Turkey offers safe zone plan for settlement of 1 million Syrians
The details of the safe zone plan for the resettlement of 1 million Syrians, a plan Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proposed at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, have been unveiled.
During his speech on Sept. 24, Erdoğan called on to the General Assembly to support Turkey’s efforts concerning Syria.
“Our aim is to settle 2 million Syrians, with the support of the international community, by providing a peace corridor of 30 kilometers deep and 480 kilometers long in the first phase,” the president had said.
Erdoğan offered to extend the safe zone to the Deir ez-Zor-Raqqa line and said that by doing so, even 3 million displaced Syrians can be resettled in the planned zone.
“We can take Syrians from tent, container cities and settle them in here, with U.S., coalition powers, Russia and Iran,” he said.
According to a booklet that provides budgetary and construction details and costs of the resettlement areas, 1 million refugees can be resettled in the planned zone.
The settlement area Turkey proposes includes 140 villages and 10 districts. Each village is planned to host 5,000 Syrians while each district will have a population of 30,000.
The villages will contain about 1,000 residences, including houses and barns. The houses will be 100-square-meters large. Two mosques, two schools, a youth center, and a closed gym will also be included.
Every household in the villages will also receive agricultural land with respect to the size of the area.
The districts, on the other hand, will have 6,000 residences, a central mosque, as well as 10 mosques for neighborhoods, eight schools, a high school, two closed gyms, five youth centers, a small stadium, a football field, two hospitals, and an industrial estate.
For the planned resettlement areas to actualize, about 92.6 million square meters of land is needed.
Some 140-million square meters are also needed for the agricultural land distribution.
A total of 200,000 residences will be constructed with respect to the plan, which will cost nearly $26.4 billion for the settlement of 1 million displaced Syrians, according to the booklet.
The planning is a draft yet detailed works are ongoing, the booklet said.
Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed on Aug. 7 to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home.
The 30-kilometer wide area includes the settlements of Jarabulus, Manbij, Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), Tal Abyad, Suluk, Ras al-Ayn, Darbasiyah, Amude, Qamishli and al-Malikiyah.
The settlements -- except for Jarabulus, which was cleared of terrorists by Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016-2017 -- are currently occupied by the terrorist group YPG/PKK.
Since 2016, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and ISIL terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled the violence to return home.