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POLITICS > Figures show Ankara’s effort on Syria refugees

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Ankara has spent around $350 million on more than 157,000 Syrian refugees to date, according to figures with some 3,570 Syrians were staying in the Apaydın camp, where defected soldiers settled

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A Syrian refugee woman walks with her two kids at Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Refugees in Turkey have been staying in 15 shelter camps comprised of more than 25,000 tents and 4,000 containers. AP photo

A Syrian refugee woman walks with her two kids at Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Refugees in Turkey have been staying in 15 shelter camps comprised of more than 25,000 tents and 4,000 containers. AP photo

İpek Yezdani İpek Yezdani ipek.yezdani@hurriyet.com.tr

Turkey has spent around $350 million on more than 157,000 Syrian refugees to date, according to official figures.

Over 1,200 Syrian refugees have entered Turkey in the last two days, raising their number in the country to 157,490, according to figures obtained from the Prime Ministry’s Office of Public Diplomacy.

Syrian refugees have been staying in 15 shelter camps comprised of more than 25,000 tents and 4,000 containers. Construction of another shelter camp still continues, officials said. Additionally, the Turkish government has been issuing daily food packages to 30,000 refugees waiting at ground zero on the Syrian-Turkish border.

There are around 3,000 staff members working at Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, according to the official figures. The needs of the Syrian refugees are being met in terms of shelter, food, health services, security, social activities, education, religious services, translation, telecommunication and banking, the document added.

There are 143 specialist medical doctors, 553 general practitioners and 1,089 health workers in total at the hospitals built in the camps. There are also more than 26,000 students studying at educational classes in the camps, in which 345 Turkish and 833 Arab teachers work.

More than 24,000 adults have undergone training in different fields at these facilities. The largest number of Syrian refugees has been staying in the Ceylanpınar camp of Şanlıurfa, where more than 36,000 refugees settled.

Syria accuses Turkey

Some 3,570 Syrians were staying in the Apaydın camp in Hatay, where soldiers who defected were settled with their families. Meanwhile, the Syrian government has accused Turkey of receiving stolen goods from armed groups who it claimed plundered some 1,000 factories in the industrial city of Aleppo, and called on the United Nations to condemn its neighbor’s involvement.

Syria’s U.N. ambassador, Bashar Ja’afari, said in a letter to the U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, released Jan. 17, that armed groups “transferred the stolen goods to Turkey with the full knowledge of the Turkish government.”

“Syria would like to point out that these unethical acts ... are tantamount to direct participation in transnational crime and piracy,” he wrote in the letter dated Jan. 7, according to Reuters. “The Syrian Arab Republic calls on the Security Council and the Secretary-General to clearly condemn these destructive acts of terrorism and do what is required to hold accountable their perpetrators, as well as those states and regional and international powers that stand behind them,” Ja’afari wrote.

January/19/2013

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