Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Turkey: agreement reached on return of Kurds from Iraq

Briefing notes

Turkey: agreement reached on return of Kurds from Iraq

23 January 2004

We are pleased to announce that Iraqi, Turkish and UNHCR officials on Thursday agreed on the modalities of voluntary return to Turkey from Iraq of up to 13,000 Turkish citizens (ethnic Kurds) who have lived in exile in Iraq since early 1990s. An estimated 9,200 of them are living in Makhmour Camp, near Erbil, while others are living in Dohuk and Erbil areas of northern Iraq.

Under the agreement reached at the Turkish capital, Ankara, the Iraqi authorities will ensure that the return is voluntary and that the refugees are not subjected to pressure. The accord stipulates that UNHCR will have full and unhindered access to the refugees both on Iraq territory and once they have gone back to Turkey.

The Turkish authorities are to ensure that the refugees who volunteer to go back to Turkey are free to return their former places of residence or any other places of their choice within Turkey.