Deputy PM: Turkey should be prepared for 100,000 refugees

As new flow of refugees continues to come from Syrian Deputy PM says Turkey should be prepared for influx of at least 100,000 refugees

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Speaking to the Turkish media, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday that Turkey should be prepared for an influx of at least 100,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the war, as US-led coalition targeting northern Syria due to battle between ISIS and Kurdish militants.

Commenting on thousands of the Syrian refugees rushing into Turkey from the border in the Akcakale district of the country's southeastern province of Sanliurfa, Kurtulmus said "If Turkey accepts a new wave of refugees from Tal Abyad, it means that Turkey should be prepared for an influx of at least 100,000 refugees."

Stating that the Turkish government prioritizes keeping the refugees in their own borders and transferring aid and medical supplies there Kurtulmus added "We are of the opinion that there is a humanitarian crisis in Tal Afar, similar to the one in Kobani and other regions in Syria."

Nearly 400 Syrian refugees have been initially given permission to enter Turkey on Monday where at least 1,000 had been gathered behind wires, reported Turkish media.

Turkish officials confirmed on Sunday that a total of 2,800 Syrian refugees had crossed into Turkey through the southern Akcakale border gate.

The Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) issued a statement on Sunday saying that the first intake started at 6.20pm local time (1620 GMT) and ended at 8pm (1800 GMT).

In the last two weeks, the number of the Syrians who crossed the border into Turkey’s southeastern Sanliurfa province have reached nearly 15,000, said official sources on Friday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also expressed his concerns on Sunday about the outcome of Syrian refugees rushing into Turkey from the border.

“The abandoned territories are started to be used by the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD),” said Erdogan.

Describing the situation “concerning,” Erdogan continued “This allows armed groups to settle near our border which can cause danger to us in the future. Everybody should consider our sensibility regarding this issue.”

In the meantime, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu urged Europe on late Sunday for help with refugee influx.

Hosting a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the large-scale arrival of refugees from Syria to Turkey, Cavusoglu said the world must share the refugee burden Turkey has been having for more than two years now.

"Turkey has spent more than $6 billion so far for the refugees. The international community's help is only $300 million. The burden must be shared," Cavusoglu said.

The US-led air strikes that targeted ISIS positions in Syria hit a settlement unit in Tal Abyad city of northern Raqqa province and killed 20 civilians, said Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC) in a statement on June 13.

Tal Abyad, held by ISIS, is an oil-rich city located 65 kilometres east of Kobane and also a key city between Turkey and northern Syrian province of Raqqa, the de facto capital of ISIS.

TRTWorld and agencies