70 pct of refugees willing for safe return home: Interior minister
“We are holding meetings [on the return of refugees] for months: Who might go back home and under what conditions? I assume that returns will begin by the end of this year. According to the studies, 70 percent tell ‘We want to return home if it would be safe,” Soylu told private broadcaster NTVin an interview late Aug. 18.
The number of Syrians in Türkiye is around 3.6 million, Soylu said, informing that 517,000 Syrians have already returned home in the past period.
“We are preparing the infrastructure of safe, honorable and volunteer return. Some 1 million people were given social adaptation courses. We have built 62,000 briquette houses in Idlib. This figure will reach 100,000 at the end of this year,” Soylu stated. He also recalled President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement that at least 1 million Syrians will return to the regions of Jarablus, Azaz and Tal Abyad as these areas are cleared of the YPG terrorists.
There are works for the construction of briquette houses in the Euphrates Shield Operation area in northern Syria, the minister said, adding, “We are in preparations for the return of one million Syrians.”
He said the government is in talks with the nongovernmental organizations and representatives of the communities who have immigrated to Türkiye for their safe return. “This is how this issue is held in the world.”
On a question about the opposition claims that Syrians granted citizenship will vote in the next elections, Soylu said those who are eligible to vote among Syrians is around 152,000. “The voters’ list is provided to the political parties twice a year. You can make your own studies over this information,” he stated.
Soylu also reiterated his criticism against the United States for supporting the YPG politically and militarily, saying, “Why did the U.S. pledge $2 billion to them in the past three years?”