UNHCR:Turkey sets example for world over its refugee policy

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres says on World Refugee Day that Turkey sets example in world where borders of host countries for refugees keeps getting narrower

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres said on Saturday that Turkey sets an example for other countries, praising Turkish people and the government for the support provided to the refugees.

Guterres’ remarks came during a press conference with the UN Refugee Agency special envoy Angelina Jolie who was also visiting the refugees in Turkey’s southeastern Mardin province in the honor of the World Refugee Day.

At the press meeting , both stressed on the UN agency’s 2014 Global Trends report which is warning regarding the refugee crisis and how 60 million people were forced to leave their homes in 2014 as the number was around 14,000 in 2012.

According to the report, Turkey sheltered the largest number of refugees in the world in 2014


“UN Security Council is unfortunately not functional as the unpredictability and impunity have become a game in this world at war. I think the sides that has influence in  these wars should leave their differences aside,” said Guterres, calling for stronger international solidarity,  opening borders for refugees, and acknowledging the need for refugee aid.

Visiting the Gaziantep province governorate and the mayor's office on Sunday, Guterres also said if Turkey was not generous about the Syrians, the incidents would have a harsher effect on the people of Syria.

“Turkey actually prevented a high scale instability by helping. The policy followed by Turkey was the right one.”

Noting that the UN is trying to pull attention to Turkey, Guterres urged the countries open up their borders as Turkey does, and at least accept some of the refugees.

In their visit to the refugee camps in Mardin, António Guterres and Angelina Jolie also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The aim of this visit was to make noise as much as we can so the attention of both international community and global media could be focused here. While doing so, we wanted to underline the generosity of Turkey and lack of international support,” said Guterres.

“The programs implemented by Turkey towards Syrians needs more international support both at financial and moral level.”

According to a UNHCR report, Turkey hosts the highest number of refugees in the world, with more than 2 million refugees and having spent  $ 5.6 billion to accommodate Syrian refugees.

The UNHCR report also said that Syria was "the world's biggest producer of both internally displaced people [7.6 million] and refugees [3.88 million] at the end of 2014."

Turkey has an open-door policy for Syrian refugees, yet does not receive sufficient assistance from the international community.

TRTWorld and agencies