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Turkey: UNHCR receives permission to visit border area

Briefing notes

Turkey: UNHCR receives permission to visit border area

3 August 2001

On Wednesday, UNHCR received permission to go to the Turkish side of the border with Greece. Yesterday a protection team arrived in the area to try and shed further light on the continuing mysteries surrounding a group of 200 Africans who allegedly were shuttled back and forth across the small river - known as the Meric in Turkey and the Evros in Greek. They were able to confirm that a group of approximately this number were taken to the river by the Turkish authorities around 2 weeks ago. However the current whereabouts of the group still remain unclear, although it seems a significant proportion have found their way back to Istanbul. The Turkish border forces have been very cooperative with the mission, which is continuing today. Last week, a similar mission was undertaken by a UNHCR protection team along the Greek side of the border. A couple of the missing Africans are believed to be among a group who arrived by boat on two Greek islands. UNHCR is currently interviewing them.