Germany pledges 25 million euros to Turkey for brick houses in Idlib
Sevil Erkuş – ANKARA
Germany pledged Turkey it would provide 25 million euros in fund for the construction of brick houses on the Syrian side of Idlib-Turkey border to accommodate displaced Syrians, diplomatic sources have told Hürriyet Daily News.
The aid is planned to be allocated to the Red Crescent in Turkey, which has already been building brick buildings for displaced civilians 30-40 kilometers from the Turkish border to stem the refugee flow.
Turkey said it would contain the flow on the Syrian side of the border, as EU countries are also cautious about the crossing of displaced Syrians through Turkey into the European continent.
The issue came up during a meeting of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the latter’s visit to Turkey last month. The details were discussed in a phone conversation on Feb. 4 in which Idlib was the main topic, according to the sources.
Following heavy regime attacks in the last rebel stronghold, thousands of people rushed to the Turkish border.
Erdoğan earlier stated that it was not possible to solve this crisis with tent cities in Idlib, referring to the harsh winter conditions.
He added that he has also informed German Chancellor Merkel about the situation and, with Germany’s support, they are planning to build 25,000 briquette houses initially.
Erdoğan also called on the international community to assume more responsibility in Idlib. “It is not enough to appreciate Turkey’s efforts. We need concrete steps,” he said.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited, but the cease-fire continues to be violated.
On Feb. 30, the United Nations disclosed that 700,000 Syrians were fleeing towards the Turkish borders, due to the Syrian regime’s campaign that achieved victories in Idlib and Aleppo.
More than 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year.