Erdoğan says 50,000 Syrians fleeing from Idlib to Turkey
“Now, there are 50,000 people coming to our lands from Idlib. We already host 4 million people, and now, an additional 50,000 are coming. Maybe this figure will increase even further,” Erdoğan said.
The Turkish president’s remarks came during a roundtable meeting on the priority of development and challenges with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as part of the Kuala Lumpur summit of Muslim world leaders.
Erdoğan again slammed the international community for refraining from providing support to Turkey for the care of Syrian refugees.
“We spent over $40 billion. There is neither a serious support from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees nor does the European Union fulfill the promises it gave. No one is keeping their word,” he said.
“On the other hand, the Arab League convenes and says, ‘Cut relations with Turkey’? Who did we accommodate? Where did we accommodate our 3.7 million Syrian Arab brothers and sisters? We took them to Turkey,” he said.
Erdoğan was referring to the Arab League’s condemnation of Turkey’s anti-terror “Operation Peace Spring” and its request for reducing relations with Ankara.
“Why did we accommodate them? They were running away from barrel bombs,” he said.
The president also called on leaders to “govern with justice.” “We need to have a fair approach for this. Nothing happens with just talking,” he added.
Erdoğan also slammed the Muslim nations for not supporting Turkey’s plans to resettle refugees in a safe zone.
“Is the Muslim world that poor? Why don’t they support such a thing?” he said.
“We say, let’s build settlements for our refugee brothers and sisters to live in their own lands. We call on the whole world, just like the Muslim world. But the world did not endorse the establishment of a safe zone,” he added.
The president also conveyed that many countries, including the United States, have brought the safe zone forward yet refrained from providing any means for the construction.
“But weapons come. Who are the weapons for? They are for the terrorist organizations,” he said. Erdoğan also underlined that on the fight against terror, many countries say it should be carried out, yet “action speaks louder than words.”
The terrorist organizations in Syria aimed to establish a terror corridor in the northern parts of the war-torn country, Erdoğan said. The terrorist organization Erdoğan was referring to is the YPG, the Syrian affiliate of the outlawed PKK.
“These terrorist organizations have imperialist powers standing behind them,” he said.
The president also conveyed that the “imperialist powers” have sent about 33,000 trucking rigs filled with ammunition and arms. He also said that more arms were sent with cargo aircrafts “free-of-charge.”
The U.S.-backed SDF, a group dominated by the YPG, has been controlling some 28 percent of the Syrian territories, including most of the 911-kilometer-long Syria-Turkey border.
Turkey deems the YPG the Syrian offshoot of the illegal PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization also by the United States and the EU.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate the terrorist PKK/YPG from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants PKK/YPG terrorists to withdraw from the region so that a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
‘Muslims’ fate no longer in the hands of five countries’
During the opening ceremony of the summit on Dec. 18, Erdoğan said that the U.N. Security Council’s five permanent members no longer hold the fate of Muslims in their hands.
He reiterated his remarks, stating, “The world is bigger than five.”
Erdoğan also said that Turkey did not bow to pressure to silence it, including a coup attempt, economic terror and slander.
“As they try to silence Turkey, we insist on calling attention to Palestine, Gaza, the Rohingya, Libya, Somalia and Syria,” he stressed.
At the opening ceremony, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as well as the host, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, delivered speeches.
Hundreds of government officials, businessmen, representatives of civil societies and experts from different sectors across the Muslim world are taking part in the summit.