Turkey urges world to play its part in helping Syrian children
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
“Children should have a right in the decision-making process about their own future,” said Sayan Kaya at the 18th National Children Forum in the Turkish Parliament on Nov. 20
She called on the EU to keep the promises it made to Turkey on Syrian refugees, reminding that Turkey has so far received only 800 million euros ($943 million) of aid from the European bloc.
The deal included a 6 billion euro ($7.07 billion) aid package to help Turkey care for millions of refugees in the country in exchange for blocking unregistered migrant flow to Europe and a visa-free travel right to Turks, which does not seem possible in the near future.
“I want to say once again that all children in the world have the same rights, all children have the right to live in equality, while hoping that the wars in the world end as soon as possible,” the minister said.
Turkey hosts some 3 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. The country has spent nearly $25 billion helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
Speaking at the same forum, Turkish deputy Parliament Speaker Ahmet Aydın recalled that Turkey hosted 1.5 million Syrian refugee children.
Aydın said Turkey provided education, health, and accommodation services to them without any discrimination.
“We did not only open our doors to our Syrian brothers but also our hearts. We shared our bread with them,” said Aydın.
Talking about the measures taken by Europe to stop Syrian refugees’ entry, he said they have clearly seen “the shame walls and wires being put up” for them.
Millions of children in war-weary Syria continue to be deprived of their most basic rights - education, health, and protection for violence, a refugee rights body said on Nov. 19.
“Children are the ones most affected by this war. Because they are perhaps the most needy and vulnerable beings on Earth,” International Refugee Rights Organization deputy chairman Abdullah Resul Demir told state-run Anadolu Agency.
“Children rights are defined by international law. However, in the past six years, we have seen that when our Syrian children are in question, all international laws and humanity have failed,” he said.
He added that eight out of 10 Syrian children are “children of war” and 1.7 million live in the most intense areas of the conflict, while 2 million cannot go to school.