Turkey's Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in Syria

Vaşington Büyükelçiliği 17.06.2015

- Turkey has been pursuing an “open door” policy for all Syrians who had to flee their country in the past 4 years, in conformity with its international obligations and without any discrimination based on religion or ethnic origin. Turkey strictly complies with the principle of non-refoulement at the border.

-The total number of Syrians living in Turkey in this context have reached close to 1.8 million.This number amounts to 2 million including Iraqis.

-More than 275.000 Syrians are accommodated in 25 temporary protection centers where they are provided food, healthcare and education services as well as psychological assistance, vocational training and social activities. In addition to that, more than 1.5 million Syrians that are living outside these centers are also under Turkey’s protection regimeand they too benefit from free medical services.

-During the DEASH attacks on Kobane/Ayn al Arab last September, 197.000 Syrians crossed into Turkey over the course of few days, which is more than the number of Syrians that all of Europe has received since the beginning of the Syrian crisis.

-What we witnessed in Kobane/Ayn al Arab in the past months, is now occurring in Akcakale/Tel Abyad. In a couple of days, close to 24.000 Syrians have crossed the border to Turkey.Some 70 per cent of these were women and children.

- Turkey has mobilized all its resources and capabilities to provide for the needs of these people, on behalf of the international community.

-Turkey has spent more than 6 billion US Dollars for Syrians in Turkey until now. However, the contribution received from international community (393 million US Dollars) has been below all expectations.

-The financial burden on Turkey due to this humanitarian crisis is increasing day by day. Turkey’s share in UN regional response appeals has been the least funded among all of Syria’s neighboring countries.

- As a reflection of Turkey’s strong commitment to humanitarian values and principles, the Law on Foreigners and International Protection,came into force in April 2014.Furthermore, in compliance with the European Union (EU) standards, Turkey has enacted the Temporary Protection Regulation to grant legal status to the Syrians in the country on 22 October 2014.

-This new legal framework complements and reinforces Turkey’s humanitarian response by allowing Syrians to enjoy additional rights such as employment and education.

-Education is a foremost need for the school age Syrians within the scope of the reconstruction of Syria. In this respect, Turkey expects technical support and proper funding for the implementation of the UN “No Lost Generation” Strategy from the international community.

-This influx is not only regional but a global problem and has global repercussions. It requires a global and comprehensive approach and all countries should exert joint efforts in order to prevent and overcome the problems brought by this ongoing humanitarian plight.

-Keeping in mind that coordinated efforts and shared responsibility are indispensable in order to prevent further aggravation of this humanitarian tragedy, we reiterate once more that burden sharing is urgently needed.

(Updated on June 19, 2015)


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