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Turkiye parliament rejects draft bill to deport Syrians after quake

March 2, 2023 at 3:05 pm

Leader of the IYI (Good) Party Meral Aksener makes a speech during her party’s group meeting at the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara, Turkey. [ Mehmet Ali Özcan – Anadolu Agency]

Lawmakers from Turkiye’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have prevented the approval of a draft resolution proposed by two opposition parties which sought to deport Syrian refugees from the country immediately.

The proposal, put forward by the Good Party (İYİ Parti) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP), called for urgent planning for the repatriation of Syrian refugees, citing the catastrophic impact of the recent earthquake on Turkiye, as well as economic, political and demographic risks.

MP Aydin Adnan Sezgin of the Good Party said the earthquakes destroyed many homes in 11 provinces and caused an unprecedented loss of life at a time  when the country faces internal migration and the danger of “demographic change”.

“The refugee problem has incurred high costs due to the government’s wrong policy in Syria, and posed a major threat to the demographic balance in the region. The presence of Syrian refugees in the region increased these risks, and revealed divisions in the region’s demographic structure, which will deepen in the future,” he said.

He called for the speedy development of an immediate strategy for the return of Syrian refugees to their country through negotiations with the Syrian regime.

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