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SYRIA´S EXODUS: Turkey’s Mysterious Disappearing Refugees


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Turkey’s Mysterious Disappearing Refugees

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Official refugee estimates by the United Nations and the Turkish government are calculated by registration instead of tracking, thereby including hundreds of thousands who have found refuge in Europe or returned home. By John Butler and S. Keleşoğlu.


Over 2015, Europe experienced a refugee influx of historical proportions. The relative trickle of Mediterranean boat people became a flood, with EU border management agency Frontex counting 880,000 asylum seekers taking the dangerous sea route to Greece. Meanwhile, mass migration along the land route from Turkey to Europe became a practical possibility for the first time: one million are estimated to have arrived in Germany alone.

Yet over the same time period, the number of Syrian refugees registered in Turkey by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) went from 1.5 million to 2.5 million. This ever-increasing number (it currently stands…

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