ISTANBUL—Under the cover of night, Turkish police officers pushed Ahmed onto a large bus parked in central Istanbul. In the darkness, the Syrian man from Damascus could discern dozens of other handcuffed refugees being crammed into the vehicle. Many of them would not see the Turkish city again.
Ahmed, who asked that his last name not be used to protect his safety, was arrested after police discovered that he was registered with the authorities not in Istanbul, but in a different district. Turkish law obliges Syrian refugees with a temporary protection status to remain in their locale of initial registration or obtain separate permission to travel, and the officers reassured him he would simply be transferred back to the right district.