with the help from lawyers and their international network, to ensure that the five employees still detained by the Turkish authorities will be released from their internment. Other relief organisations have also recently had their work terminated in Turkey