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'Turkey cannot bear another refugee influx by itself'

December 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm

Syrian refugees with their belongings pass through Oncupinar border gate in Kilis, Turkey [Ensar Özdemir/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey will not be able to bear the burden of another refugee influx alone, the country’s ruling party spokesman said on Monday, reports Anadolu Agency.

“We have the information of another refugee influx from there [Syria’s northwestern Idlib province]. From now on, Turkey cannot bear this refugee influx by itself,” Omer Celik told a press conference following the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s central executive committee in the capital Ankara.

“We clearly say that the refugee issue will become the matter of Turkey’s allies rather than an issue of Turkey alone,” Celik said, reiterating the stance of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the issue.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

READ: At least 25,000 people fled Syria’s Idlib for Turkey over 2 days

Since then, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone as the cease-fire continues to be violated.

If aggression by the regime and its allies continues, Turkey and Europe face the risk of another refugee influx.

Turkey has been one of the main country which has been welcoming Syrian refugees - Cartoon [MiddleEastMonitor]

Turkey has been one of the main country which has been welcoming Syrian refugees –
Cartoon [MiddleEastMonitor]

Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border following intense attacks.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in over 3.6 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.

Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.