Erdogan raise concerns on future of Syrian refugees

President Erdogan utters his concerns about illegal groups settling districts where thousands of Syrian refugees left, as battle between self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) and Kurdish militants rages on

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his concerns on Sunday about the outcome of Syrian refugees rushing into Turkey from the border in the Akcakale district of the country's southeastern province of Sanliurfa, as US-led coalition targeting northern Syria due to battle between ISIS and Kurdish militants.

“Arabs and Turkmens who live in Syria’s northern province of Tal Abyad have been targeted,” said Erdogan.

“Nearly 15,000 of Syrian refugees crossed the border into Turkey in last two weeks,” he said.

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

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.”

The number of the Syrians who have fled ongoing strikes of the US-led international coalition forces and crossed the border into Turkey’s southeastern Sanliurfa province have reached nearly 15,000, said official sources on Friday.

‘’There is still another group of Syrians waiting along the border in Akcakale district in Sanliurfa,’’ the Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) had said.

The US-led air strikes -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 Saturday.

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

Syria’s civil war has lasted for over four years. Over 220,000 Syrians have died since 2011, while over 7 million have been externally displaced, mainly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.

Turkey has been already hosting 1.8 million Syrians and have spent about 5.5 billion dollars for them at its own expense. Some 300 million dollars [has come] from the international community.

TRTWorld and agencies