Türkiye proposed opening two gates from Kilis to Syria for quake aid: FM

Türkiye proposed opening two gates from Kilis to Syria for quake aid: FM

Türkiye proposed opening two gates from Kilis to Syria for quake aid: FM

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Feb. 12 that Türkiye has offered to open two more border gates from the southern province of Kilis to northern Syria and that the United Nations is considering the proposal.

“We have two border crossings in Kilis, which are primarily used for transportation to areas liberated from terrorists. We told the U.N. that these two crossings could be opened as well, and they are now assessing it,” Çavuşoğlu said at a press conference with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in the southern province of Hatay.

Dismissing the claims that the move of opening the crossing is to enable Syrians to enter the country, Çavuşoğlu stressed that the crossings will be opened only “one way” for aid delivery into Syria.

Türkiye’s border crossing, Cilvegözü border gate, with Syria remains open for humanitarian aid from the United Nations and several batches of aid were transferred through the gate to the Syrian regions that were devastated by an earthquake, he said.

“It is our humanitarian duty to provide aid support to Syria, to ensure their delivery,” he stated, noting that some countries also preferred to send humanitarian assistance by air to Syria, and Ankara opened Turkish airspace for them.

Çavuşoğlu also refuted claims that a U.S. warship will anchor Turkish waters for support after a massive quake. Local media claimed that the United States would dispatch an aircraft carrier to Türkiye for aid delivery.

“The U.S. did not ask us for such a delivery, and we will not allow it even if they ask. We don’t need it,” he said.

The minister explained that some countries proposed to send tourist cruise ships to temporarily host quake survivors.

No refugee inflow after quake

Çavuşoğlu met Libyan Foreign Minister Nejla al-Mangush in Ankara late on Feb. 13 and held a joint press conference with her following the talks.

On a question about expectations for the opening of two more border gates to Syria for dispatching humanitarian aid, Çavuşoğlu said Türkiye has called on the international community that they can use the border gate as well as Türkiye’s airspace to deliver aid to its southern neighbor.

On reports that Türkiye is opening the border crossings to the Syrians, he said: “It is not correct that there is a Syrian [migrant] inflow to Türkiye and that we have opened our borders in the regions where the PKK/YPG are located.”

Çavuşoğlu also underlines that Türkiye will not accept more refugees from Syria after the earthquake, in response to Belgian authorities who suggested that Syrians who are affected by the tremor should be hosted by Türkiye.

Mevlut Cavusoglu,