Turkey unjustly left alone with refugee crisis: UN

UN officials speak on Syrian refugee situation in Turkey, saying international community should not leave Turkey alone to face refugee situation on its own

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

UN Under-Secretary General for political affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, said on Wednesday it was unfair for the international community to expect that Turkey should handle the Syrian refugee situation on its own.

Feltman said about 25,000 Syrians had arrived in Turkey recently while efforts to remove ISIS from Tal Abyad in Syria continued, adding at least 2,000 refugees had allegedly went back to Syria.

"It is neither just nor possible to expect Turkey to continue to face the refugee pressures alone," he said.

Syrian Turkmen and Arab locals of Tal Abyad have blamed the military wing of the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), claiming the PYD was trying to influence demographics in the area with a goal to establish a Kurdish state by pushing Arab Syrians to migrate to Turkey.

Feltman announced the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has begun an investigation regarding the claims of the displacement of Arabs and Turkmen.

Turkey has pursued an "open-door" policy for Syrian refugees as large numbers of refugees from regions close to Tal Abyad have entered Turkey in recent weeks, escaping the clashes between ISIS and Syrian-Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units (YPG)

According to the UN's refugee agency, Turkey has accepted around 1.8 million Syrians and more expected to come due to the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Turkey has spent nearly 6 billion dollars regarding the Syrian refugee situation, while the international community has contributed by giving only around 300 million dollars, according to data by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

During a press briefing last week, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said 23,349 refugees, who have escaped from Tal Abyad, have arrived in Turkey’s Sanliurfa province since June 3.


TRTWorld and agencies