Turkey calls for more international solidarity on World Refugee Day
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Activists lay on the ground to mark World Refugee Day during a protest in Madrid, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrea Comas)
“On the occasion of June 20 World Refugee Day, we hope to increase awareness of the problems that forcefully displaced people face and strengthen international solidarity to resolve those problems,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement, referring to Turkey’s hosting nearly 3.6 million Syrian refugees.
“Our country, which in the past was the source and transit position on refugee and migration movements, has recently become a destination country with its developing economy. Turkey is today the country that hosts the most refugees in the world,” the ministry added.
It added that the refugee issue could be better managed through international cooperation and that Turkey’s efforts to enhance the situation of refugees in the country has been praised by the international community.
Similarly, Turkey’s EU Ministry released a statement for World Refugee Day, calling migration “the most serious issue of our century” as nearly 65.6 million people have been forcefully displaced across the globe due to wars and instability.
On the March 2016 Turkey-EU deal to address the migrant and refugee crisis, the statement said: “Due to this cooperation, deaths in the Aegean Sea have fallen substantially.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on June 20 that Turkey has become a “safe haven for refugees” in contrast with the West, which has “shirked its responsibility.”
“Turkey has become a safe haven for 4 million refugees, 3.5 million of whom are Syrians. At the same time, many Western countries, which claim to be the cradle of democracy and human rights, hide behind barbed wires,” Erdoğan said in a statement marking World Refugee Day.
He also complained that the European Union has not fulfilled the financial incentives promised to Turkey for assistance to Syrian refugees.
“Our country’s conscientious behavior over the crises in Syria and Iraq has shown once again to the whole world our nation’s commitment to humanitarian values, generosity and helpfulness,” Erdoğan said.
“I want to stress that our country will continue to be in solidarity with the oppressed ones and victims, without any distinction, as it has been until today,” he added.
In a separate statement, the Foreign Ministry also urged all related parties to show a “sincere political will to find sustainable resolutions to issues.”
‘Most charitable nation’
Meanwhile, the Development Initiative’s (DI) Global Humanitarian Assistance Report, published on June 19, stated that Turkey was the most charitable nation in 2017 with nearly $8.1 billion spent in humanitarian aid.
Nearly 30 percent of all international humanitarian aid - $27.3 billion- came from Turkey, the report stated.
The U.S., Germany and the U.K. followed Turkey with $6.68 billion, $2.98 billion and $2.52 billion.
The country’s humanitarian aid expenditures were nearly 1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017.
Turkey had been ranked third in the Development Initiative’s report for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, and second in the list after the U.S. in 2016, with $6.3 billion spent in aid.