by Muslim Mirror Staff
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced Turkey’s intentions to repatriate Syrian refugees but did not specify a timeline for when this process would commence.
“The open truth is that the refugees, asylum seekers, and so on, we have now returned to their dormitories to start with briquette houses in the north of Syria. But now we have a plan that 1 million refugees will return to the target. Of course, this will happen over time. As he himself stated, we will be in an effort to make a return to them in an environment of trust,” Erdogan said while talking to TRT Haber.
“We have already supported the safe and voluntary return of refugees from the very beginning. So far, nearly 560,000 refugees have returned to areas cleared of terrorism. This number will increase as terrorist organizations are wiped out in Syria,” he said.
Erdogan emphasized that Turkey’s primary objective involves implementing initiatives aimed at facilitating the repatriation of one million refugees to their homelands. He expressed confidence in the voluntary return of these individuals to their respective lands.
Earlier, Erdogan’s opponent in the country’s upcoming presidential runoff, Kemal Kılıkdaroğlu, has made it clear that if he wins the election, he will allow him to repatriate Syrian refugees within two years. There is a plan to strictly curb repatriation and illegal entry into the country.
Turkey is currently home to over 3.7 million Syrian residents, solidifying its position as the leading host country for refugees worldwide.
In response to the onset of a devastating civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey implemented an inclusive policy, commonly referred to as the “open-door” policy, to accommodate Syrians seeking refuge from violence and oppression.
Since the Assad regime responded to pro-democracy protests with excessive force, Syria has become entangled in a brutal civil war. This conflict has resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and forced over 10 million people to flee their homes, according to estimates provided by the United Nations.
On May 14, a significant number of voters participated in the elections to select Turkey’s president and its 600-seat parliament.
In the parliamentary elections, Erdogan’s People’s Alliance secured a majority. However, the presidential race will proceed to a second-round run-off on May 28. Erdogan will compete against Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the joint candidate representing the six-party opposition Nation Alliance.
In the initial round, Erdogan obtained 49.52 percent of the vote, securing the highest percentage. Kilicdaroglu secured the second position with 44.88 percent, while Sinan Ogan of the ATA (Ancestral) Alliance received 5.17 percent of the votes.
On Monday, Ogan publicly announced his endorsement of Erdogan for the run-off saying, “We believe that our decision is the right decision for our country and nation.”
Erdogan has voiced criticism against Western media organizations that have made attempts to influence public opinion through their headlines regarding the elections in Turkey.
“We have achieved most of our democratic gains in Türkiye by fighting with the headlines,” the Turkish leader said in a live interview with national broadcaster TRT Haber on Monday.
He added the West does not like Türkiye because it has rooted out terrorism. “In the fight against terrorism, we have always been left alone. We pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.”
The West also is disturbed by Türkiye’s growth in defence industry, Erdogan said.
“Do they like Türkiye which is getting stronger in the defence industry? Of course, they don’t like us. They won’t like us because we don’t buy weapons or ammunition from them anymore … My nation gave this answer to them on May 14. I hope that on May 28th, they will do it again,” he said.
“Have you heard discomfort from Azerbaijan, Qatar and Libya because of our efforts? No. When we look at those who are disturbed by our success, we can see more clearly who is friend and who is foe,” Erdogan added.