PM Erdoğan to visit Syrian refugee camps over weekend

PM Erdoğan to visit Syrian refugee camps over weekend

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
PM Erdoğan to visit Syrian refugee camps over weekend

The executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, Ertharin Cousin meets with Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan in Kilis. PM Erdoğan is expected to travel to the Islahiye and Nizip camps soon. DHA photo

Paying his first domestic visit of the year to Gaziantep over the weekend, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will travel to two refugee camps in Islahiye and Nizip that are hosting Syrians who have fled the ongoing violence in the neighboring country.

The prime minister is expected to arrive in the southeastern Anatolian province on Jan. 19 in order to attend a collective opening ceremony at Gaziantep University where he will be bestowed with an honorary doctorate, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Erdoğan will devote Jan. 20 to visiting the two tent cities in Islahiye and Nizip. The tent city in Islahiye houses 8,360 refugees, while the one in Nizip hosts 7,493 Syrians.

Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan announced on Jan. 14 that as of that day, Turkey had received around 153,000 Syrian refugees.

While global aid for Syrians has reached a total of $30 million, Turkey has so far allocated $360 million, Çağlayan also said.

A total of 13 tent cities have been established in Turkey, in addition to a container city in Kilis that is capable of hosting 12,000 refugees. There are five tent cities in Hatay, two in Şanlıurfa, three in Gaziantep and one each in Kahramanmaraş, Osmaniye and Adıyaman.

Two more tent cities in Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa are under construction, Çağlayan said.

Erdoğan had previously visited refugee camps in Akçakale and Ceylanpınar along with Syrian opposition leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, in his last domestic trip of 2012.