Rapporteur ashamed about EU’s discussion of hosting 20,000 Syrian refugees, compares to Turkey’s 2 mln
BRUSSELS – Anadolu Agency
AA photoIt is a shame the European Union, which is made up of 28 countries, is discussing how to distribute 20,000 Syrian refugees, when Turkey hosts around 2 million, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey said.
“Discussions are held on how 20,000 refugees will be distributed to which EU country in two years’ time. If we compare this situation to Turkey, the EU should be ashamed of the topics it discusses,” Kati Piri, EP’s Turkey rapporteur said.
Piri, who is a member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, said that the EU could be counted as a neighbor of Syria, adding that the union was obliged to help Syria’s neighboring countries.
While Germany and Sweden top the list in the applications lodged for asylum, some of the EU countries do not accept any refugees in their countries.
Turkey hosts more than 1.8 million Syrian refugees that have fled their country since the start of the unrest in 2011. In a June 18 U.N. report titled “World at War,” Turkey was listed as the world’s top host for refugees, toppling Pakistan from its decade-long rank.
In an interview with Daily News on June 18, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres urged the international community, including Western states, to open up their borders and follow Turkey’s example in hosting Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
“Usually, there is no limit to the generosity of the less rich. But unfortunately, the richest countries in the world do not show the same generosity,” Guterres said while in Istanbul.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is known for criticizing the EU and other western states’ stance towards the Syrian refugee crises. Erdoğan most recently criticized western countries for their response, describing it as a “crime against humanity.”
“We now have over two million refugees; we could not have left them under the bombs. We could not have acted similar to those who say ‘let them die’ in the Aegean and the Mediterranean,” Erdoğan said June 21 at an Istanbul meeting, in a veiled reference to the European Union’s much-criticized stance in the crisis.
‘Polls show Turkey’s strong democracy’
Commenting on the June 7 parliamentary elections, Piri also praised the high turnout at polls.
“The high turnout in Turkey shows the public’s interest in politics. This means that the Turkish nation feels that its votes counted and could make a difference,” said Piri. “Turkey’s parliamentary elections show how strong the country’s democracy is.”
According to results announced on June 18 by the Supreme Election Board (YSK), voter turnout was 83.92 percent. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) received 40.66 percent of the total, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) won 25.13 percent, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) won 16.45 percent and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) won 12.96 percent.
Accordingly, the AKP will have 258 seats in the 550-seat parliament, the CHP will have 132, while the MHP and the HDP will have 80 seats apiece.