İYİ Party deputy head draws ire for saying ‘28 percent of Syrian refugees are obese’
İYİ (Good) Party Deputy Chair Ümit Özdağ has drawn ire after posting on Twitter that “27.7 percent of Syrian refugees in Turkey are obese.”
Özdağ shared a graphic on Nov. 23 claiming that 32.6 percent of Syrian refugees in Turkey are “overweight” and 27.7 are “obese,” while 1.25 million Turkish citizens are suffering below the hunger limit.
He stated that 4.5 percent of Turkey’s population is now made up of people of Syrian-origin, and the number of Syrians in Istanbul is now higher than general population in 38 provinces across the country.
Özdağ’s post drew condemnation from many Turkish social media users, criticizing Özdağ for “racism” and “discrimination.”
Meanwhile, İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener has said she wants the return home of Syrian refugees currently in Turkey.
“I want Syrian people to return to their homes, but this does not mean simply dismissing them. I am also the child of a migrant family. A way should be found for the return of Syrian people to their country within a humanitarian framework,” Akşener said.
Speaking on national radio station BEST FM, she also slammed the government’s Syria policy, saying “personal friendships must not determine foreign policy.”
“Four million Syrian refugees are in Turkey while Canada, for example, hosts just 50,000 ... These people have been displaced, but their children in Turkey could become criminals in 10 years because the government does not have an approach that can integrate four million people,” Akşener said.