Refugee-Related Issues in Turkey and the Soviet Union

T-NSIAD-91-35: Published: Sep 23, 1991. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 1991.

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GAO discussed: (1) the displacement of Iraqis and others in Turkey, focusing on U.S. efforts to assist in their support and resettlement; and (2) Soviet refugee processing. GAO noted that: (1) by the end of August 1991, about 38,000 displaced Iraqis were receiving shelter and assistance from the Turkish government; (2) of the approximately 8,000 Iraqis who fled to Turkey, as the Persian Gulf crisis developed, about 5,000 still remain there, while the others returned to Iraq; (3) under international treaty provisions, Turkey has been providing shelter to approximately 2,000 Iraqi military deserters; (4) as a result of the Iran-Iraq war, an estimated 3 million to 4 million displaced Iranians have entered Turkey seeking refuge, and perhaps 500,000 to 1 million remain as aliens; (5) the Turkish government views the Iranians' presence as a serious and taxing problem for the government; (6) in November 1989, the United States contributed $10 million to assist the Turkish government in assimlating over 320,000 Bulgarian ethnic Turks who fled into Turkey in May and June 1989; (7) overseas processing costs for Soviet refugees would be about $68.5 million less in fiscal year (FY) 1991 than the processing cost of refugees in FY 1990, mainly due to the centralization of processing in Moscow; and (8) it was unlikely that the FY 1991 Soviet refugee admissions target of 50,000 would be met primarily due to the refugees' inability to obtain Soviet government exit permission.

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