This land is your land, Turkish religious authority tells Syrian refugees
ANKARA - Anadolu AgencyReligious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) head Mehmet Görmez has told Syrian refugees in Ankara that they are “not guests” and should see Turkey as their “own home and country.”
“Do not see yourselves as guests in this country. This is your home and this is your country,” Görmez said, adding that Turkey was hosting them “as a human, Muslim and neighborly duty.”
He also expressed hope that they would eventually be able to return to their country to rebuild their civilization in Damascus, Aleppo and whole of Syria.
Görmez was speaking during a visit to the Social Support and Education Center in Ankara where refugees receive vocational and Turkish language education. The center is located in the central Altındağ district and was founded by the Diyanet’s Foundation for Women, Family and Youth (KAGEM). On the visit he met KAGEM Chairwoman Hicret Toprak and visited classes at the center. Syrian refugees presented Görmez with paintings they drew of Turkey and Syria and also showed him letters they wrote in Turkish.
Turkey currently hosts some 3 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. It has spent around $25 billion on refugees since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.