Turkish president: "Refugees safe return as important as fighting terror"

  • 15:36 17 December 2019

Turkish president: "Refugees safe return as important as fighting terror"

Safe return of refugees and establishing a permanent stability in Syria is as important as fight against terrorism, the Turkish president said on Dec. 17, ONA reports citing Anadolu. 

Addressing the first-ever Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “Formulas to keep refugees in their own lands and repatriate those in Turkey need to be implemented.”

Erdogan also said that Turkey is currently hosting 5 million refugees -- with 3.7 of them Syrian -- and never forcefully repatriated any of them.

“Countries with more means put limits on refugees, while Turkey opened its arms to everyone without discriminating,” he added.

“EU promised a total of €6 billion to Turkey to help Syrian refugees, but we only got €2 billion,” Erdogan said, referring to the migration deal between Turkey and the EU.

Erdogan said around 371,000 Syrians have voluntarily returned to the areas in Syria cleared of terrorists by Turkey.

"I believe that this number will reach one million in the first phase, if we can realize the project I brought forward in the UN General Assembly," he said.