Davutoğlu ‘proud’ to be PM of a country hosting 2 million refugees

Davutoğlu ‘proud’ to be PM of a country hosting 2 million refugees

Davutoğlu ‘proud’ to be PM of a country hosting 2 million refugees

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Turkey’s prime minister has said he was proud of being the premier of a country currently hosting two million refugees while the world’s richest countries turn their backs to Syrians fleeing violence, with the image of a three-year-old’s lifeless body washed ashore on a Turkish beach still very fresh in memories. 

“As Turkey, we have been trying to grab the world’s attention by making ourselves heard for the last four years that there is a humanitarian crisis in Syria. Millions of refugees, millions of children, women and elderly are victims of an oppressive regime as well as of terror organizations. I stand here proud as the prime minister of a country that hosts 2 million of refugees: 1.7 million Syrians and around 200,000 Iraqis,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in his address to businesspeople representing G-20 countries on the occasion of the B20 Turkey Conference in Ankara Sept 4. 

Referring to the recent photo of the dead child, Davutoğlu said, “This lifeless body is a warning signal for all of us. If Syrian children are not safe in their homes than our children in Ankara, Paris, London or New York will not be either.” 

Adding that Turkey spent more than $6 billion in the last four years for refugees, despite its relatively small economy, Davutoğlu criticized some European leaders underlining the Christian nature of the continent and their refusal to accept refugees. 

“I want to make this call to world leaders, intellectuals, and the business world from this country hosting more refugees than any other country in the world: Please think about refugees. Not only Syrians but those coming from Africa and other places. We should adopt an integrated strategy and should defend people’s rights by struggling against oppression. We should move hand in hand for humanity. This is a turning point for humanity and a test we’ll pass through.” 

U.N. should protect Syrians 

Drawing attention to the ongoing Syrian crisis (now in its fifth year), Davutoğlu underlined that the U.N. Security Council should make a decision for the protection of Syrians inside Syria. 

“For the last four years, I have been trying, under my capacity as the foreign minister and now as the prime minister, with our president, … to persuade world leaders for the need of the establishment of a secure zone inside Syria. We proposed a solution in which refugees would be sheltered in their homes,” therefore, he added, decreasing the amount of refugees. 

This proposal was not related with Turkey’s national security, he said, but was aimed at finding a way to protect Syrians. “Turkey can defend and is defending itself against those ill-intentioned ones. But who will protect Syrians? We have warned for the last four years. There are developments just like the ones occurred in Srebrenica if secure zones are not established. Today is the day to act together,” he said. 

Not time for geopolitical ambitions 

“This is a historic time for all world leaders, not only for G-20 countries,” he said, calling all leaders to come together to address these fundamental problems of the world. “It’s time to come together to end geopolitical ambitions, ideological clashes and high youth unemployment,” he said, emphasizing the large role youth employment plays in crisis. 

Describing the G-20 as the solution platform of global crisis and today’s need for the adoption of integrated, coordinated, inclusive and efficient approaches in dealing with these global problems, the prime minister said, “Today the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council cannot efficiently address these crises. The G-20 is much more inclusive than this [P5] and represents more people. That’s why G-20 spreads hopes to become an efficient platform in not only resolving financial problems but conflicts as well.”