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Arabic press review: Arabs leave Turkey due to soaring inflation

Meanwhile, more Lebanese people attempt migration to Europe by sea, and Syrians call for halt of deportation of opposition journalist from Jordan
grand-bazar-turkey-oct-2020-afp
People walk past a screen near a currency exchange agency near the Grand Bazaar, in Istanbul, on 24 September 2020 (AFP)

Arabs in Turkey return home as inflation spikes

Many Arabs residing in Turkey are returning to their home countries due to inflation, especially the rise of housing costs, according to a report published by the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.

In recent years, Turkey has been a popular destination for Arabs fleeing political and economic turmoil in their countries, seeking more stable lives.

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Hopes have begun to wane with the historical collapse of the Turkish lira and the rise in inflation that has caused unprecedented price hikes, opening the door for “reverse migration” of large numbers of Arab residents in Turkey, according to Al Quds Al Arabi.

The Turkish Central Bank has taken three successive decisions that reduced the interest rate by a total of 400 basis points, dropping from 19 to 15 percent, which sent shockwaves in the financial markets and led the Turkish lira to lose nearly 40 percent of its value within months.

While inflation has affected all sectors, its impact on the real estate sector was the largest, as real estate prices rose by rates ranging from 50 to 100 percent, in an exceptional rise that made the average monthly rent for a modest apartment in Istanbul higher than the average minimum monthly salary.

Lebanese attempt to reach Europe by sea

Attempts to migrate from Lebanon to Europe using "death boats" are on the rise, according to a report published by the Saudi Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The paper quoted an unnamed Lebanese source as saying that there are almost daily attempts to escape by sea from northern Lebanon towards Europe by dinghies, which have become known as “migration boats”, or “death boats”, given the risks associated with these attempts according to the newspaper.

Local media reported that a dinghy boat was stuck in the sea about 23 miles from the Lebanese coast, carrying a number of Lebanese people who tried to leave illegally, but the Lebanese army found it and brought it back to shore.

Jordan urged to halt deportation of Syrian journalist

Syrians on social media have launched a campaign calling for a halt to the deportation of a journalist from Jordan fearing for his fate at the hands of the Bashar al-Assad regime, the London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper reported.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has appealed to the Jordanian authorities not to forcibly return the Syrian journalist and activist Ibrahim Awad to Syria after rumours that he was due to be extradited.

A statement issued by the SNHR said that Awad is opposed to the Syrian government, and returning him to areas under its control would mean "torturing him and forcibly disappearing him and poses a real threat to his life".

Jordanian authorities arrested Awad on 18 November at his home in the capital, Amman, based on an arrest warrant issued by the General Intelligence service. He has not yet been charged by the judiciary. 

After his arrest, Awad's equipment was confiscated, and he was placed under house arrest in Azraq refugee camp. 

*Arabic press review is a digest of news reports not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye