Turkey may host 1 million Syrian refugees by 2014: UN

Turkey may host 1 million Syrian refugees by 2014: UN

Nisan Su Aras – ANKARA
Turkey may host 1 million Syrian refugees by 2014: UN

A Syrian boy refugee is seen at the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz, near the Syrian-Turkish border June 9, 2013. REUTERS/Hamid Khatib

Carol Batchelor, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Turkey, said that they were expecting the number of Syrian refugees to reach a new high of 3.5 million people, whereas up to 1 million of them were likely to seek asylum in Turkey by the end of this year.

“But if things keep going the way they have been going, indeed we have said that it may reach up to 3.5 million Syrian refugees in the region, of which there may be up to 1 million who would come to Turkey,” Batchelor told the Hürriyet Daily News, in an interview during the opening reception of a photography exhibition held for World Refugee Day yesterday, ehich Metin Şentürk, the singer and the president of the World Disability Foundation also attended. In order to tackle the situation in Syria, Batchelor added that a long-term solution was only possible through adopting solid political means in order to permanently halt the distress in the region.

“There is no humanitarian solution to this crisis. It requires a political solution. But until that political solution is found, there has to be a humanitarian response,” she said, urging the states to take more responsibility in Syria.

While speaking pessimistically about the future of the crisis, Batchelor praised Turkey for its efforts in terms of hosting the vast number of refugees. “The Turkish government and the Turkish people, have been already so generous, they have received over 500,000 Syrians,” she said, as this number was 267,100 in 2012. “They have provided a very consistent, a very commendable humanitarian response,” she added.

“They [refugees] all want to go home. They just need safety and conditions in which they can return to their country and rebuild their lives. This is what we are hoping for,” Batchelor added, amid urging the states to keep their borders open.

A study by the U.N. refugee agency announced on June 19, that Turkey had moved from the 59th to the 10th most important refugee-hosting country in just one year, due to the skyrocketing number of Syrian refugees hosted. According to the Global Trends Report the UNHCR released on the same day, global forced displacement has hit an 18-year high.