21 Afghan refugee teens missing in Turkey for 4 months

Twenty-one Afghan youth who fled from their war-torn country and were placed in the Erzincan Child Support Center in July have been missing since July 23, a daily reported on Monday.
According to the story in Habertandurk, the 21 Afghan youth, aged between 12 and 17, were found on the streets of izmir by the police in April and the izmir Provincial Directorate of Family and Social Policy referred them to the Iiiklar Repatriation Center. However, after the teens encountered problems at the center, the izmir Governorand’s Office contacted the izmir Bar Association for help.
After researching the conditions of the youth at the Iiiklar Repatriation Center, the izmir Bar Associationand’s Childrenand’s Rights Central Executive Unit and Immigration and Asylum Commission sent a report to the izmir Governorand’s Office and the Ministry of Family and Social Policy in July suggesting the youth be sent to the Erzincan Child Support Center as it was not appropriate for them to stay with older refugees at Iiiklar.
A week after they arrived at the Erzincan Child Support Center on July 23, the children were allowed to tour the city over the weekend but did not return. The Erzincan Governorand’s Office launched an investigation after the Erzincan Child Support Center reported the 21 teens missing. There has been no news or information on the youth in the last four months.
h2 andlsquoTeens might be in hands of ISIL, prostitution gangsand’h2 Nuriye Kadan, an attorney and a member of the izmir Bar Associationand’s Childrenand’s Rights Central Executive Unit, told Habertandurk these teens were sent from izmir to Erzincan to ensure their safety but now they might be in the hands of terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the organ trafficking mafia or prostitution gangs.
Expressing her concern over the fate of the youth, Kadan said they likely escaped from the center without any assistance as they do not know the area or the language. Underlining that the izmir Bar Association will follow up on the developments, Kadan queried, and”How is it possible to lose 21 teens at one go?and”
Speaking with Habertandurk, Association for Solidarity with Refugees (Mandulteci-Der) President Eda Bekandci also expressed her concern over the safety of the 21 Afghan teens. and”They were problematic children during their stay in izmir. They might have fled to Europe or drowned [while trying to illegally enter European countries],and” she said. Bekandci called on the authorities to immediately find the youth.
The Erzincan Provincial Directorate of Family and Social Policy reportedly said the police are investigating the matter.


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