Istanbul: Turkey prepares to push forward infrastructure projects in northern Syria to help repatriate 1 million Syrian refugees, the Turkish Deputy Interior Minister said.
Speaking on the second day of the Global Parliamentary Conference on Migration in Istanbul, Ismail Catakli added on Tuesday that Turkey has made plans to construct settlements in 13 areas, including “houses, offices, social centres, and administrative buildings” to support the repatriation plan.
According to Turkish officials, the country now hosts 3.6 million Syrians and supports nearly six million in the northern Syrian area close to its borders, where Turkey has been financing infrastructure and construction projects, Xinhua news agency reported.
“These people have to return to their country voluntarily in an honourable and safe way. This has to be provided,” said the Deputy Minister, noting 507,000 Syrians have voluntarily returned to their hometowns so far.
Speaking of the West’s approaches to the refugee issue, Catakli said “it is easy to foresee that the developed countries will inevitably be facing a much more severe refugee problem in a future not too far if the West persists on only a border control-based approach to this problem”.
Turkey has seen an increased refugee influx, sparking debates internally regarding the country’s economic capacity to cope with the situation.
Delegates from the parliaments of more than 50 countries attended the two-day conference beginning Monday, the annual World Refugee Day, which aims to promote robust international cooperation and national implementation.