Turkey urges Europe for help with refugee influx

Turkey urges Europe for help with refugee influx

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Turkey urges Europe for help with refugee influx

Syrians fleeing the war pass through broken border fences and trenches to enter Turkish territory illegally, near the Turkish border crossing at Akcakale in Sanliurfa province on June 14, 2015. AFP Photo

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu hosted an ad hoc meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the large-scale arrival of refugees from Syria to Turkey on late June 14.  

Çavuşoğlu said the world must share the refugee burden Turkey has been carrying for more than two years, during a speech at a dinner with PACE members, including PACE President Anne Brasseur.

“Turkey has spent more than $6 billion so far for refugees. The international community’s help is only $300 million. The burden must be shared,” Çavuşoğlu said.

The foreign minister also said around 500,000 of the refugees have come of age to receive education but “only 40 percent of them can get it.”

“They have no home to go back to. There are around two million other refugees in countries like Jordan, Egypt Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and their conditions are worse than what they have in Turkey,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Çavuşoğlu was critical that no comprehensive strategy had been decided on to help solve the problems in the region. “There is a coalition consisting of 60 countries, 22 of which are core-members, and there have been meetings for more than 10 months now, but still there is no comprehensive strategy,” he said.

Brasseur said she was hugely impressed with the “warm welcome that Turkey has given” to refugees from Syria and Iraq.

“Europe as a whole benefits from this, and should do more to help,” she said.

A PACE statement released June 14 said a group of parliamentarians from 20 countries - heads of political groups of national delegations - would fly to southern Gaziantep province on June 15 to visit the Elbeyli and Nizip centers in the region ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20.

Syrian refugees fleeing clashes in Syria’s Tel Abyad are now pouring into Turkey’s southeastern Şanlıurfa province in droves through the Akçakale crossing on the Syrian-Turkish border.

According to an official estimate, up to 3,000 fresh refugees are expected to pour into Turkey in the latest surge.

For the past two weeks, the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD)’s military wing, known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), has been carrying out operations to push back Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, with the help of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in the northeast Syrian cities of Tel Abyad and al-Hasakah.

Since the operations began almost 15,000 civilians from adjacent villages and towns have crossed the border into Şanlıurfa, official sources told Anadolu Agency on June 12.