Asylum seekers who have fled conflicts in Iraq and Syria are still not formally recognized as refugees in Turkey, while Yazidis are not afforded equal rights, a new report by the Diyarbakır Bar Association Children’s Rights Center has found.
According to the report, Yazidis from Iraq’s Sinjar province face discrimination and have been excluded from the right to free health care offered to other Syrian asylum seekers.
The report particularly focused on the Fidanlık camp in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, where Yazidis were placed after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacks in 2014.
There are reportedly around 3,000 Yazidis from Iraq currently residing in Turkey.
‘No support’ from state institutions
The Diyarbakır Bar Association’s report reiterated that thousands of Yazidis were slaughtered by ISIL and most of them had starved to death or died of thirst.
Most Yazidis in Turkey have been placed in camps containing 850 tents installed by local municipalities, but the report stated that state institutions have not given adequate support to these camps.
A public mandate ordering free medical care for asylum seekers from Syria was sent to all official hospitals, but Yazidis from Iraq are being discriminated against in healthcare provision.
The Chamber of Doctors and Health Laborers Union has stated that only secondary and tertiary medical care is provided in the camps by volunteer medics.
Many medical operations must be registered and paid for, and Dicle University’s Medical Faculty Hospital in Diyarbakır alone is owed around 200,000 Turkish Liras for conducting unregistered operations, according to the chamber.