The next time you’re on a plane, take a look at who’s sitting next to you. It could be a businesswoman, a tourist... or a refugee on their way to possible death.
Turkish Airlines and other airline companies have been assisting in the deportation of Afghan asylum seekers -- even as civilian casualties in Afghanistan continue to rise.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We saw that two weeks ago, when Swedish activist Elin Ersson boarded a flight to Istanbul that was carrying an Afghan deportee and protested loudly enough to have him removed from the plane.
Her viral video drew international attention to Europe’s forced deportations and the airlines that assist in them. And it proved that with enough public pressure, those airlines will act. If one student could get Turkish Airlines not to carry a deportee, imagine what would happen if thousands and thousands of people spoke up and told the airline to stop supporting deportation efforts. We can’t let this opportunity slip away.
Tell Turkish Airlines to stop helping deport asylum seekers.
In the past year and a half, European countries -- especially Sweden and Germany -- have been deporting Afghan asylum seekers en masse, even though the claim that Afghanistan is “safe” is a transparent lie.
What brings Afghan citizens to Europe in the first place? Persecution from groups that have killed 1,692 civilians in the first half of 2018 alone. Sweden and Germany have warned their own citizens not to travel to Afghanistan -- yet they're sending refugees there with no concern for what happens when they step off the plane.
If Turkish Airlines and other airline companies refused to take part in this process, it wouldn’t just slow down Europe’s deportation efforts. It would send a strong message to the offending governments that the rest of the continent doesn’t approve of their actions.
Demand Turkish Airlines cease the deportation of refugees on their planes!
This movement's been building steam for a while now. Last year, a sole Turkish Airlines pilot refused to fly a plane that would have facilitated an Afghan asylum seeker’s deportation. And just weeks ago, Virgin Atlantic announced they will stop assisting the UK Home Office with deportations -- all due to public pressure.
Following Ersson’s video, the spotlight on the airlines has never been brighter. Now’s the moment: together we can force Turkish Airlines to change its policy, and ignite a cascade of opposition from other airlines in the process.
Tell Turkish Airlines to stop assisting in the deportation of refugees.