Turkey will not close its gates to Syrian refugees

Turkey’s Prime Minister Davutoglu says Turkey will not shut its gates to Syrian refugees

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Prime Minister and the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Ahmet Davutoglu delivers a speech during AK Party's group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara, Turkey on February 09, 2016

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday said that Turkey will not close its door to around 70,000 Syrian refugees who are expected to reach the Turkish border if Russian and Syrian regime offensive there continues at this intensity.

“Turkey will not shut its gates to Syrian refugees,” Davutoglu said.

Turkish PM made the comments in a speech to his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) group meeting in parliament.

Turkey’s Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus also said on Monday that there was a possibility that 600,000 refugees would soon arrive at the Turkish border.

Speaking at a press conference following a cabinet meeting, Kurtulmus said, “It is estimated that a wave of 600,000 refugees may come to the Turkish border soon in a worst case scenario.”

“Our first goal is to host these refugees outside of Turkey,” he added.

The deputy prime minister said that Turkey was always on alert and cautious regarding the possibility of attacks that target its sovereignty and had carried out all required preparations.

“We have a border of 911 km. Some people that come from 10,000 km, 4,000 km or 6,000 km away have a close interest in Syria," he said. 

"Moreover, they actively take part in the conflict in Syria. Furthermore, they participate, through proxies, to the crumbling of Syria."

An attack by Russia and the Syrian regime in northwestern Syria has seen supply routes from Turkey to opposition-controlled areas cut, leaving towns and villages without vital aid.

Earlier Monday, the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Germany and Turkey had taken in most refugees from the Syrian crisis, with Turkey now hosting more than 2.5 million Syrians. Germany took in 1.1 million refugees last year, the most of any EU nation.

EU approved a 3 billion euro ($3.33 billion) aid package for Syrian refugees in Turkey to help care for the world’s largest refugee population.

TRTWorld and agencies