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UN praises Turkey’s treatment of refugees

March 12, 2020 at 4:39 pm

Asylum seekers, including Syrians, Afghans, Iranians and Uzbeks, carry branches and woods to use them for warming-up as they continue to wait near Tundzha river in Turkey’s Edirne to enter Greece on 5 March 2020. ([Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman – Anadolu Agency]

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Deputy Representative for Turkey Jean Marie Garelli today praised efforts toward asylum-seekers in every region of Turkey.

“Turkey is a country where refugees and asylum-seekers are welcomed in the best way and get significant support; you are a praiseworthy model to the whole world in this manner,” Garelli said during a delegation visit to Edirne where asylum-seekers wait at the Greek border to be allowed to cross to Europe.

At the end of last month, Turkey allowed thousands of migrants and asylum seekers to cross its borders with Greece in response to the EU’s lack of action in the Syrian governorate of Idlib.

Thousands of asylum seekers and migrants have been waiting at the border region separating Turkey and Greece since 27 February to cross into Europe amid reports of abuse at the hands of Greek authorities.

Turkey has said Europe violated a deal it signed with Ankara in 2016 aimed at thwarting the movement of refugees to Greece and then on to other European countries.

EU officials have, however, slammed Turkey for using refugees as a political tool.

Turkey hosts around 3.6 million refugees – more than any other country. And since December 2019, hundreds of thousands more people have fled towards its border with Syria as a result of the regime’s airstrikes on the province as President Bashar Al-Assad fights to recapture the last opposition stronghold in Syria.

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