As the sun sets over a dusty ravine on the outskirts of the town of Van in the east of Turkey , Muhammdullah Sangeen and dozens of other Afghans are getting ready for another night's sleep.
The 22-year-old, who has a bruised left eye and fresh cuts on all arms, arrived from Iran a few days earlier with the help of smugglers. " I I'm not doing well "said Sangeen, legs shaking. " I don't feel human. "
Sangeen, who fought the Taliban for five years as a soldier in the Afghan National Army, says over the past month he crossed the Turkish-Iranian , about 80 kilometers east of Van, on three other occasions. Each time, Turkish forces caught him and sent him back to Iran, he says. has often been tortured in the process.
Violent "pushbacks" against refugees have increased in eastern Turkey in the months since followed the Taliban takeover of The International Organization for Migration sai d, in recent months, between the target 20,000 and 30,000 refugees fled Afghanistan every week. According to Orhan Deniz, professor of migration at Van Yuzuncu Yıl University, many attempt 1,400 mile journeys through Iran and Zagros from the mountains to the Turkish and in towns such as Başkale, Çaldıran, Saray and Özalp.
But Mahmut Kaçan, a Turkish lawyer based in Van specializing in refugee and asylum cases, says that the refoulements, which violate the UN Refugee Convention of 1951, are "systematically" taking place. "This is 100% happening, " Kaçan said. "What the Turkish authorities are doing is illegal.
Kaçan added that the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management (PDMM) in Van no longer accepts new asylum requests, including one of his clients - an Afghan nurse and her family forced to flee the Taliban. “They came with passports, but even they were refused,” he said. “The Afghans are in great danger right now. We have all seen thousands of them at Kabul Airport and we must support them. "