66,000 babies born in refugee camps in Turkey
AFP photoTurkey will not hand over 66,000 babies born in refugee camps to tyrants, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said at the Global Forum on Migration and Development, referring to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“When we look at our kids, we should see the eyes of Aylan Kürdi,” he said, referring to a three-year-old whose body was found on Turkey’s Bodrum coast in August after he drowned in the Aegean Sea as his family was trying to carry him to Greece.
“In Turkey, 66,000 babies have been born in camps. They do not know about their own country, their own street,” the prime minister said.
“Migration is not something that should be blocked, but it is a process that should be managed well,” he also said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu urged world countries to act together to solve the ongoing refugee crisis gripping Turkey and Europe, as the number of displaced people worldwide has topped the peaks reached since World War II.
“The pressing need to address the plight of migrants and what we must do together, through enhancing international collaboration, cannot be decoupled from this prevailing reality,” Sinirlioğlu said, while addressing the opening ceremony of the forum.
“As state actors, we also have an obligation to help move the policy debates in our capitals, and also at the international level, towards devising effective policies that will genuinely address the root causes that trigger the patterns of mass migrations we observe today,” he added, speaking at the three-day summit themed “Strengthening Partnership: Human Mobility for Sustainable Development.”
Millions of Syrian refugees have fled their country since war broke out more than four years ago. The U.N. said in June the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide has “for the first time in the post-World War II era exceeded 50 million people.”
“Turkey is determined to spare no effort to protect human lives through the strengthening of cooperation and reinforcing the partnerships that enable human mobility for sustainable development,” Sinirlioğlu added.
Turkey is host to nearly 2 million refugees who have fled their country since the Syrian civil war broke out more than four years ago. It is the world’s largest Syrian refugee population.
Jan Eliasson, the U.N.’s deputy secretary general and a veteran Swedish diplomat, said in his speech: “Our ability to respond [to the] migration refugee movement has been tested as never before.”
“This challenge is not only a crisis of numbers, it is crisis of solidarity,” he added, noting that 240 million international migrants and more than 50 million refugees had been forcibly displaced. “This is a global phenomenon, a global challenge and a global concern,” he said.
“Turkey has been at the heart of the refugee crisis,” he added. “In this region, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq paid the high price of the horrific war in Syria, which must come to an end.”
The Global Forum on Migration and Development brings together government experts from around 150 countries for dialogue and cooperation on international migration and its effects on development.