Turkey has forced nine Palestinians back into Syria after they tried to flee the war-torn country, according to the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria.
The nine were attempting to reach refuge in Greece, but were arrested in the Turkish city of Izmir. After the arrest, they were sent back across the Syrian-Turkish border and ordered not to enter Turkey for at least one year. The refugees claim that they were not even given any documentation explaining why they were being deported.
It is illegal under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to return refugees to the place they are trying to escape, though there has been no international condemnation for Turkey's action. However, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other groups have frequently criticized Israel for sending refugees and illegal immigrants to safe third-party countries, a legal action under IHL.
Turkey has also come under criticism recently after an opposition paper published claimed that the Turkish government is selling weapons to Syrian rebels. Rather than provide proof of the charges' falsehood, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by threatening the paper.
Erdogan has modeled himself as a champion of the "Palestinian cause," regularly condemning Israel and even hosting several prominent Hamas commanders in Turkey. During his election campaign last year he criticized Israel by saying, "Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism."
Some commentators have pointed to this action by the Turkish government as proof that Erdogan's "pro-Palestinian" stance is more an exercise in attacking Israel than a genuine concern for the rights of Palestinian Arabs.