Number of Syrian refugees in Turkey exceeds 2.7 million mark

Turkish deputy prime minister says number of Syrian refugees in country has exceeded 2.7 million mark which is higher than any other country according to UN records

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Syrian refugees wait on a roadside after Turkish police prevented them from sailing off to the Greek island of Farmakonisi by dinghies, near a beach in the western Turkish coastal town of Didim, Turkey, March 9, 2016.

The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey has reached 2,733,784, of whom 282,815 refugees reside in 26 temporary refugee centres the country has established for them, said Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan on Thursday.

Akdogan said on his Twitter account that Turkey had shown its moral and conscientious stance by embracing Syrians since the beginning of the civil war.

Turkey has spent nearly $10 billion of its own resources on the refugees, whose number in the country has been climbing continuously.

The European Union has offered Turkey 6 billion euros in aid to be used for Syrian refugees in the country in a recent draft deal struck on Monday. 

The aim of the deal is to discourage refugees and break the grip of human smugglers who have sent them on perilous journeys across the Aegean Sea. But refugees have continued to try to cross from Turkey's coast in recent days.

During the brutal Syrian civil war, nearly 8 million people have been displaced inside the country while at least 5 million have fled to the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.

The war-torn country has currently been experimenting with a fragile cessation of hostilities since Feb. 27 following a major agreement brokered by the US and Russia.

The United Nations hopes the agreement, which is less binding than a formal ceasefire and was not directly signed by the warring sides in Syria, can precede a more formal ceasefire.

The political sides of the conflict have been expected to meet on March 14 in Geneva for renewed peace talks which are coinciding with the fifth anniversary of a conflict that began with protests against Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad before descending into a multi-sided civil war that has drawn in foreign governments and allowed the growth of DAESH terrorism in Syria and Iraq.

TRTWorld, AA