Some 58,000 Ukrainians take shelter in Turkey, says minister
Some 58,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Turkey since the start of the war, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said, adding that Turkey continues to provide humanitarian aid in the conflict zone to displaced people.
“Around 30,000 of those people traveled to Turkey via land routes and entered the country through border crossings in the provinces of Kırklareli and Edirne,” Soylu said during an interview on a private broadcaster TV Net.
Turkey is one of the first countries that have responded to the unfolding humanitarian situation there, the minister stressed.
“Teams from Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority [AFAD] were immediately dispatched to the borders of Romania and Moldova; they have set up tents to help with relief efforts,” Soylu said, adding that 51 truckloads of aid have already been sent to the region.
Turkey and Europe have different approaches toward the issue of migration, the minister said, noting that the country is welcoming refugees from different nations.
Not only Ukrainians but also Russians are seeking refuge in Turkey after the war broke out. It is estimated that some 14,000 Russian citizens have arrived in the country since the start of the conflict.
Turkey host more refugees than any other country in the world, most of them from war-torn Syria.
Soylu recalled that 3.7 million Syrians are living in Turkey. “We are working to improve the conditions in the regions inside Syria near the Turkish border. The refugee flow cannot be slowed unless peace is established there.”
He also said that 80 percent of Syrian refugees live in the addresses they declare to authorities and that work is underway to bring this figure up to 90 percent.
“Some 120,000 to 130,000 are not living at the declared locations. They might have left Turkey for another country,” Soylu said.