Erdogan says refugee flow won't stop if air strikes continue

Turkish President Erdogan says Syrian refugee flow into Europe will not stop while air strikes by Russian, Assad regime forces continue to kill civilians

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, delivers a speech during a meeting with his Ecuadorian counterpart Rafael Correa at the Carondelet Presidential Palace in Quito, on February 4, 2016.

Updated Feb 5, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said Syrian refugee flow into Europe will not stop as long as Russia’n and Syrian regime’ air strikes kill civilians in the country.

"Our European friends want us to stop the refugee flow, is there any other choice for civilians in Aleppo but flee when they are under Russia's heavy bombardment?" Erdogan said during a press conference with his Ecuadorian counterpart Rafael Correa.

Turkish president also underlined that the Syrian peace talks in Geneva were useless while Assad forces and Russia targeted civilians with their attacks.

"Russia continues to kill people in Syria. Could there be such a peace gathering? Could there be such peace talks?” he said in his speech at a university in Lima, Peru before visiting Ecuador and added, "In an environment where children are still being killed, such attempts do not have any function apart from making things easier for the tyrant."

"They always convene, get together, eat, drink and then leave. Now they are giving a date for end-February. Let's watch. You will see that once it is Feb. 28 they will postpone again."

Nearly 70.00 Syrian civilians from Aleppo are on the road to reach neighbouring Turkey due to the heavy air strikes and almost 10,000 refugees are now waiting at the Turkish border around Kilis.

Some 4.6 million Syrians have fled to nearby countries -Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt- while hundreds of thousands have journeyed to Europe in the region's biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

On this issue, Erdogan said, “"as required by our conscientious responsibility, we house over 2.7 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Turkey houses the most refugees in the world. Despite its heavy cost, we maintain our open door policy."


TRTWorld and agencies